Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday, September 8th. She was 96 years old. Buckingham Palace confirmed the tragic news in a statement.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the Royal Family announced on Thursday. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Earlier that morning, Buckingham Palace announced the Queen's doctors were concerned for her health and recommended she remain under medical supervision. "Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision," said a Buckingham Palace release. "The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral," where she was spending her annual summer vacation.
Members of the Royal Family rushed to her side upon the unfortunate news including her son Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Prince William. Prince Harry, who infamously stepped away from their senior royal positions in 2020, causing a rift in the family, also traveled to Balmoral as they happened to be in the UK for previous engagements. Meghan Markle reportedly stayed in London.
Her Majesty was the longest-reigning British monarch in history, ruling for a record-breaking seventy years. In June, the city of London celebrated the milestone with a Platinum Jubilee, a long weekend of events that included a parade and star-studded live concert. The crown will now pass on to her oldest child, Prince Charles.
Queen Elizabeth's passing comes after she began to undergo health struggles in the fall of 2021. Though the palace provided few details to the public, Her Majesty was forced to cancel multiple royal engagements and underwent a brief hospital stay. She also began stepping out with a cane around this time, as well. Eventually, it was announced that the Queen would no longer attend events on her own in public and would always be accompanied by a member of the royal family.
While the world knew her as Queen Elizabeth II, the late royal was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London. She was the oldest child of Prince Albert, Duke of York, who later became known as King George VI after his older brother abdicated from the throne, and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
When she was just 27-years-old, Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey. Her coronation was the first to ever be broadcast on live television.
Six years prior to her coronation, Elizabeth wed Philip Mountbatten, also in Westminster Abbey, on November 20, 1947. They were married for nearly 74 years before the Duke of Edinburgh's passing on April 9, 2021, after several months of illness. He was 99 and just weeks shy of celebrating his 100th birthday on June 10th.
Elizabeth and Philip shared four children together: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. She leaves behind her children, eight grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.