Queen Elizabeth II dead at 96

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Queen Elizabeth II, dead at 96
Elizabeth II, Queen of England, 1926 - 2022

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is also the second longest-reigning monarch in history

by Kevin Seraaj, OrlandoAdvocate.com | For most people today Queen Elizabeth has been the only monarch of England we’ve ever known. Her 70 years on the throne are exceeded only by 17th-century French King Louis XIV, who became king when he was only 4 years old. Queen Elizabeth died today of unspecified causes and the world is reeling with the news of her death.

The palace issued a statement about the Queen’s passing, saying she died Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by royal family members. Her passing means that Charles, her 73-year-old son, automatically becomes King. Although the Monarchy no longer directly rules the United Kingdom, their importance to the British people and their culture cannot be overstated.

Charles issued a statement calling his mother’s death “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. . . . I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

Queen Elizabeth II in 1952
The official picture of the Queen on her accession to the throne in February 1952. (Getty Images) Photo: BBC.

The eldest daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), Elizabeth assumed the throne on Feb. 6, 1952, and reigned over a Britain struggling to rebuild after the ravages of World War II. She saw the nation through its transformation into an industrial powerhouse and ruled while 15 prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, came and went. When the very idea of the monarchy became itself distasteful to many Britains, Elizabeth was its glue– always respected, loved and admired both within and without.

As queen, Elizabeth was head of state of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.  Although we used the terms Britain, England and UK interchangeably, Great Britain is actually made up of EnglandScotland and Wales.  The United Kingdom is in turn made up of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent countries that used to be British colonies.

Five years before she became queen, 21-year-old Elizabeth promised the people of Britain that “my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”

Today, more than seven decades later, it is clear that The Queen of Hearts kept her promise.

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