Queen Elizabeth II dies after historic 70-year reign as Britain’s longest-serving monarch
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, has died at the age of 96.
Her son, the Prince of Wales, automatically succeeds her as King, ruling over the UK and more than a dozen Commonwealth nations – a role for which the 73-year-old has spent a lifetime in preparation.
The Queen died on Thursday 8 September in Balmoral, Scotland, after 70 years on the throne, outlasting all of her predecessors and overseeing monumental changes in social and political life.
Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Charles, who became King on the death of his mother, said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
Staff have carried a podium onto Downing Street after Buckingham Palace broke the news of the Queen’s death.
Officials have brought a notice confirming the Queen‘s death to the gates of Buckingham Palace, where the flag has been lowered to half mast.
A large crowd has gathered to read it, and Royal Parks staff have begun constructing pens from metal barriers to control the public.
Prime Minister Liz Truss is expected to pay tribute to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch outside No 10.
Her passing comes 17 months after the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, to whom she was married for 73 years.
Earlier on Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had been placed under medical supervision as doctors had become concerned for her health.
In recent months she was increasingly reliant on a walking stick to carry out her duties and was forced to cancel some appearances.
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Her passing leaves a nation in mourning after decades of dedicated public service.
Throughout times of national crisis, the Queen always provided a reassuring presence, notably addressing Britain during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and reminding Britons they would all “meet again” in an echo of Dame Vera Lynn’s Second World War song.
At the height of the general strike that year, on April 21, 1926, the Queen was born to Albert and Elizabeth, Duke and Duchess of York, at 17 Bruton Street in London.
Princess Elizabeth was among the most well-known individuals in the world from a young age; hospital rooms were named in her honor, a well-known song was written in her praise, her image appeared on a Newfoundland postage stamp, and a section of Antarctica was dubbed Princess Elizabeth Land.
But at home in the nursery she developed into an orderly, self-contained, disciplined child, the responsible elder sister to Princess Margaret, born four years later in 1930.
Her childhood was happy and secure, but everything changed when, in December 1936, her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry Wallis Simpson.
Princess Elizabeth’s father became King as George VI and she herself Heir Presumptive to the British throne. The family moved into Buckingham Palace, surrounded by the panoply and restrictions of British royalty.
The future Queen undertook her first public engagement at the time of her 21st birthday on 21 April 1947 on her first tour outside England, a state visit with her parents and sister to the Union of South Africa.
In November of that same year, she married the former Prince Philip of Greece, who became Duke of Edinburgh. He was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg and related to Princess Elizabeth through both his maternal and paternal bloodlines.