Queen Elizabeth II Passes Away at 96

The beloved Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, has died at age 96. She was surrounded by her family Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Her doctors said earlier in the day that they were “concerned for Her Majesty’s health” and that she was “comfortable” under medical supervision. Her passing marks the end of a reign that lasted 70 years and 214 days.

Buckingham Palace released a statement just before 7 p.m. London time declaring that “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon … The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The Prince of Wales became King at the moment of the Queen’s passing, and he may choose a new name or proceed as King Charles the Third.

Queen Elizabeth II was preceded in death by her husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021 at age 99. They were married for over 70 years and had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

The monarch was known for her “walkabouts” where she would stop and shake hands with the public. However, she was a notoriously private person who strove to keep her personal life out of the spotlight.

The Queen was born April 21, 1926, and was educated privately at home. When her uncle, Edward VII abdicated in 1936, her father became King George VI and she stood next in line for the crown.

She famously gave a radio speech to evacuated children in 1940 during the bombing of her nation by Nazi Germany, saying that “all will be well.” The future Queen was 14.

Marriage came in 1947 to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and she ascended to the throne upon her father’s death in 1952. Queen Elizabeth II was 25.