Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96.
Her children and grandchildren, including Prince William and Harry, were notified about her health concerns earlier today and have all managed to be by the Queen’s side during her final moments.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and reigned for 70 years on the throne, making her the UK’s longest-serving monarch. With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
In a statement, 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.”
All the Queen’s children traveled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned some of the most significant moments in history from the post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War, and the UK’s entry into and withdrawal from the European Union.
She lead as Queen passing through 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill and appointed Liz Truss as the current Prime Minister just 2 days before her passing. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign and was a prominent figure when it came to the UK’s international affairs.
Crowds filled out the street outside Buckingham Palace in London, awaiting updates on the Queen’s condition began crying as they heard of her death. The Union flag on top of the palace was lowered to half-mast at 18:30 BST.
The Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in Mayfair, London, on 21 April 1926 and very few could have imagined everything she would have gone through as Queen. She would become monarch but in December 1936 her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated from the throne to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. Her father became King George VI and Lilibet, as she was known in the family, became heir to the throne.
Within three years, Britain was at war with Nazi Germany. Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, spent much of wartime at Windsor Castle after their parents rejected suggestions they are evacuated to Canada.
After turning 18, during the war, Elizabeth started exchanging letters with her Philip, Prince of Greece, who was serving in the Royal Navy.
Their romance blossomed and the couple married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, with the prince taking the title of Duke of Edinburgh. She would later describe him as “my strength and stay” through 74 years of marriage, before his death in 2021, aged 99.
Their first son, Charles, was born in 1948, followed by Princess Anne, in 1950, Prince Andrew, in 1960, and Prince Edward, in 1964. Between them, they gave their parents eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Elizabeth was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, aged 27, in front of a then-record TV audience estimated at more than 20 million people. She has since been described as the best monarch the UK has ever had.
Our thoughts are with the Royal family during these difficult times. Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth. God save King Charles III.