Britain's longest-reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II passes away at 96

Several immediate family members, including all her children, had travelled to be by her side



Britain's Queen Elizabeth II appears during the State Opening of Parliament in London in this April 1966 photo. Photo: AP
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II appears during the State Opening of Parliament in London in this April 1966 photo. Photo: AP

By Web Desk

Published: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 9:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 11:09 PM

Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the nation's figurehead for seven decades, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."

Her eldest son Charles, 73, automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Charles' statement

Charles, Britain's new king, released the following statement on Thursday after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

"The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my 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."

Family by her side

Her family had rushed to be by her side at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, after doctors expressed concern about her health. She had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called "episodic mobility problems" since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world's oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.

She was crowned in June the following year. Listen to this audio recording of the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) dedicating her life to the service of the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday:

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