Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after serving as the adored face of her country and a source of strength for seven decades. She was 96 years old.
Earlier Thursday, the Queen’s doctors stated that they were “concerned for Her Majesty’s health” and that she was “sleeping comfortably” at Balmoral under medical supervision.
Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that she died “peacefully” Thursday afternoon.
The King and Queen Consort will remain in Balmoral this evening and return to London tomorrow,” according to Buckingham Palace.
Her husband, Prince Philip, who supported the queen for more than seven decades, died before her. The Duke of Edinburgh, Britain’s longest-serving consort, died at the age of 99 in April 2021. Elizabeth and Philip had four children during their 70-year marriage: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.
The queen was a favourite with her subjects both at home and during her many visits to Commonwealth nations around the world, from the small, curly-haired girl known to her family as Lilibet” to the gracious, bespectacled great-grandmother who favoured broad-brimmed hats, deliberate bright fashion, and sensible shoes.
Her walkabouts in which she stopped to shake hands and briefly converse with members of the public, appeared to reinforce her once-repeated remark, “I have to be seen to be believed.
But just because she was in public didn’t imply her audience understood everything about her. The queen’s personal life was never mined by the media in the way that American presidents’ personal lives are.
Among the well-known facts: the queen adored corgis (she reputedly owned more than 30 during her lifetime) and thoroughbred horses, allegedly enjoyed a gin with Dubonnet, and was interested in Scottish country dancing and countryside walks.
Overall, not a plethora of personal information about someone who had been such a comforting presence in her victims’ lives for so long.
But, while she appeared to be cheerful and upbeat in public, the queen faced her fair share of adversity, from wars to the divorces of three of her four children; the 1997 death of her glamorous daughter-in-law, Princess Diana; and a 1992 fire that severely damaged Windsor Castle, one of her official residences. Her sense of obligation and self-discipline seemed to be a constant throughout her life.
When Elizabeth’s uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, her father became King George VI, and she was next in line.
When World War II broke out, Elizabeth and Margaret were relocated to Scotland’s Balmoral Castle and eventually to Windsor Castle. Elizabeth, then 14, demonstrated her bravery in a radio broadcast to other evacuated children in 1940, saying, “We know, every one of us, that in the end, all will be well.”
On her 21st birthday, she said to the British Commonwealth, I swear before you all that my whole life, whether long or short, shall be committed to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
On November 20, 1947, Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, whom she allegedly fell in love with when she was 13 years old, at Westminster Abbey. Following a rush of outrage that Elizabeth was marrying a foreigner, Philip’s athletic abilities, good qualities, and forthrightness provided a distinct allure to the royal household. Elizabeth glowed in his presence, and they had a son and a daughter while she was still free of the responsibilities of monarchy.PC: