West News Wire: The longest-reigning queen in British history, Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away, she was 96.

The Queen passed away quietly this afternoon at Balmoral, according to a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday. The King and the Queen Consort will spend this evening and tomorrow in Balmoral before flying back to London.

Prince Philip, the queen’s spouse of more than 70 years, passed away on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99.

Her eight grandchildren include Princes William and Harry of Wales, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, Peter and Zara Phillips, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn. Queen Elizabeth is also survived by her three sons, Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward; one daughter, Princess Anne; and three daughters-in-law. In addition,

Her eldest son, Charles, the Prince of Wales, succeeds her as king. His wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is expected to become queen consort, a title that Queen Elizabeth requested at the time of her Platinum Jubilee.

The queen was hospitalized in late October 2021 for what Buckingham Palace described as “preliminary investigations.” After a one-night hospital stay, the queen returned home to Windsor Castle, where she resumed her work, the palace said at the time.

A few weeks later, on Nov. 14, the queen missed the annual Remembrance Sunday service after she sprained her back, Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time.

In February 2022, the queen tested positive for COVID-19 but had only “mild cold-like symptoms” as a result of the virus, according to the palace.

Two months later, in April, the queen celebrated her 96th birthday at Sandringham, her country estate in Norfolk.

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In June, the queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. She attended just three events during the four-day celebration due to what Buckingham Palace described at the time as “some discomfort.”

When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, some Britons were so thrilled by the young queen they declared it was a second “Elizabethan Age.”

Elizabeth II would come to embody not only the British monarchy but a tradition of doing one’s duty and maintaining a stiff upper lip.

On her 21st birthday, she pledged to her future subjects: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”

It was a promise she never forgot.

Queen Elizabeth, the longest-lived British monarch, reigned through 14 American presidents, and just as many British prime ministers, proving herself a savvy stateswoman and a constant leader on the world stage.

The queen, who made more than 271 state visits during her reign, was occasionally the sole female leader on stage and she never voiced her political views, demonstrating her skill of “soft diplomacy.”

She received President Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, at Windsor Castle after the Group of Seven summit meeting in Cornwall, England, in June of 2021, when she met with world leaders.

She was the leader of the Commonwealth, a voluntary alliance of 54 independent nations, in addition to being the ruler of the United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth kingdoms.

She traveled to practically every Commonwealth nation during her rule, with the exception of Cameroon and Rwanda, and made numerous return trips, according to the royal family’s official website.

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