Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-serving queen, has died. As a teen, she experienced the atrocities of WWII. As an elderly sovereign, she watched the agony of a fatal epidemic and the intimate grief of her own family’s strife.
She was 96 years old.
Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96. Here’s what happens now.
According to sources, the queen was put under medical surveillance early on Thursday. The palace had released a statement saying, “Following additional examination this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have requested she remains under medical monitoring.”
Her grandson Prince William, who is currently the heir apparent, as well as other members of the royal family, had also made the trip to Balmoral. According to reports, Prince Harry, who was already in the nation for a charity event, was also on his way.
The queen has performed fewer official responsibilities in recent years, occasionally skipping engagements when her participation used to be expected. Her recent mobility concerns have caused her to spend much of her time at the family’s country home, Windsor Castle.
In February, she contracted COVID-19, which she later described as leaving her “very tired and exhausted.”
Her death triggers a 10-day period of national mourning under a long-standing plan known as “Operation London Bridge.” Charles is anticipated to be declared king on Day 1.
After her father, George VI, died on February 6, 1952, Elizabeth became queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, her husband Prince Philip. Her coronation took place on June 2, 1953.
On Feb. 6, 2022, Elizabeth became the first British queen to reign for 70 years. The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth celebrated the milestone with a Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.
During the first day of the four-day Platinum Jubilee, the 96-year-old monarch appeared with her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, waving to tens of thousands of people gathered below and watching an aircraft display in her honor. However, due to pain, she could not attend activities later in the festivities.
Who’s Next In Line For British Succession when the queen dies?
In accordance with the constitutional monarchy system of the United Kingdom, Prince Charles will inherit the throne once Queen Elizabeth passes away; the following members of the royal family are the next in line.
- Elizabeth’s oldest child Charles will immediately become king upon her death, though a coronation–traditionally held at Westminster Abbey–will be planned later to officially crown the new king.
- Next in line to the throne is Charles’ eldest son Prince William, who regularly makes public appearances on behalf of the crown along with his wife Kate.
- Third in line is William’s 9-year-old son Prince George, who is an elementary school student beginning to take part in more engagements with his parents, having made his debut at the Wimbledon finals this year, a royal tradition (after George, next in the line of succession are his two young siblings, Princess Charlotte, age 7, and Prince Louis, age 4.)
- Prince William’s younger brother Prince Harry—Charles and Princess Diana’s second son—is sixth in line after William’s children.
- Next in line are Harry’s son and daughter with his American wife Meghan Markle, Archie, and Lillibet Mountbatten-Windsor, who all reside in California after Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior working royals in 2020.
- After Charles’ children and grandchildren, the next in line for the throne is Elizabeth’s second son, Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties in 2019 amid public outrage over his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein (in February, he settled a sex abuse lawsuit with one of Epstein’s accusers for an undisclosed sum).