Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96, putting

Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96, putting

Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-serving monarch and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, died Thursday at her home in Scotland at the age of 96.

“The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “The King and Queen Consort will stay at Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow.”

Elizabeth’s eldest son Charles, 73, automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and head of state of 14 other realms, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His wife, Camilla, becomes Queen Consort.
News that the Queen’s health was deteriorating on Thursday emerged shortly after midday when her doctors said she was under medical supervision, prompting her family to rush to be with her at her Balmoral home in Scotland .

The Queen has been suffering from what Buckingham Palace called “episodic mobility issues” since late last year, forcing her to pull out of almost all of her public engagements.
Her last public engagement came on Tuesday when she named Liz Truss as prime minister – her 15th.

At her palaces and government buildings in London, flags were lowered.

Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, ascended the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, when she he was only 25 years old.
She was crowned in June the following year. The first televised coronation was a foretaste of a new world in which the lives of the royal family were to be increasingly scrutinized by the media.
“I am sincerely committed to your service, as many of you are to me. Throughout my life and with all my heart I will strive to be worthy of your trust,” she said in a speech to her subjects on the day of her coronation.

Elizabeth became monarch at a time when Britain still retained much of its old empire. It emerged from the ravages of World War II, food rationing was still in place and class and privilege still dominated society.

Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time, Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union and the Korean War was underway.

In the decades that followed, Queen Elizabeth witnessed many massive political changes and social upheavals at home and abroad. Her own family’s troubles, particularly the divorce of Charles and his late wife Diana, played out in full public view.

Although she remained an enduring symbol of stability and continuity for the British at a time of relative national economic decline, Elizabeth also sought to adapt the ancient institution of monarchy to the demands of the modern age.

“She managed to modernize and evolve the monarchy like no one else,” her grandson Prince William, who is now heir to the throne, said in a 2012 documentary.
Elizabeth was the 40th monarch in a royal line that traces back to the Norman King William the Conqueror, who claimed the English throne in 1066 after defeating the Anglo-Saxon ruler Harold II at the Battle of Hastings .

Her long reign meant she repeatedly broke records for British rulers. When she surpassed the 63 years her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne, she said it was not a milestone she had ever aspired to.

“Inevitably, a long life can pass many milestones – mine is no exception,” she said.

Her marriage to Prince Philip lasted 73 years, until his death in April 2021, and they had four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

She never gave an interview to the media, and critics said she appeared aloof.

But to the vast majority of her subjects, for whom she was the only monarch they had known, she was a figure who commanded respect and admiration. Her death marks the end of an era.

“In her public duties she was selfless and wise, with a wonderful generosity of spirit. That’s how he lived – and that’s how he led,” said former prime minister John Major.

“For millions – across the Commonwealth and around the world – she embodied the heart and soul of our nation and was admired and respected across the globe.”

Opinion polls have suggested that Charles does not enjoy quite the same level of support and there is speculation that the loss of Elizabeth could see a rise in republican sentiment, particularly in the other realms.

“I think it’s going to be a huge shock to everyone, much more than they realize. I don’t know if it’s an exaggeration to think that there will be some kind of almost national nervous breakdown,” said royal historian Hugo Vickers.

He said her reign was unlikely to be contested.

“I think to be honest, if we lived 1,000 years, we’d never see anything like it again.”

At her death, the Queen was head of state not only of the United Kingdom, but also of Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands. Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.