Queen Elizabeth, longest-reigning British monarch, dies at 96

ABC News

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, has died. She was 96 years old.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The queen is preceded in death by her husband of more than 70 years, Prince Philip, who died April 9, 2021, at the age of 99.

Queen Elizabeth is survived by her three sons, Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward; one daughter, Princess Anne; eight grandchildren, Princes William and Harry of Wales, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, and Peter and Zara Phillips, as well as Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. She is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren.

Her eldest son, Charles, the Prince of Wales, succeeds her as king. His wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is expected to become queen consort, a title that Queen Elizabeth requested at the time of her Platinum Jubilee.

Charles’s eldest son, Prince William, is now heir to the throne.

The queen was hospitalized in late October 2021 for what Buckingham Palace described as “preliminary investigations.” After a one-night hospital stay, the queen returned home to Windsor Castle, where she resumed her work, the palace said at the time.

A few weeks later, on Nov. 14, the queen missed the annual Remembrance Sunday service after she sprained her back, Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time.

In February 2022, the queen tested positive for COVID-19 but had only “mild cold-like symptoms” as a result of the virus, according to the palace.

Two months later, in April, the queen celebrated her 96th birthday at Sandringham, her country estate in Norfolk.

In June, the queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. She attended just three events during the four-day celebration due to what Buckingham Palace described at the time as “some discomfort.”

A history-making female monarch

When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, some Britons were so thrilled by the young queen they declared it was a second “Elizabethan Age.”

Elizabeth II would come to embody not only the British monarchy but a tradition of doing one’s duty and maintaining a stiff upper lip.

On her 21st birthday, she pledged to her future subjects: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”

It was a promise she never forgot.

Queen Elizabeth, the longest-lived British monarch, reigned through 14 American presidents, and just as many British prime ministers, proving herself a savvy stateswoman and a constant leader on the world stage.

The queen, who traveled on more than 271 state visits during her reign, was sometimes the only female on the stage with world leaders, and she always stayed mum on her personal political opinions, proving her mastery of “soft diplomacy.”

As recently as 2021, she met with world leaders at a Group of 7 summit meeting in Cornwall in June, and hosted President Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, at Windsor Castle afterward.

In addition to being sovereign of the United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth realms, she was also the head of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 independent countries.

During her reign, she visited nearly every country in the Commonwealth — missing only Cameroon and Rwanda — and made many repeat visits, according to the royal family’s official website.

Always committed to the service aspect of her role, the queen had links, either as royal patron or president, to over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organizations, according to the royal family’s official website.

Well into her 90s, the queen continued to attend royal engagements, from Buckingham Palace garden parties and receptions to knighting ceremonies, state banquets and travels throughout the Commonwealth.

She was a modern monarch who kept up with the times, including sending her first tweet in 2014 and publishing her first Instagram post in 2019.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth began doing video calls so that she could continue to connect with people while working from home.

Queen Elizabeth’s path to the throne

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London on April 21, 1926, a granddaughter of King George V and the first child of Prince Albert, the Duke of York, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, a daughter of the Scottish nobility.

Four years after Elizabeth’s birth, the Yorks had a second daughter, Princess Margaret Rose.

The family’s lives changed in 1936, when King George V died, and his eldest son became King Edward VIII.

Edward VIII — known to Elizabeth as “Uncle David” — began a relationship with a woman named Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee.

The romance triggered a constitutional crisis. When Edward decided to give up his throne to marry Simpson, Elizabeth’s father, Albert, ascended to the throne.

Elizabeth was just 10-years-old when her father became King George VI, having adopted his father’s name.

With no sons in the family, the heir to the throne would be George’s elder daughter — Elizabeth.

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13 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth, longest-reigning British monarch, dies at 96

  1. As a kid If I got an old coin I would have saved it! I did .. if it was silver Woo Hoo! But when you found that silver quarter or a silver Kennedy! Going to the Moon.

  2. FINALLY!!!!! Ding dong the witch is dead!

    I know many Brits who feel the same way.

    As my one British friend said years ago when I asked him when the Princess will become Queen,

    “Yes, we are all waiting for the Princess to become Queen but unfortunately the old bitch simply won’t die.”

    LOL!

    1. [MUNCHKINS]
      Ding-dong! The Witch is dead
      Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
      Ding-dong! The Wicked Witch is dead
      Wake up you sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed
      Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead
      She’s gone where the goblins go
      Below, below, below
      Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out
      Ding-dong’s the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low
      Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead!
      ————————————————-

      [Mayor]
      As mayor of the Munchkin City
      In the county of the land of Oz
      I welcome you most regally

      [Judge]
      But we’ve got to verify it legally
      To see

      [Mayor]
      To see

      [Judge]
      If she

      [Mayor]
      If she

      [Judge]
      Is morally, ethically

      [Munchkin 1]
      Spiritually, physically
      [Munchkin 2]
      Positively, absolutely

      [Munchkin Men]
      Undeniably and reliably dead

      [Coroner]
      As Coroner, I thoroughly examined her
      And she’s not only merely dead
      She’s really most sincerely dead

      [Mayor]
      Then this is a day of independence for all the munchkins
      And their descendants
      Yes, let the joyous news be spread
      The wicked old witch at last is dead

      [Munchkins]
      Ding-dong the witch is dead
      Which old witch, the wicked witch
      Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead
      Wake up you sleepyhead
      Rub your eyes, get out of bed
      Wake up the wicked witch is dead
      She’s gone where the goblins go
      Below, below, below
      Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out
      Ding Dong’s the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low
      Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead…

  3. My condolence goes to the many children involved within this high treason group of pedophiles , and look at this as a win for them .. hope the trend continues and picks up speed

  4. These people want me to lower my flag for this scumbag?
    the US government can eat a d!ck. people should pull down and destroy any flag lowered for it.

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