A timeline of Queen Elizabeth’s life

FILE – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II waves from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, following her Coronation at Westminster Abbey, June 2, 1953. Also waving are Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is seen far right. The balcony appearance is the centerpiece of almost all royal celebrations in Britain, a chance for the public to catch a glimpse of the family assembled for a grand photo to mark weddings, coronations and jubilees. (AP Photo, File)

Queen Elizabeth II passed away at 96 on Thursday after more than 70 years on the throne, the longest reign in England’s history.

Here’s a timeline of the revered queen’s life, from her early life in London to her final days at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Born: 1926

Elizabeth Alexandra May was born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London. Her younger sister, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930.

Heir to the throne: 1936

After her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 so he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, Elizabeth became next in line after her father King George VI.

First broadcast to British public: 1940

Princess Elizabeth gave her first address to the British public during World War II.

Marriage to Prince Phillip: 1947

(AP Photo/Leslie Priest, File)

Princess Elizabeth met Prince Philip in 1934 at a wedding between Elizabeth’s uncle and Phillip’s cousin. They married in November 1947 at Westminster Abbey.

Birth of Prince Charles and Princess Anne: 1948-1950

Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, in 1948. Two years later, she had her second child and only daughter, Princess Anne.

Coronation: 1952

After a bout with a prolonged illness, King George VI died on Feb. 6, 1952. Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne on June 2, 1953, in the nation’s first televised coronation, bringing the royal event to the homes of thousands of Commonwealth citizens.

Princess Margaret marriage controversy: 1955

Princess Margaret was in a relationship with Group Capt. Peter Townsend when he proposed. But he was a divorcee, meaning marriage was frowned upon. It was the Queen’s first big controversy as monarch.

Britain invades Egypt: 1956

The United Kingdom and its allies ordered an invasion of Egypt to gain control of the Suez Canal. The move drew international condemnation and the U.K. later withdrew.

Christmas broadcast: 1957

The Queen’s broadcast to British citizens wishing them a merry Christmas was her first televised address.

Birth of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward: 1960-1964

Prince Andrew was born in 1960. Four years later, Prince Edward was born. The Queen’s youngest sons were the first to be born to a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria’s children in the mid-19th century.

Queen visits West Germany: 1965

Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to visit the nation since World War II.

Wales Mining Disaster: 1966

On Oct. 21, 1966, a coal mine collapsed, sending an avalanche of mud, rocks and debris that buried an elementary school in Aberfan, a South Wales village, and killed 116 children and 28 adults. Queen Elizabeth did not visit the village for eight days, which she later said was her biggest regret.

Silver Jubilee: 1977

(AP photo)

The Silver Jubilee marked 25 years as Queen in 1977, her first major milestone as monarch after her coronation.

Blank shots fired at Queen: June 1981

A 17-year-old air cadet, Marcus Sarjeant, fired blank rounds at the Queen during the annual Trooping the Colour event performed by the British army.

Prince Charles marries Princess Diana: July 1981

The couple married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Falklands War: February to June 1982

The U.K. declared war on Argentina in 1982 over control of islands in the Falklands and in the South Atlantic, a conflict the British ultimately won.

July 1982: Man breaks into queen’s bedroom

Michael Fagan talked to the queen for about ten minutes before he was escorted out of her chambers.

Queen delivers address to U.S. Congress: 1991

(AP Photo/Doug Mills)

Queen Elizabeth noted the close ties between the U.K. and the U.S. and called for the nations to fight for the spirit of democracy and shared values.

Windsor Castle Fire: 1992

A raging fire destroyed 115 rooms in the Queen’s Berkshire estate and caused millions of dollars in damages. It took five years to restore.

Princess Diana’s death: 1997

The family suffered a personal tragedy when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

9/11 response: 2001

After nearly 2,000 people died following al-Qaeda’s attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Queen broke 600 years of tradition by ordering the Bands of the Household Division to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sept. 12 during the changing of the guards.

Death of Queen Mother, Princess Margaret: 2002

In February 2002, the Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, died from complications of a stroke at 71. The Queen Mother passed away a month later at 101.

Golden Jubilee: 2002

In 2002, the Queen celebrated 50 years of rule, having by then appointed a total of nine prime ministers to serve the United Kingdom.

Longest-living monarch: 2007

The Queen surpassed her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-living monarch in English history.

Prince William marries Kate Middleton: 2011

The Queen’s grandson’s marriage was a much-celebrated affair.

Queen opens London Olympics: 2012

(Ezra Shaw, Pool Photo via AP)

In a comedy sketch that aired for the opening, the Queen appeared with Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond actor, and jumped out of an airplane in the video.

Longest-reigning monarch: 2015

Queen Elizabeth II officially became England’s longest-ruling monarch in 2015, again surpassing Queen Victoria, who served for 63 years.

Queen gives rare address to public during COVID-19 pandemic: April 2020

The monarch called for unity and promised the public would see better days in the future.

Harry and Meghan officially exit royal duties: February 2021

The Queen said she was “hurt” by their decision but expressed support for her grandson, who married Meghan Markle in 2018 at George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Death of Prince Phillip: April 2021

(Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP, File)

Her husband Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9, 2021, just two days before he turned 100. He was the longest-serving royal consort in world history.

Queen strips Prince Andrew of royal duties: January 2022

Prince Andrew is facing a sexual assault lawsuit in a Manhattan, New York, court, and has faced scrutiny for his association with the late Jeffrey Epstein. The Queen had previously suspended him from royal duties in 2019.

Platinum Jubilee: February, June 2022

Earlier this year, the Queen renewed her vow to continue serving the British Commonwealth, marking 70 years of rule, which the country celebrated in June.

Final days: Balmoral Castle, September 2022

Queen Elizabeth’s final days were spent at her private estate in Scotland, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She appointed her 15th prime minister, Liz Truss, earlier this week.

Tags Buckingham Palace England King George V London Monarch Prince Andrew Prince Charles Prince Edward Princess Anne Princess Diana Prnce Phillip Queen Elizabeth II Scotland Timeline United Kingdom

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