The longest-reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, peacefully died at the age of 96. She had been kept under “medical supervision” at Balmoral Castle, the British royal family’s estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She had been vacationing there this summer.
Her family was called to her side this morning to be with her during her final moments. She passed away this afternoon. Her son Prince Charles is now the King of England making his wife, Camilla, The Queen Consort.
Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926. She officially became Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith on Feb. 6, 1926.
She was the eldest daughter of Prince Albert, duke of York, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Her father was the youngest son of King George V. There was little chance of her ever becoming Queen until her uncle Edward VIII renounced the throne making her father King George VI.
Elizabeth II’s education was supervised by governess Marion Crawford. She was also grounded in history by her private tutor Sir Clarence Henry Kennett Marten. Afterward provost of Eton College, and had instruction from visiting teachers in music and languages, according to Britannica.
Queen Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret Rose spent the duration of World War II safely living at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, and Windsor Castle. Their parents stayed in London to perform their royal duties.
After spending time in Africa with her parents, the king and queen, her betrothal to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten of the Royal Navy — her distant cousin — was announced. The wedding took place in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947.
The night before her wedding the king, her father, bestowed upon Philip the titles of duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich. After they married they moved into the Clarence House located in London.
On Nov. 14, 1948, their first child Charles Philip Arthur George (Prince Charles) was born at Buckingham Palace.
King George VI’s health seriously declined during the summer of 1951. Due to his ailment, Princess Elizabeth took her father’s place at the Trooping the Colour and other state occasions. In October of that year, she and her husband conducted a successful tour of Canada and Washington, D.C.
At the beginning of the following year, the couple set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand. However, their trip was cut short when her father King George VI passed away on Feb. 6, 1952. She instantly ascended to Queen and flew back to England as fast as she could.
She spent the next three months mourning the loss of her father before moving from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace. She undertook her royal duties as a monarch and carried out her first state opening of Parliament on Nov. 4, 1952.
On June 2, 1953, her coronation was held at Westminster Abbey. Five months later she and her husband the duke of Edinburgh made a six-month round-the-world tour of the Commonwealth.
On July 26, 1958, her eldest became heir apparent and was named Prince Charles of Wales. The Queen’s daughter Princess Anne (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise) was born on Aug. 15, 1950. Her son Prince Andrew (Andrew Albert Christian Edward) was born on Feb. 19, 1960. Queen Elizabeth’s son, Prince Edward (Edward Anthony Richard Louis) was born on March 10, 1964.
She is mourned for by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, various other family members, and the world. May she rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
ABC News: Queen Elizabeth live updates: Queen dies at 96
Britannica: Elizabeth II queen of United Kingdom