Queen Elizabeth II, reigning constitutional monarch of the U.K. & Commonwealth realms, has passed away at the age 96.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the palace said in a statement on Thursday, September 8. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Shortly before her death, Buckingham Palace announced that the queen was “under medical supervision” after opting out of multiple public engagements. “Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the September 8 statement read. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
Numerous royal correspondents reported on this. Prince William, Prince Charles Camilla, DuchessThey were travelling to Balmoral in Scotland to meet the monarch. A spokesperson for Prince Harry confirmed that he was traveling there as well as Meghan MarkleThey remained in London.
Earlier that month, Elizabeth chose to stay in Scotland to formally appoint Britain’s new prime minister, Liz TrussInstead of returning home to London, she went to the United States. At the time, the queen’s “mobility issues” prevented her from completing her travels back to Windsor Castle.
Three months before, the queen had celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. It marked her 70-years of service. Though she viewed the Trooping the Colour parade from the Buckingham Palace balcony with some of her loved ones in June, the monarch later chose not to attend the Service of Thanksgiving after experiencing “discomfort.” She previously missed a royal engagement — the opening day of British Parliament — due to mobility issues.
After having resigned from other events, Elizabeth surprised everyone by making an appearance at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. At the end of the Jubilee Pageant, Elizabeth waved to the onlookers from the palace balcony.
In February, Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 and had “mild cold-like symptoms,” per a statement from the palace, adding that the sovereign would “receive medical attention and follow guidelines.” She later canceled meetings that were scheduled to take place virtually.
After cancelling a Northern Ireland visit on medical advice, Her Royal Highness was admitted to hospital overnight in October 2021. While she briefly returned to work, Buckingham Palace noted in a statement the following month that Elizabeth’s doctors advised her to take a two-week break. She was seen driving around Windsor Castle in November 2021 before delivering a recorded address for the United Nations Climate Change Conference reception (COP26), which she was originally scheduled to attend in-person.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born to Prince Albert Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon on April 21, 1926. Elizabeth had very little chance of ascending the throne before her uncle Edward VIII died, and her father George VI was elected king in Dec 1936.
In November 1947, Elizabeth married Prince Philip, her third cousin. They had four children together: Charles, Diana, and Philip. Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward. Her Majesty went on to have eight grandchildren — including Prince William, Prince Harry, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie — and 12 great-grandchildren, among them Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
The late royal became the Queen of England at the age of 27 after her father’s death in February 1952. In June 1953, Elizabeth was coronated. Elizabeth was a second subaltern of the British Army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service before her reign. Elizabeth became the longest-reigning British monarch after Queen Victoria in 2015.
Elizabeth and Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary — theirs was the longest marriage in the British royal family’s history — in November 2017 with a new series of official portraits and a formal gathering with their family, including their children, William, Harry and Duchess Kate.
Philip died in April 2021, at the age of 99. His cause of death was reportedly determined to be “old age.”
Elizabeth spoke out about her love for Philip on the occasion her 95th birthday. “While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world,” she said in a statement shortly after his death. “My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”
Among the queen’s chief loves were her corgis, which were by her side since childhood, and horseback riding.
The queen’s time on the throne was shown in the series The CrownThe Netflix original series, titled “The Founders of Netflix,” premiered in 2016. It ran for a total of ten seasons. Claire Foy, Olivia Colman Imelda StauntonShe was played by her, with the two first actresses to take on the role earning Golden Globes. Helen MirrenFamously, won an Academy Award for portraying King in the 2006 film The Queen.
The queen’s eldest son, Charles, 73, is next in line for the throne.