Queen Elizabeth II died today (Sept. 8), according to an official announcement from Buckingham Palace. Her 70 years on the throne made her the longest-reigning monarch of Britain. Earlier today, news spread that she was under close watch by medical professionals as her health declined. Her son Charles is in line to become the next monarch.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace’s official statement began. It continued, “The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.” She was reportedly surrounded by family at the time of her passing. Her grandson Prince William was present and Prince Harry is on the way. Sources say Meghan Markle will not be joining the family at this time.
Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926, her reign saw 15 prime ministers, including Winston Churchill. Once 18, the Queen spent several months in the Auxiliary Territorial Service learning about motor mechanics. “I began to understand the esprit de corps that flourishes in the face of adversity,” she later said. As news of her death spread, many began to pay their respects.
“RIP Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 96. The greatest Monarch in history, and the greatest of Britons. Dignified, humble, wise, stoic, and dedicated to duty [and] service to the country she loved. Thank you for everything, ma’am. We will be forever indebted to you,” English broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted.
The Bleacher Report noted “Arsenal held a moment of silence at the start of the second half of their match vs. Zurich following Queen Elizabeth II’s death.” There were also reports of a double rainbow spotted outside of Buckingham Palace as the news was announced. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a heartfelt message as well: “It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”