Queen Elizabeth II has sadly died aged 96

·3-min read
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96.

A statement from Buckingham Palace read: "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 news comes after The Queen made history when she became the first monarch to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in June this year, marking the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

The Queen is survived by four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

On Tuesday, Her Majesty met with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss and asked her to form a government, following the resignation of Boris Johnson. Truss travelled to The Queen’s Aberdeenshire estate Balmoral Castle in Scotland for her audience with Her Royal Highness - a historical first, due to The Queen’s “mobility issue”.

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

Following the passing of the sovereign, the heir to the throne Prince Charles will now become King, however it is yet to be confirmed when he will be crowned reigning monarch.

Details about The Queen’s state funeral will be announced in due course. However, many of the plans will already be in motion, in a process known as Operation London Bridge.

The ceremony is expected to take place at Westminster Abbey and The Queen will be laid to rest alongside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, in the tomb at the King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The Duke of Edinburgh died on 9 April 2021, during the third national lockdown, and his funeral was attended by just 30 people, in order to remain in line with the coronavirus regulations at the time. Stark imagery of The Queen sitting alone during the service circulated around the world.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, to the then-Duke and Duchess of York, on 21 April 1926. When her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 so he could marry Wallis Simpson, her father ascended the throne, becoming King George VI.

The young Princess Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, when she was just eight years old and Prince Philip was 13. Although the couple were distant cousins, they exchanged letters and eventually developed a deep love for one another. They went on to announce their engagement on 9 July 1947, when Elizabeth was just 21 years old. The pair wed on 20 November 1947 and remained married for 73 years, until Prince Philip's death at the age of 99 on 9 April 2021.

Photo credit: Keystone - Getty Images
Photo credit: Keystone - Getty Images

In 6 February 1952, at the age of 25, Elizabeth was informed of her father’s death – she was on a royal tour in Kenya at the time. Queen Elizabeth II was then crowned on 2 June 1953 and served as monarch of Great Britain and the Commonwealth until her death.

The nation will now enter an official mourning period expected to last 12 days.

Our thoughts are with all of the Royal Family at this very difficult time.

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