The longest-serving monarch in the world at the time of her death, Elizabeth II was the Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 more sovereign countries. She ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, shortly after the Second World War and reigned till her death on September 8, 2022. She ruled for 70 years and seven months, which is also the longest by any British monarch in history.

News emerged on Thursday, September 8, 2022, that Queen Elizabeth II was not well and her doctors were concerned about her health. Later that day, Buckingham Palace confirmed her death at the Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

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Who was Queen Elizabeth II?

Princess Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London, to George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Duke and Duchess of York of the time. She was named after her mother, her paternal great-grandmother and her paternal grandmother and was baptised on May 29 by the Anglican Archbishop of York at the Buckingham Palace Chapel. 

The princess had a sibling, Princess Margaret, who was born in 1930. They were educated at home in history, literature, language and music. Former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill described Elizabeth as “She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant”.

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She met Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, who would later become her husband in 1934. They were second cousins once removed through Danish King Christian IX and third cousins through Queen Victoria. She fell in love with the Prince when she was 13 and began exchanging letters. They were engaged on July 9, 1947.

Elizabeth and Philip married on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey. Their first child, Prince Charles, was born on November 14, 1948. Their second child, Princess Anne, was born on August 15, 1950. Their third and fourth children, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were born in 1960 and 1964.

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Elizabeth became Queen on February 6, 1952, when she and her husband were in Kenya when word of the death of King George VI arrived at them. The coronation took place on June 2 of 1953 and the ceremony was televised. 

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the Silver Jubilee of her accession to the British throne in 1977, the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the Platinum Jubilee on February 6, 2022. She became the longest-lived British monarch on December 21, 2007. She also became the longest reigning queen regnant and female head of state on September 9, 2015. Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, in Balmoral Castle in Scotland.