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Innocent Cyril (@admin)
3 months ago
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Queen Elizabeth II's tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK's entry into - and withdrawal from - the European Union. Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Ms Truss, born 101 years later in 1975. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign. At Buckingham Palace in London, crowds awaiting updates on the Queen's condition began crying as they heard of her death. The Union flag on top of the palace was lowered to half-mast at 18:30 BST and an official notice announcing the death was posted outside. On the Queen's death, Prince William and his wife, Catherine, became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall. The official notice read: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow." The Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in Mayfair, London, on 21 April 1926. Few could have foreseen she would become monarch but in December 1936 her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated from the throne to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth's father became King George VI and, at age 10, Lilibet, as she was known in the family, became heir to the throne. Within three years, Britain was at war with Nazi Germany. Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, spent much of wartime at Windsor Castle after their parents rejected suggestions they be evacuated to Canada. After turning 18, Elizabeth spent five months with the Auxiliary Territorial Service and learned basic motor mechanic and driving skills. "I began to understand the esprit de corps that flourishes in the face of adversity," she recalled later. Through the war, she exchanged letters with her third cousin, Philip, Prince of Greece, who was serving in the Royal Navy. Their romance blossomed and the couple married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, with the prince taking the title of Duke of Edinburgh. She would later describe him as "my strength and stay" through 74 years of marriage, before his death in 2021, aged 99.