Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, reigned longer than any British monarch

LONDON —  Queen Elizabeth II, who was not expected to ascend the throne at birth but became the longest-reigning and longest-serving monarch in British history, has died at her summer residence in Scotland. She was 96.

His death on Thursday came after several recent health issues, including a bout of COVID-19, trouble walking and a night in hospital. Family members, including Prince Charles, her eldest son and heir to the throne, rushed to her side at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday after doctors "concerned about Her Majesty's health" ordered that remain under her supervision.


The queen's death brought to an end a remarkable 70-year rule that saw 14 prime ministers come and go, from Winston Churchill to Boris Johnson, and witness the transformation of post-war Britain from a hulking imperial power to a modest European nation. Her reign was so long that most of Britain's 68 million people have known no other ruler.


During his time on the throne, the class system continued to thaw, manners and morals were revolutionized, the Beatles rocked a generation, unflappable British industry gave way to high-flying finance, and Brits shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. What was once an island island has become a multicultural magnet, and extraordinary technological advances have brought even a former monarchy into the age of television and the Internet, with an Instagram account and a channel dedicated to the royals on YouTube.


In the midst of it all was the woman whose diminutive figure was instantly recognizable in her simple but impeccably tailored suits, comfortable shoes, and slightly old-fashioned hats.