Photo: Vanity Fair
The monarch of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II, died at the age of 96.
She died peacefully Thursday afternoon in Balmoral Castle, her Scottish residence. The news was announced via the British Royal Family’s official Twitter handle.
Charles is next in line to the throne.
Most recently, the Queen was photographed on Tuesday during a meeting with Liz Truss, the new British Prime Minister, at Balmoral. Meanwhile, it was announced Wednesday that the Queen would not be attending a virtual meeting of the Privy Council, a body that advises the British monarch, due to her doctor’s rest advice.
On Thursday morning, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the Queen’s doctors were concerned about her health and warned she would be under close medical supervision.
Queen Elizabeth II was born in London in 1926. She was the first daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, who became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1936 after King Edward VIII abdicated.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth became the heir presumptive to the throne. Known as “Lilibet” to her close family, Elizabeth was homeschooled alongside her younger and only sister, Princess Margaret.
In November 1947, Elizabeth – who had already entered to her public duties during the Cold War – married Philip Mountbatten, former Prince of Greece and Denmark. The couple had exchanged letters since the day they met when she was 13.
Elizabeth married Philip on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey and was still married to Philip until his death on April 9, 2021.
After their marriage, the two first rented Windlesham Moor near Windsor Castle before moving to Clarence House in London in July 1949.
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The Reign of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth’s reign was long and peaceful, although there were visible changes throughout her country, the evolution of the Commonwealth, and the existence of anti-monarchist thinking in Britain in recent decades.
Earlier this year, she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, passing the 70-year mark on the throne. The achievement was honored across her realms, the wider Commonwealth, and beyond.
Queen Elizabeth has done countless state visits to other nations and Commonwealth tours throughout her reign. This made her the most widely traveled head of state until now.
The Queen had many milestones in her life, including her surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-living British monarch on December 21, 2007. She has also been portrayed several times in pop culture.
Shortly after her death, the Queen’s son Charles, the new King, released a statement.
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all the members of my family,” he began.
“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. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”