Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom and of 14 other sovereign countries from 6 February 1952 until her death. Her reign of 70 years and seven months was the longest of any British monarch.
Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth).
Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive. She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, and their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in April 2021.
They had four children together: Charles, King of the United Kingdom; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka), as well as Head of the Commonwealth.
Elizabeth reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes such as the Troubles in Northern Ireland, devolution in the United Kingdom, the decolonization of Africa, and the United Kingdom’s accession to the European Communities and withdrawal from the European Union.
The number of her realms varied over time as territories have gained independence and some realms have become republics. Her many historic visits and meetings include state visits to China in 1986, Russia in 1994, the Republic of Ireland in 2011, and visits to or from five popes.
Significant events include Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively.
Elizabeth was the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch, the oldest and longest-serving incumbent head of state, and the second-longest verifiable reigning sovereign monarch in world history.
On 8 September 2022, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral after doctors expressed concern.
The statement read, “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
The Queen’s four children along with her daughters-in-law, and Prince William and Prince Harry, traveled to be with her. Her death was subsequently confirmed that evening.
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