The Queen dies aged 96

Queen Elizabeth II smiling

The Queen has died at the age of 96.

The monarch passed away surrounded by family at her Balmoral residence on Thursday (8 September).

Born 21 April, 1926, the Queen ascended to the throne in 1953. She was Britain’s longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch, having celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, this summer.

After Buckingham Palace announced doctors were “concerned for her majesty’s health” earlier on Thursday, and had recommended that she “remain under medical supervision”, family members began rushing to her side.

As well as her four children – Charles, who becomes king, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – other family members, including the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge, also travelled to Balmoral.

Her death was met with an outpouring of sadness and tributes from some of the world’s leading figures, with many reflecting on her extraordinary 70-year reign.

Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on November 30, 2017.

Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on November 30, 2017. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

Despite suffering from mobility problems in recent months, the Queen remained active until the end.

On Tuesday (6 September), she received Boris Johnson and Liz Truss at Balmoral, accepting the outgoing prime minister’s resignation and asking the incoming PM to form a government.

Her death comes just 17 months after her husband, Prince Philip, passed away.

Elizabeth was visiting Kenya with Philip when her father, King George VI, died on 6 February, 1952.

Immediately, she became queen over what remained of the British Empire. Her reign saw a transition into what is now the Commonwealth, of which she was the head – though the legacy of colonialism can still be felt in many of the anti-LGBTQ+ laws found around the world.

She was head of state over 15 nations by the end of her reign.

During her reign, LGBTQ+ rights in Britain have been transformed by successive prime ministers – the Queen had 15 prime ministers from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss. The Queen was on the throne when homosexuality was partially decriminalised in 1967, when civil partnership and equal marriage were legislated, and when the Gender Recognition Act was passed.

This is a breaking story – more to follow.