Queen Elizabeth II, reigning Monarch of the Commonwealth for 70 years has died, the Palace has confirmed.
The 96-year-old passed away on September 8 peacefully at home, surrounded by her loved ones who gathered at her Scottish estate in Balmoral after concerns grew about her health earlier earlier in the day,
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” it read.
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
She is survived by her eldest son, Prince Charles who is now King Charles III, along with her three younger children, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
In the wake of her passing, King Charles released a statement for his “beloved mother”.
“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.”
Along with her family, royal watchers across the world are in mourning given the Queen’s remarkably long 70-year reign.
Earlier in 2021, there were small signs to suggest the Queen was beginning to slow down—she was forced to miss several major engagements in October and November. At the time, the Palace released a statement confirming the Monarch had been admitted to hospital for some preliminary investigations.
Strong as ever, the Queen remained in good spirits. Upon her return home to Windsor Castle, she even managed to make an appearance via video link at the COP26 Summit in November, despite being unable to attend in-person.
The formidable Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926. She was the eldest child of the Duke of York, and in 1930 her sister, Margaret, was born.
After her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in 1936, Elizabeth’s father became King George VIII. Her life as a future monarch changed dramatically, with the then-Princess Elizabeth undertaking special lessons to prepare her for a life in service.
Interestingly, a company replicating that of popular children’s club Girl Guides was formed especially for Elizabeth when she was a child—named the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, this allowed the future Queen to socialise with girls who were her own age.
She was close to her family, all of whom loved her very much. Her father even gave her the nickname of Lilibet, a moniker that stuck with her throughout her entire life. The unique name was even given to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s second child born in June 2021, a baby girl named after her inspiring great-grandmother.
The Queen first met her husband, Prince Philip in 1934 briefly, then again in 1937. After a third meeting in 1939 when the Queen was just 13-years-old, she declared she was in love with the Greek and Danish royal. Over the following years, the pair kept in touch by exchanging letters.
Eventually in 1947, Elizabeth (aged 21 at the time) and Philip announced their engagement.
They married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey.
The pair’s love for each other was undeniable. The Queen famously said of her husband: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh passed away on April 9 2021.
When King George VI died on February 6, 1952, preparations for the then Princess Elizabeth’s coronation immediately began.
And so it was, on June 2 1953 Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, and thus began the longest reign a Monarch has ever ruled in Britain.
Over the years, the Queen had many milestone moments—from her Silver Jubilee in 1977 which shut down streets across the UK in celebration, to the scrutiny the family faced during times of strife.
Perhaps most notably, yet quite subtly, the Queen oversaw a change to the succession laws pertaining to the royal family and its heirs. It meant that females would have equal right to the throne as males—a progressive move from The Firm.
In recent years, the Queen never let her age deny her from partaking in all kinds of vibrant engagements.
Her appearances were always highly anticipated, not least for royal watchers taking joy in predicting the bright and bold colour she’d don for any given occasion.
As Britain’s longest serving Monarch, there is no denying her legacy will live on for many years to come.
Vale, Queen Elizabeth II.
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