Updated Sep 8, 2022 - World

Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96

Left: Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Dec. 11, 2019. Right: Queen Elizabeth II seen at Buckingham Palace after her coronation on June 2, 1953.
Left: Queen Elizabeth II on Dec. 11, 2019. (Photo: Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Images). Right: Queen Elizabeth II seen at Buckingham Palace after her coronation on June 2, 1953. (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 on Thursday, ending her seven-decade rule over the U.K. and its commonwealth realms.

The big picture: She was Britain's longest-serving monarch, becoming the first to mark her Platinum Jubilee — 70 years on the throne — this year. Her son Charles, 73, is now the U.K.'s king.

What they're saying: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," the royal family said in a statement, referring to Balmoral Castle, where members of the royal family had gathered to be with Elizabeth after doctors recommended she remain under medical supervision earlier Thursday.

  • "The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow," the statement added.

King Charles III said in a statement: "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family."

  • "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world."
During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.
— King Charles III

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement that the queen "was more than a monarch. She defined an era."

  • "In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her," they added.
  • "Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special."
  • "Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world."

State of play: The queen had scaled back her public appearances in recent years due to concerns over her age and mobility.

  • One of her last major duties was appointing Liz Truss as prime minister earlier this week after Boris Johnson formally resigned.
  • Fifteen U.K. prime ministers, including Truss, served the queen during her reign.

Flashback: Elizabeth was born during her paternal grandfather King George V's rule, at which time she sat at third in the line of succession. Her uncle Edward and her father were first and second in line, respectively.

  • Her uncle Edward, later known as King Edward VIII, ascended to the throne in 1936 after his father died. He later abdicated amid backlash over his relationship with a divorced woman.
  • Elizabeth's father then assumed the throne under the name King George VI, placing her first in line. She was coronated as queen in 1953.

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