Queen Elizabeth II, UK's longest-reigning monarch is dead

Queen Elizabeth

Recent picture of Queen Elizabeth. Photo: PA Media

Queen Elizabeth II, British’s longest serving monarch has died at the age of 96 years. She died peacefully at the Balmoral Castle on Thursday evening.

The Buckingham Palace has released a statement to announce the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

“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,” the Palace said.

The Queen’s death came two days after she received the new UK’s Prime Minister, Liz Truss to officially confirm her as PM on Tuesday. That was her last ceremonial function before passing away.

Earlier in the day, the Queen was placed under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after doctors expressed concern over her health.

All of the Queen’s four children and Prince William were in Scotland to be with her to see her last moment.

Well-wishers had gathering at the gates of Balmoral, as well as outside Buckingham Palace, in London, wishing her quick recovery, but she never did recovered.

Elizabeth II, whose full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on 21 April 1926. She was Queen of the United Kingdom and of 14 other sovereign countries.

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Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive.

She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, and their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in April 2021.

They had four children together: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka), as well as Head of the Commonwealth.

Elizabeth reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the decolonisation of Africa, and the United Kingdom’s accession to the European Communities and withdrawal from the European Union.

The number of her realms has varied over time as territories have gained independence and some realms have become republics. Her many historic visits and meetings include state visits to China in 1986, Russia in 1994, the Republic of Ireland in 2011, and visits to or from five popes.

Significant events include Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively. Elizabeth was the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch, the oldest and longest-serving incumbent head of state, and the second-longest verifiable reigning sovereign monarch in world history. She had faced occasional republican sentiment and media criticism of her family, particularly after the breakdowns of her children’s marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the death of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

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