Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history with a reign of 70 years and 214 days, died at age 96 on Sept. 8. The Prince of Wales is now King, having acceded to the throne immediately upon the death of his mother. In a statement, the Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
She was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on Apr. 21, 1926. Her father was then known as Albert, Duke of York.
At the age of 10, her grandfather, King George V, died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII, whose relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson led to the abdication crisis of November 1936.
Edward VIII’s abdication meant that her father was crowned King George VI. A shy and mild-mannered figure, he led the UK through World War II.
Princess Elizabeth was 13 when the war broke out, and she was evacuated from London to Windsor Castle from where, the following year, she made a radio broadcast on the BBC’s “Children’s Hour.”