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Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign, dies at 96

Born on 21 April, 1926, Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in February, 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI.

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New Delhi: Britain’s longest-serving monarch Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96 in Scotland. She was under medical supervision at the Balmoral Castle, her retreat in the Scottish highlands, as concerns grew over her health since Thursday afternoon.

Born on 21 April, 1926, Queen Elizabeth II was also Britain’s longest-lived monarch. She acceded to the throne in February, 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI.

She recently celebrated her platinum jubilee on 6 February 2022, completing 70 years since her accession to the throne.

According to the BBC, the Queen was with her family — Prince Charles, 73, next in line to the throne, and his wife Camilla, 75, Princess Anne 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58. Her eldest grandson Prince William, 40, second in line to the throne, was also present.

A spokesperson had earlier told Reuters that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who were also in Britain for a number of events, had planned to travel to Scotland to be by the Queen’s side.

Buckingham Palace had released a statement Thursday noting that the Queen was under medical supervision.

Moments later, Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss had tweeted saying she was “deeply concerned” by the news of the Queen being unwell and said her thoughts were with the monarch and her family.

Earlier this week, Truss had met the Queen at the Balmoral estate in Scotland, breaking from the traditional meeting in Buckingham Palace, London, as the monarch was suffering from mobility issues. The Queen had appointed 14 prime ministers over her 70-year reign.

Soon after the news of the Queen’s health, well-wishers had begun gathering at the gates of Balmoral, as well as outside the Buckingham Palace in London.

The monarch had earlier postponed the virtual Privy Council meeting with government advisers, a day after she appointed Truss. The doctors had then advised her to rest. Last week too, the Queen had missed the Braemar Gathering in Scotland, which showcases local events.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the Queen “would be remembered as a stalwart of our times”. “She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise. My thoughts are with her family and people of UK in this sad hour,” he wrote.

Modi remembered the “memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” during his visits to the country in 2015 and 2018. “I will never forget her warmth and kindness. During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture,” the Prime Minister said.

Also read: Queen Elizabeth II under ‘medical supervision’ as health concerns grow


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