The Heartbreaking Death Of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, the royal family's official Twitter account has confirmed. On Thursday, September 8, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace announced that the queen was under medical supervision after doctors had expressed concern for her health. Members of her family promptly joined her at Balmoral, per BBC.


Concerns were first raised for the monarch's health after she was advised to cancel an October 2021 trip to Ireland for medical reasons. She then stayed overnight in a London hospital on October 20 to undergo testing, per Page Six. While the exact health issues weren't made known to the public, the palace did confirm they weren't COVID-related. At the time, the palace released a statement to Page Six saying, "Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow." 

The queen resumed her royal duties virtually not long after, and was back on her feet the following month. However, she began to miss an increasing number of public engagements at the suggestion of her medical team throughout 2021, including the Church of England's national assembly. That marked the first time she was absent from the General Synod in its 51-year history (via People). Rumors of Her Majesty's poor health continued to plague her well into 2022, particularly during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.


As reported by PBS, Queen Elizabeth was absent from the scheduled church service due to "discomfort," and several other cancellations were announced in the months following the event. 

Queen Elizabeth's record-breaking reign

Queen Elizabeth II — who underwent a stunning transformation during her lifetime — was born on April 21, 1926. However, throughout her life, Her Majesty actually celebrated two birthdays each year. According to the BBC, the two-birthday tradition began more than 250 years ago during the reign of King George II, and the queen's second birthday, known as the official celebration, falls on the second Saturday in June.


Per Metro, Her Majesty began her reign as queen on Wednesday, February 6, 1952, upon the death of her father King George VI, who passed away at the age of 56 at Sandringham House following a battle with lung cancer. Since royal tradition states the throne can never be vacant, Princess Elizabeth immediately became the queen, and was informed she had taken over the throne during a trip to Kenya on a Commonwealth tour. At the time, she was just 25 years old.

Queen Elizabeth II's coronation took place on Tuesday, June 2, 1953, 16 months after she became the British monarch. The historic ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey and was attended by more than 8,000 distinguished guests.

On September 9, 2015, Her Majesty became the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. In January 2020, the queen's reign hit another important milestone when she moved up to fifth on the list of the world's longest-serving monarchs, overtaking Franz Joseph I.


The queen and Prince Philip's love story

According to the Daily Mail, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's earliest known meeting took place in 1934. At the time of their first interaction, Her Majesty was just 13 years old and the slightly older Prince Philip was 18 years of age (via TODAY). In 1937, the pair again crossed paths at King George VI's coronation ceremony.


Per Express, Elizabeth II recounted another meeting between the pair in a series of letters she penned the night before her wedding, writing, "The first time I remember meeting Philip was at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in July 1939, just before the war. (We may have met before at the coronation or the Duchess of Kent's wedding, but I don't remember)."

As Bustle reports, the queen and Prince Philip became "secretly engaged" in 1946. The following year, in November 1947, they married in a lavish wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey when Her Majesty was 21 years old. The couple remained married for 73 years — that is, until the death of Prince Philip on April 9, 2021 (via Metro). 

Speaking in 2012, Her Majesty paid a rare public tribute to her husband Philip. "During these years as your queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure. Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide," she said during her Diamond Jubilee address to Parliament (via Harpers Bazaar). 


The queen was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother

As well as being a doting wife, Queen Elizabeth II was also the loving matriarch of four children, eight grandchildren (Peter Philips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn), and 12 great-grandchildren (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).


Her Majesty gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, at the age of 22. The Prince of Wales was born on November 14, 1948, in the Buhl Room of Buckingham Palace. Two years later, on August 15, 1950, the queen gave birth to her second child and only daughter, Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, at Clarence House (via the BBC). 

On February 19, 1960, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip welcomed their third child and second son, Prince Andrew. Like his older brother Prince Charles, Andrew was born within the grounds of Buckingham Palace. However, the birth instead took place in the Belgian suite of the royal residence. Elizabeth II's fourth and youngest child, Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, was born on March 10, 1964. During the birth, the queen became the first royal woman to have her husband by her side throughout the delivery, as Hello! reports. 


Sharing her thoughts on motherhood and royal family life, the queen once stated, "If I am asked what I think about family life after 25 years of marriage, I can answer with equal simplicity and conviction, I am for it" (via Town & Country). 

Queen Elizabeth II's long and storied reign will be remembered by all.