Sep 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96 Transcript

Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96 Transcript
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Martha MacCallum reports on Queen Elizabeth’s life and legacy after her peaceful passing at 96 years old. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
The Queen has passed away.

Speaker 1: (00:01)
“The Queen died peacefully,” the royal family says, “At Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Speaker 1: (00:13)
Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96.

Speaker 1: (00:17)
John, her health in just recent weeks and months obviously was called into question. There were some of the instances around her birthday back in April, she missed due to her health declining. And it has come to this day where we now say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II.

John: (00:37)
I mean, when you think about her reign, it is remarkable. She became Queen upon her father, Charles VI’s death in February of 1952. Her coronation was June 3rd of the following year, but she has sat on that throne for 70 years now, becoming not only the longest reigning monarch in UK history, but the longest reigning monarch in world history as well. And she remained vital right up until the very end.

John: (01:07)
I mean, it is a sad day in the UK and around the world, the passing of Queen Elizabeth, but what an amazing life she lived and what amazing service she delivered to the UK and 14 other Commonwealth countries around the world.

John: (01:24)
And the fact that she was so beloved here in the United States despite this country’s history with Britain going back to the 1700’s, I mean, really is a testament to her being a force of nature and such a person to look up to in so many countries around the world.

John: (01:46)
As we digest this news here, let’s go to Martha MacCallum who has prepared this wonderful look back at the Queen’s life.

Martha MacCallum: (01:59)
Queen Elizabeth II was born into the royal Windsor family on April 21st, 1926.

Martha MacCallum: (02:06)
At birth, as the oldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York and niece to the King, no one expected that little Elizabeth Alexandra Mary would one day be the longest serving and one of the most respected rulers of Great Britain, but a love story would transform her quiet country childhood into an altogether different destiny when Elizabeth’s uncle, Prince Edward, abdicated as King to marry the American divorcee Wallace Simpson.

Martha MacCallum: (02:35)
Elizabeth’s father reluctantly took the throne, becoming King George VI in 1936, making his oldest and then 10 year old daughter Elizabeth, his heir to the throne.

Martha MacCallum: (02:47)
At age 14, the homeschooled princess began to take on some royal duties. Her family was an outward expression of strength and resilience as England was battered by the Blitz in World War II.

Martha MacCallum: (03:00)
In 1945, at age 18, the young princess trained as a driver and mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Service. She and her sister Margaret later joined those celebrating VE Day on the streets of London.

Martha MacCallum: (03:14)
Like thousands of others, she also had a sweetheart in the armed forces, her third cousin, Prince Phillip of Greece. They were engaged to be married shortly after the princess’s 21st birthday, the royal wedding held November of 1947 in London’s Westminster Abbey. It brightened the gloom of those post-war years.

Martha MacCallum: (03:36)
The following year, the couple’s first child, Charles, the Prince of Wales was born. He was then followed by Princess Anne in 1950, Andrew in 1959, and Edward in 1963.

Martha MacCallum: (03:49)
But in 1952, while in Kenya with Prince Phillip, Elizabeth learned the tragic news that her beloved father, the King, had died. In an instant, the 25 year old became the Queen of England.

Queen Elizabeth II: (04:05)
At my coronation, I shall dedicate myself anew to your service.

Martha MacCallum: (04:11)
Elizabeth was to rule in a new era. Her coronation, in all its splendor, was the first to be broadcast on television, as millions around the globe watched the transformation as it happened.

Martha MacCallum: (04:25)
In 1957, Queen Elizabeth met President Eisenhower. She would go on to meet every US president during her reign except Lyndon Johnson. She often spoke of the strong and vital bond between America and the UK.

Martha MacCallum: (04:40)
But with the 1990s came turbulent times for the royal family, as the marriages of three of the Queen’s children fell apart all under the scrutiny of relentless TV coverage and tabloid headlines.

Martha MacCallum: (04:53)
Then, in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales and mother to the Princes William and Harry, was killed in a car crash in France as she was hounded by the paparazzi.

Martha MacCallum: (05:05)
At the time, the Queen was criticized for her reserved response and persuaded to make an unprecedented live broadcast.

Queen Elizabeth II: (05:14)
So what I say to you now as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart.

Queen Elizabeth II: (05:21)
First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being.

Martha MacCallum: (05:28)
Over time, the monarchy’s reputation rebounded.

Martha MacCallum: (05:32)
In April of 2011, the Queen attended Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton, as some two billion people around the world watched the ceremony.

Martha MacCallum: (05:43)
She also made a historic visit to the Republic of Ireland, the first British monarch to do so in almost a century; a step toward healing a long and painful divide.

Martha MacCallum: (05:54)
The following year, the country turned out in force to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 year reign, a Diamond Jubilee celebration spanning four days. Thousands lined the banks of the Thames as a flotilla of a thousand boats led by the Queen made its way down the river.

Martha MacCallum: (06:11)
The worst of British weather tried but failed to dampen the mood, and the then 86 year old Queen and 90 year old Prince Phillip stood side by side for the four hour ceremony.

Martha MacCallum: (06:23)
Queen Elizabeth ended the celebrations by thanking the nation for honoring her.

Queen Elizabeth II: (06:28)
I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the countless kindnesses shown to me in this country and throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you all.

Martha MacCallum: (06:38)
In 2013, the Queen welcomed her third great-grandchild, the much anticipated Prince George, son of William and Kate. Now, all these years later, another George is now second in line to the British throne.

Martha MacCallum: (06:53)
His younger sister, Princess Charlotte, is third. She was born in 2015. And later that year, Queen Elizabeth became Britain’s longest reigning monarch, overtaking her great great grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Martha MacCallum: (07:06)
In 2016, the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday. That was a four day event honoring the Queen’s deep involvement with the armed forces and giving the nation a chance to celebrate her life.

Martha MacCallum: (07:17)
2018, the Queen watched on as grandson Prince Harry married the American actress Meghan Markle in a ceremony that brought glamor and Hollywood royalty to the House of Windsor and led them firmly into the 21st century.

Martha MacCallum: (07:32)
But about a year later, Harry and Meghan would famously decide to leave the royal family, move to America, and give a tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey which caused deep divisions within the family.

Martha MacCallum: (07:47)
In 2021, the Queen’s beloved husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99. The nation mourned with the Queen, but COVID restrictions kept the funeral small.

Martha MacCallum: (07:57)
The image of the Queen sitting masked and alone in the church became the image of a country both in mourning and in lockdown. But as she had so many times before, the Queen persevered.

Martha MacCallum: (08:11)
From an early age, Queen Elizabeth was one of the most recognized royals and recognized women in the world. Nearly a third of the planet lived in the Commonwealth that she ruled.

Martha MacCallum: (08:24)
She managed to combine the truly regal with a country woman’s simple pleasures, and she embodied old fashioned values of virtue, faith, and self restraint, honoring to the very end the pledge she had made when she was just 21.

Queen Elizabeth II: (08:47)
I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great Imperial family to which we all belong.

John: (08:54)
Martha MacCallum with an extraordinary look back at an extraordinary life; 70 years on the British throne for Queen Elizabeth II.

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