Queen Elizabeth II has died at 96, the palace confirms. The queen took the throne in 1953 at the age of 27.
She was the second-longest serving sovereign in world history, and spent her life in the public eye.
For many in the U.K. and beyond, she served as a symbol of stability through the changes of the 20th and 21st centuries. Prince Charles, her eldest son and heir to the throne, immediately became king upon her death.
Reports of the queen’s health emerged on Wednesday, when she postponed a virtual meeting with Privy Council advisors on doctors’ advice to rest. On Thursday at 7:30 a.m. ET, the palace issued a statement that the queen’s doctors were “concerned” for her health, recommending she remain under medical supervision at Balmoral, the family estate in Scotland. Queen Elizabeth II turned 96 this past April.
In June, the nation celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. She was the last woman in the line of succession for the coming generations. After Charles, next in line is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Charles’ son with Princess Diana. Following is Prince George, Prince William’s son with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.