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Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96 as Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, has died at the age of 96.

Her death was confirmed on The Royal Family’s official Twitter account on Thursday. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the post read. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The Queen was last seen on Tuesday, where she was photographed inside the Drawing Room of Balmoral Castle before receiving newly elected leader of the Conservative party Liz Truss.

Amid ailing health for the last year following the death of her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the public became increasing concerned with Her Majesty The Queen’s health earlier today, when Buckingham Palace issued a statement saying the Queen’s doctors were concerned about her health, recommending she remained under medical supervision.

Soon after that, news reports said that all the Queen’s children were either already with her at Balmoral Castle in Scotland or traveling to be with her.

Upon her death, Queen Elizabeth’s first born, Prince Charles, has acceded to the throne to become King, and his wife, Camilla, has taken the title of Queen Consort.

In a statement on Thursday, His Majesty The King, wrote: “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of the family. 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 the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”

Born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London, the then Princess Elizabeth was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York – who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The Princess was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace on May 29, 1926, and was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Queen Elizabeth II waits in the Drawing Room before receiving newly elected leader of the Conservative party Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle for an audience where she will be invited to become Prime Minister and form a new government on September 6, 2022 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Queen broke with the tradition of meeting the new prime minister and Buckingham Palace, after needing to remain at Balmoral Castle due to mobility issues. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II waits in the Drawing Room before receiving newly elected leader of the Conservative party Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle for an audience where she will be invited to become Prime Minister and form a new government on Sept. 6, 2022 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
CREDIT: Getty Images

At the time of her birth, Princess Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, was on the throne, and she was third in the line of succession, after her uncle, Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father, the Duke of York.

Princess Elizabeth spent her early years in London. In 1932, when she was six years old the family moved to Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

In 1936, Princess Elizabeth’s life changed when her grandfather, King George V, died and her uncle came to the throne as King Edward VIII. But, before the end of the year, Edward had decided to give up the throne in order to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson. Upon his abdication, Princess Elizabeth’s father acceded to the throne as King George VI, and Princess Elizabeth became first in line.

She went on to meet her future husband Prince Philip in 1934. When the Princess was 21, their engagement was announced on July 9, 1947, and the couple were married in Westminster Abbey on November 20 the same year.

Prince Charles, now The Prince of Wales, was born in 1948, and his sister, Princess Anne, now The Princess Royal, two years later. After Princess Elizabeth became Queen, their third child, Prince Andrew, arrived in 1960 and the fourth, Prince Edward, in 1964. Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were the first children to be born to a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria had her family.

Members of the British royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (later Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), London, 20th November 1947. Left to right: King George VI, Princess Margaret, Lady Mary Cambridge, Elizabeth, Philip, Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Mother) and Queen Mary. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Members of the British royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (later Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), London, Nov. 20, 1947.
CREDIT: Getty Images

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh’s grandchildren are Peter and Zara Phillips (b. 1977 and 1981); Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales (b. 1982 and 1984); Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York (b. 1988 and 1990); and The Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn (b.2003 and 2007).

Their great grandchildren are Savannah Phillips (b. 2010 and Isla Phillips (b. 2012), children of Peter and Autumn Phillips; Prince George (b. 2013), Princess Charlotte (b. 2015), and Prince Louis (b. 2018) children of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Mia Tindall (b.2014), Lena Tindall (b. 2018) and Lucas Tindall (b. 2021), children of Zara and Mike Tindall; Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (b. 2019) and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor (b. 2021), children of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex; and August Brooksbank (b. 2021), son of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.

Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne, becoming Queen Elizabeth II, on Feb. 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI died following a prolonged illness.

Her Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, attended by 8,251 guests, including the Prime Ministers and leading citizens of the other Commonwealth countries and representatives of foreign states, according to the official Buckingham Palace bio. Crowds of people viewed the procession all along the route despite heavy rain. The ceremony was broadcast to 11 million listeners on the radio, and, for the first time, the ceremony was televised around the world – 27 million people in the UK alone tuned in to watch.

Since then, The Queen went on to rule for longer than any other monarch in British history, becoming a much loved and respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits. Known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change.

Queen Elizabeth II attends a performance at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), to celebrate the drama school's Diamond Jubilee (60th anniversary), London, UK, November 1964. (Photo by Terry Disney/Express/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II attends a performance at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), to celebrate the drama school’s Diamond Jubilee (60th anniversary), London, UK, November 1964.
CREDIT: Getty Images

During this time, she has modernized the monarchy and commanded the world stage with her intelligent, calm and focused energy. She has used fashion, from her clothes to her jewelry, to create an image that is inviolable, confident and purposeful — among many other accomplishments through the years.

On Feb. 6, 2022, Her Majesty The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth. Events took place throughout the year, with initiatives launched to mark the unique milestone, including The Queen’s Green Canopy.

The celebrations culminated in a weekend of events which began with Trooping the Colour, and also included a service at St Paul’s Cathedral, a spectacular concert at Buckingham Palace, a pageant down The Mall and thousands of Big Jubilee Lunches held across the country.

To mark her Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II wrote a heartfelt note in February renewing her pledge to devote her life to service. She expressed a sense of “hope and optimism” for the year ahead as she reflected on the advancements of the past 70 years.

“These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that has benefited us all,” The Queen wrote. At the end of the note, The Queen also sent an important message: It is her wish that when Prince Charles becomes king, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort.

Her funeral is slated to take place 10 days from today. More info will follow.

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