Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after serving 70 years as the U.K. Head of State and Church, and Head of State of 15 countries across the Commonwealth.
The Queen was surrounded by her family, Princes Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, her daughter, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife, Princess Sophia, Prince Andrew, and her grandson, Prince William. His estranged brother, Prince Harry, who had been visiting Great Britain with Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, was on his way from London, but press reports are uncertain that he arrived before the official announcement.
Both Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex were not in attendance at Balmoral. Duchess of Cambridge remained in Windsor because it was her children’s first day of school.
Queen Elizabeth II had served her country and the Commonwealth since 1952, and had resided at Balmoral Castle since July taking her usual summer vacation at her favorite residence.
In the last several months, Prince Charles has taken over more of the Queen’s duties. Prince Charles opened Parliament which the Queen has done for seven decades although earlier in the week, Prime Minister Liz Truss officially met with Queen Elizabeth after being elected the 15th prime minister since Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Queen Elizabeth had been referred to as the “Best of British,” serving her country as the steady helm with a sense of humor who loved her family, horses and corgis, and took her official duties seriously.
No matter how the British feel about the monarchy, Queen Elizabeth had always been beloved beyond the monarchy as she transcended anything political as a symbol of stability and weathered the personal scandals of her family. She maintained her unwavering British stiff upper lip leading with grace and always focused on the future.
“She is unlike any other monarch in our history - she’s our longest-lived, longest-serving, longest-reigning monarch.. She stands for this constancy, this sense of permanence and stability,” said royal biographer Robert Hardman, author of Queen of Our Times, earlier on BBC 5 Live. “She just stands for this constancy, this sense of permanence and stability.
And I think over the years people have probably taken her for granted often. Suddenly, at times like this, we all realize... how precious she is."
This is a developing story.
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