Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96
At 96, Queen Elizabeth II left a legacy that will live on forever, including a long and distinguished reign as the monarch of the United Kingdom. She ruled during a time of remarkable change, including the Cold War, the 9/11 attacks, the global recession, and climate change.
In addition to being the longest-serving monarch in history, she was also one of the most beloved public figures of her time, retaining a devoted public following even after the death of Princess Diana.
The death of the Queen of England has caused a great deal of sadness in the British public, as the world mourns the loss of the 96-year-old monarch. Her eldest son, Charles, will succeed her as monarch. The UK is expected to declare a period of national mourning.
Elizabeth II was born on June 2, 1926, and ascended to the throne in 1952. At the time of her coronation, Elizabeth was 27 years old. She was the second-oldest monarch to have ascended to the throne after King Louis XIV of France. During her 70-year reign, she swore in fifteen UK Prime Ministers. Elizabeth and her family also endured scandals and challenges, but their popularity remained high.
In her lifetime, Elizabeth II met with more than a dozen British prime ministers, including Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to hold that role. Throughout her reign, the monarch remained politically neutral. Her decision not to comment on the policies of her government reflected her commitment to this principle. Her biggest challenge to the British monarchy proved to be her personal issues and family issues.
Elizabeth and Prince Charles, the new king, were among the many royals who paid tribute to the Queen on her death. In 2011, she visited Ireland as the first monarch to do so in a century. During her visit, she also expressed “deep sympathy” for the victims of previous conflicts. In recent years, Elizabeth has taken on fewer public duties. Mobility problems have plagued her in recent months, so she has been spending more time at her homes in Balmoral and Windsor Castle.
The monarch was ill for the last year, limiting her appearances and public activities. She missed the state opening of parliament in May and the service of thanksgiving to mark her seventy years on the throne. Her final official act was to appoint the new prime minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, from her Scottish castle, Balmoral. A state funeral is expected to be held at Westminster Abbey in ten days. It will include two minutes of silence.