Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning Monarch in British history, died Thursday at the age of 96, the Royal Family confirmed, shortly after being placed under close medical supervision by her private physicians.
The Queen, 96, had been spending her traditional summer holiday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and fell ill Thursday. She was placed under medical supervision by her private doctor, Professor Huw Thomas, shortly afterwards and died in the late afternoon.
All four of Her Majesty's children -- Charles the Prince of Wales, Anne, the Princess Royal, Andrew, the Duke of York and Edward, the Earl of Wessex -- had travelled to the summer retreat in Balmoral to be with her during her final hours.
"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," the Royal Family said in a brief statement.
Charles, heir to the throne and now King Consort, will be proclaimed as King at St. James's Palace in London over the coming days.
Concerns for the Monarch's health escalated earlier this week when, just two days after the Monarch welcomed a new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, during a ceremony in Balmoral, she cancelled a Wednesday meeting with the Privy Council -- a group of senior politicians that advises the Monarch -- despite it begin scheduled online.
“After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors’ advice to rest," the Palace said yesterday. "This means that the privy council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged.”
Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in London on April 21, 1926, Queen Elizabeth married her husband, Prince Philip -- then known as Philip Mountbatten, the Prince of Greece and Denmark -- in 1947. She assumed the throne five years later, in 1952, following the death of her father King George VI.
She has served as both the Head of State for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as 14 other sovereign nations, for more than 70 years, serving with fifteen Prime Ministers - beginning with Sir Winston Churchill in 1952.
“When I was 21, I pledged my life to the service of our people, and asked for God’s help to make that vow," Her Majesty said during her Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. "Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgment, I do not regret nor retract one word of it.”