Queen Elizabeth II Has Died At The Age Of 96

Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully in Balmoral at the age of 96, capping a remarkable reign of more than 70 years.

The National Anthem was played on the BBC shortly after Buckingham Palace confirmed the tragic news, and mourners outside the gates burst into tears.

At 12.32 pm today, the Palace announced that doctors were concerned about the monarch’s health, causing widespread concern across the country. The Prime Minister was informed of the monarch’s death within four hours, but the country would not learn the news for another two hours.

Elizabeth’s children, including the new King Charles, flew to the Scottish Highlands to be with Her Majesty in her final moments.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” said Buckingham Palace, where the flags had already been lowered to half-mast.

Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully in Balmoral at the age of 96

“The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and return to London tomorrow,’ the statement said.

Prince William, now first in line to the throne, joined Prince Andrew and the Duke and Duchess of Wessex in Scotland.

 

According to The New York Times, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world’s longest-serving head of state, has died. She was 96 years old, and her health had been deteriorating rapidly in recent months. Her eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, has been heir apparent to the throne for decades and is expected to take the throne soon. The United Kingdom has not been crowned a new head of state since Queen Elizabeth took over in 1953, so there will undoubtedly be numerous ceremonies and steps before Charles is crowned.

Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, her only daughter Anne, Princess Royal, and her sons Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, survive Queen Elizabeth.

In 1926, Princess Elizabeth of York, a member of the House of Windsor, was born (formerly known as the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was renamed by royal decree due to increasing anti-German sentiment during World War I). She succeeded her father, George VI, who had ascended to the throne after his elder brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry an American divorcee. Unlikely, Queen Elizabeth refused to take her husband Philip’s name, which he publicly complained about. However, Queen Elizabeth’s long reign would see her preside over a number of unusual historical events, and that small sign of an unusual degree of independence was telling.

Queen Elizabeth II’s life and reign would be among the most documented and fictionalized of any modern monarch. Innumerable famous actresses have played her in films and television series, including Helen Mirren (who won an Academy Award for her performance in The Queen in 2006), Vanessa Redgrave, and Emma Thompson, among many others. So far, several actresses have played Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s hit series The Crown, including Claire Foy in the first two seasons and Olivia Colman in the most recent two. In the upcoming fifth season of the show, Imelda Staunton (best known for playing the evil Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter film series) will play Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II was also frequently mentioned and depicted in other aspects of popular culture. Notably, the seminal punk band The Sex Pistols criticized her in the highly divisive song “God Save the Queen,” which was released during Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. (the 25th anniversary of her coronation). The song was nearly completely banned from radio in the United Kingdom, but it has since become regarded as a punk genre classic.

Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for the length of her reign and her ability to appear changeless and devoted to tradition in the face of massive social change. Her reign included the election of the United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister, several highly contentious wars, the decolonization of Africa, violent conflict with Ireland, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and the highly publicized divorce of her son Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales (and the latter’s subsequent death). Queen Elizabeth will most likely be laid to rest alongside various family members at the familial Windsor Castle, and the United Kingdom will observe a period of national mourning.

 

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