UK’s Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

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UK's Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch in history, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow," it added, indicating her son, Prince Charles, has now become Britain's new King.

Earlier in the day, Buckingham Palace said the monarch was under medical supervision due to doctors' concerns over her health. The royal family members soon rushed to Scotland to be at her side following the announcement.

"The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family," King Charles said in a statement.

"We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world," it added.

Queen Elizabeth II died two days after she appointed Liz Truss as Britain's new prime minister, succeeding Boris Johnson.

The monarch made fewer public appearances in recent months due to mobility issues after recovering from COVID-19 in February.

During the four-day nationwide celebration in early June to mark her 70 years on the throne, she made two brief appearances only on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen after the death of her father, King George VI, on Feb. 6, 1952. She has formally crowned the monarch of the United Kingdom on June 2, 1953.

She was considered "a beacon of hope" for the nation as she used her annual Christmas speeches, televised since 1957, to rally the nation in times of hardship. In her Christmas speech in 2020, when the UK was mired in the COVID-19 pandemic, she hailed the "quiet, indomitable spirit" in which people had "risen magnificently to the challenges of the year."

In total, the Queen greeted 15 prime ministers during her long reign, including Winston Churchill, her first, and Truss, her last.

Her husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99 in April 2021.

The Queen traveled to China in 1986, the first British monarch in history to do so.

UK's Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

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