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Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96

The UK's longest-reigning monarch passed away at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon (8 September).

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Alamy

Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96.

A statement put out by Buckingham Palace on Thursday (8 September) reads: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The monarch, the UK’s longest-serving, died at her Balmoral residence near Aberdeen in Scotland earlier this afternoon surrounded by her family. 

Following her passing, her eldest son Charles, now the former Prince of Wales, will be crowned King and head of state of the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1953, aged 27, and earlier this year celebrated her platinum jubilee. 

She has worked with 15 Prime Ministers over the year, asking Liz Truss to assemble a new government in her name earlier this week. 

Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in London, on 21 April 1926, she married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in 1947, with the prince taking the title of Duke of Edinburgh. He passed away in April 2021.

The pair had four children: Charles, who was born in 1948, Princess Anne, in 1950, Prince Andrew, in 1960, and Prince Edward, in 1964.

She was gifted with eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Sir Elton John was among the many who paid tribute to Her Majesty, writing on Twitter he was “deeply saddened” at the news, adding she was “an inspiring presence to be around and lead the country through some of our greatest, and darkest, moments with grace, decency, and a genuine caring, warmth.”

“I will miss her dearly,” he closed.

Stonewall wrote: “We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. At this sad time we reflect on the the end of a very significant era for the UK.”

The Terrence Higgins Trust said: “Our thoughts are with the Queen’s children, grandchildren and the wider Royal Family as they – and the country – reflect on a life lived in dedicated service.”