Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022), was Queen of the United Kingdom from 6 February 1952 to her death in 2022. She was the queen regnant in 32 sovereign states during her life and 15 when she died. Her reign of 70-years and 214 days was the longest ever recorded by any British monarch.
Elizabeth was the first child born to the Duke and Duchess, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in Mayfair, London. After King Edward VIII’s abdication, Elizabeth became the presumptive heir to the throne. Her father succeeded him to the throne. After being educated at home, she began public service during the Second World War. She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. She married Philip Mountbatten in November 1947. Their marriage lasted 73 year until Mountbatten’s death in April 2021. They had four children, Charles, Anne and Andrew.
Elizabeth, then 25 years old, became Queen of Seven Independent Commonwealth Countries: Australia, Canada, Australia New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan. She was also Head of the Commonwealth. Through major political changes, such as the Troubles of Northern Ireland, devolution within the United Kingdom, decolonisation in Africa, withdrawal from the European Union, and accession to the European Communities, Elizabeth ruled as a constitutional monarch. As territories gained independence, some realms became republics, the number of her realms changed over time. Her historic visits and meetings include state trips to China in 1986 and Russia in 1994. She also visited the Republic of Ireland (2011) and met with five popes.
Elizabeth's 1953 coronation and celebrations of her Silver and Gold, Diamond, and Platinum Jubilees in 2012, 2012 and 2022 are significant events. Elizabeth was the British monarch with the longest life expectancy and the second-longest reigning sovereign in history, after Louis XIV of France. Her family was subject to occasional republican sentiments and criticism from the media, especially after the breakups of her children’s marriages, her Annus horribilis and the death her former daughter-in law, Diana, Princess of Wales. Her personal popularity and support for the United Kingdom's monarchy remained high. She died in Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, at the age of 96.