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The Heart-Wrenching Death of Queen Elizabeth II
By CODY COPELAND and WILLIAM KENNEDY
History - Science
On September 8, 2022, the royal family reported the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She was 96. It was announced earlier that day that the queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and the closest members of the royal family rushed to be by her side.
Queen Elizabeth assumed the throne in 1952 and went on to be the longest-serving monarch in Britain's history, serving a total of 70 years as queen before her death. Having been queen during the second half of the 20th century and well into the 21st, Elizabeth oversaw the United Kingdom at a time of great change, and one of her foremost challenges was finding a balance between maintaining tradition and staying relevant to an ever-changing public.
When Queen Elizabeth II came to power, the British Empire was still largely intact, but it was coming apart. Part of her goal of modernizing the British monarchy was to create friendly relationships across the globe (pretty much the opposite of its previous plan), so Elizabeth II traveled extensively to promote a different, more diplomatic Britain.
Other moves toward modernization included saying goodbye to some formalities of the monarchy, and she opened up several sites and royal treasures to the public. In 2021, she abolished a 250-year-old law that channeled public money to the royal purse. Although there were occasional calls for her to step aside and let Charles take over, Elizabeth remained the active monarch well into her 90s until her death.
She accomplished a lot as queen, and she served during the tenure of 15 Prime Ministers, but she also faced some scandal. The divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Diana’s death in 1997, shocked the world, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped away from their royal duties in 2020. Most infamously, Prince Andrew was stripped of his royal titles, due to his connection to Jeffrey Epstein.
Her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died in April 2021. Queen Elizabeth is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Her oldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, now assumes the throne as king.