Queen Elizabeth Dies At 96, Ending An Era For Britain

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the nation’s figurehead and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, Queen Elizabeth, died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96.
Her eldest son Charles who becomes England’s new king said, “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.”
News that the queen’s health was deteriorating emerged shortly after midday on Thursday when her doctors said she was under medical supervision, prompting her family to rush to be by her side.
The queen had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace had called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.
Her last public duty came only on Tuesday, when she appointed Liz Truss prime minister – the 15th of her reign.
Speaking outside her Downing Street office where the flag, like those at royal palaces and government buildings across London, were lowered to half-mast, Liz Truss said the death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world.
Buckingham Palace said Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, would remain at Balmoral Castle, where the queen died, before returning to London on Friday.
On Elizabeth’s death, Charles automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His office confirmed we would be known as Charles III.
Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.
She was crowned in June the following year. The first televised coronation was a foretaste of a new world in which the lives of the royals were to become increasingly scrutinised by the media.
Elizabeth became monarch at a time when Britain still retained much of its old empire. It was emerging from the ravages of World War Two, with food rationing still in force and class and privilege still dominant in society.
Winston Churchill was Britain’s prime minister at the time, Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union and the Korean War was raging.
In the decades that followed, Elizabeth witnessed massive political change and social upheaval at home and abroad. Her own family’s tribulations, most notably the divorce of Charles and his late first wife Diana, were played out in full public glare.
While remaining an enduring symbol of stability and continuity for Britons at a time of relative national economic decline, Elizabeth also tried to adapt the ancient institution of monarchy to the demands of the modern era.
Elizabeth was the 40th monarch in a royal line that followed Norman King William the Conqueror, who claimed the English throne in 1066 after defeating Anglo-Saxon ruler Harold II at the Battle of Hastings.
Her long reign meant she repeatedly broke records for British rulers. When she surpassed the more than 63 years her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne, she said it was not a landmark to which she had ever aspired.

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