At 96, the longest reigning British monarch Queen Elizabeth II dies after a seven-decade reign

UNITED KINGDOM: Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace announced. Her reign lasted 70 years, making her the longest-serving British monarch and female head of state in history. "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," Buckingham Palace said in a statement​ on Thursday evening.

Earlier, the Queen's doct​o​rs ​had ​placed her under "medical supervision" ​at her residence in Balmoral Castle in Scotland,​ ​after becoming concerned with her health.​

Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in 1926, she ascended to the throne in 1952, at the age of 25, after the death of her father, King George VI. 

Born in Mayfair, central London, to the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), Queen Elizabeth II became second in line to the throne in 1936 after the death of her grandfather, King George V, and the abdication of her uncle, King Edward VIII that same year.

After the death of her father, Elizabeth became monarch, not only of the UK, but six other independent Commonwealth countries: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka as well as being the Head of the Commonwealth. While she inherited an empire in decline, Britain still ruled over 70 territories overseas. In 2022, the Queen was still the head of state for 15 nations, including the UK.

In 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark. The Queen and her husband Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 in April 2021, are survived by four children: Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. They had eight grandchildren.

Her reign saw the UK’s accession to the EU, its withdrawal from the EU, and major political changes such as the devolution of powers within Britain and the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Between Sir Winston Churchill and Liz Truss, 15 prime ministers served Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. 

Queen Elizabeth's death came only days after she hosted Truss at her Scottish Highland retreat, where she officially appointed her as the new prime minister.

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