BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth II Dead at Age 96

AP Photo/Scott Heppell

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with her family by her side. She was 96 years old.


Born April 21, 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, the trajectory of her life changed in December 1936 when her uncle, King Edward VII, abdicated the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, and her father became King George VI. By all accounts Elizabeth and her father were extremely close, and she spent hours on the grounds of Balmoral discussing politics and her eventual duties as Queen.

During World War II, she served as a driver and mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

A young female auto mechanic in military uniform in England in 1945 would not have been a rare sight, nor would a photograph of one such woman giving a demonstration to a visiting dignitary. This particular photo, however, is unusual because of what her job was when she wasn’t serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), a women’s army auxiliary branch.

The visiting dignitary is Queen Elizabeth — now perhaps better known as the Queen Mother — and the young ATS subaltern is her daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II.

When she was 13, she first met her future husband, Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark, and said she fell in love with him then. The two were engaged when she was 21, and married later that year.


In 1952, while Elizabeth and Phillip were on a tour in Kenya, King George VI died, and Elizabeth immediately ascended to the throne. At that time the couple had two children, Charles and Anne, and eventually two more sons joined the family, Andrew and Edward.

Queen Elizabeth was a trailblazer, a working mom long before the practice was common. From her official biography:

The Queen carries out all of her duties against the backdrop of a full personal life which has seen her raise four children and welcome grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren to the Royal Family. The Duke of Edinburgh was – in her own words – her ‘strength and stay’ during her reign, whilst other members of the Royal Family continue to offer vital support through their work in the UK and overseas.

Elizabeth celebrated her Platinum Jubilee just three months ago, and earlier this week the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Archway was opened at the Braemar Gathering in Scotland.


Just two days ago, the Queen received Liz Truss at Balmoral. It was her last official duty, and her last official photo.

In addition to her four children, Elizabeth is survived by eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She has now been reunited with her love, Phillip.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos