UNITED KINGDOM: Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, has died aged 96. She ruled for 70 years. She breathed her last along side all her family members.
The royal family, the Queen’s son and heir Prince Charles, grandsons William and Harry and their families, gathered at her Balmoral retreat in the Scottish Highlands, where she spent her final days.
Great Britain celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June with spectacular events to mark 70 years of service to the nation.
In 2015, Queen Elizabeth became the longest-serving British monarch, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. This year she became the second longest reigning monarch in the world.
As the UK celebrated its platinum jubilee milestone with royal parades, street parties and pageantry, the Queen thanked the nation in a letter, saying she was “humbled and deeply moved”.
“When it comes to marking 70 as your queen, there is no one-size-fits-all guide. This is truly a first,” she wrote.
Her children, heir to the throne Prince Charles, 73, Princess Anne, 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58, were already at Balmoral, or headed quickly to Balmoral after the announcement of her being under medical supervision was made.
They were joined by Charles’ older son Prince William and his younger son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who were on a rare visit to Britain after leaving royal life and moving to the United States.
Recently, the Queen missed some events due to her health, and Prince Charles and second in line Prince William attended. She appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of the Jubilee Parade.
For most of her subjects, she was the only monarch they had ever known, appearing on stamps, banknotes and coins, and immortalized in popular culture.
But she was much more than that, the Queen has lived through some of the biggest royal scandals – from Charles and Diana’s divorce to her second son Prince Andrew’s alleged ties to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Harry and Meghan leaving royal life.
But it has witnessed some of the most eventful moments in modern history, from the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy to the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Covid pandemic.
During her reign, she saw 14 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss. She for the first time, appointed Liz Truss at Balmoral, Scotland, as she was too ill to return to London.