Britain's longest-reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II passes away at 96

PETALING JAYA: Britain’s 96-year-old monarch, Queen Elizabeth has passed away, announced Buckingham Palace.

The Queen breathed her last on Thursday (Sept 8) surrounded by members of the Royal Family who had rushed to be by her side at her Scottish home Balmoral Castle after doctors expressed concerns about her health.

Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign and the world’s oldest monarch, had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year.

Only one monarch in history has ruled for longer: France’s Louis XIV – who ruled for more than 72 years between 1643 and 1715.

Elizabeth has been Queen of Britain and more than a dozen other countries since 1952, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and earlier this year, marked her 70th year on the throne with four days of national celebrations in June.

Elizabeth came to the throne after the death of her father King George VI on Feb 6, 1952, when she was just 25.

She was crowned in June the following year. She became monarch at a time when Britain retained much of its empire and has seen 15 prime ministers serve under her. Winston Churchill was the first, while Liz Truss is the 15th.


Growing from strength to strength

In 1996, the Queen became the first British monarch to visit mainland China. She was also the first to address the House of Representatives in Washington. She sent her first email on March 26, 1976, during a visit to a UK Ministry of Defence research facility.

In 1997, she launched the Buckingham Palace website, and in 2014 sent her first tweet. Three years ago, she made her debut on Instagram.

Elizabeth, during her reign, visited Malaysia three times, namely in 1972 (a special visit), 1989 (11th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting), and 1998 (the closing of the 16th Commonwealth Games).