THE Queen has died at her home in Balmoral at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

It ends the monarch’s 70 year reign as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

She died at her Aberdeenshire residence, where she had been staying since the start of the summer. 

She was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, overtaking her great-great-grandmother Victoria in 2007 and became the world’s oldest head of state following the resignation of Robert Mugabe 10 years later.

Elizabeth took the throne at the age of 25 and has had 15 prime ministers serve under her, appointing her most recent, Liz Truss, to the role earlier this week.

She reigned over a period of great change within the British Empire, with a number of states declaring independence and joining the Commonwealth, while some – most recently Barbados –removed her as the head of state and became republics.

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Elizabeth was also the Queen of Canada, New Zealand and Australia among others.

During her time on the throne, the UK also experienced momentus changes including war in Northern Ireland during the so-called Troubles, the decolonisation of Africa, the introduction of devolution as well as Britain joining and then leaving the European Union.

Her time has also been marked by scandal, including her son Charles’s divorce from Diana Spencer and her subsequent death as well as her other son Prince Andrew being accused of raping an underage girl – a charge he denies.

Prince Philip, her husband of nearly 70 years, died in 2021. She is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. 

This is the statement from Buckingham Palace in full following the death of the Queen: “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.”