Queen Elizabeth dies peacefully at Balmoral after 70 year reign

Britain's Queen Elizabeth is seen sitting at a desk in the 1844 Room after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth, in Buckingham Palace, in this undated photograph received in London, Britain December 24, 2017. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC11A06201F0
Britain's Queen Elizabeth is seen sitting at a desk in the 1844 Room after recording her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth, in Buckingham Palace, in this undated photograph received in London, Britain December 24, 2017. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC11A06201F0
Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the nation's figurehead for seven decades, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday (September 8).

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” it said in a statement.

“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Elizabeth’s eldest son Charles, 73, automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His wife Camilla becomes Queen Consort.

Her family had rushed to be by her side at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, after doctors expressed concern about her health. She had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.

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