Queen Elizabeth II died today at Balmoral Castle, her estate in Scotland, after a 70-year reign. Her family gathered to her side after doctors announced that they were “concerned” about her health. She was 96.
As the head of the royal family with a decades-long tenure in power, Elizabeth was an omnipresent figure within popular culture. In addition to the many portrayals of her in television and film, she was the inspiration for the Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen,” the Stone Roses’ “Elizabeth My Dear,” and so much music. Her death prompted countless reactions on social media, including from the musicians she knighted.
“For my whole life Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has always been there,” Sir Mick Jagger wrote. “In my childhood I can recall watching her wedding highlights on TV. I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much beloved grandmother of the nation. My deepest sympathies are with the Royal family.” The Rolling Stones also extended sympathy to the royal family.
“Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing,” Sir Elton John said in a statement. “She was an inspiring presence to be around, and lead the country through some of our greatest, and darkest, moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth. Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
“I mourn with my country the passing of our greatest Queen,” Ozzy Osbourne wrote. “With a heavy heart I say it is devastating the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II.” Liam Gallagher wrote, simply: “Gutted.” Patti Smith, Janet Jackson, Liz Phair, Nicki Minaj, and many others have posted tributes. The Mercury Prize, scheduled to be awarded tonight, has been postponed.