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Queen Elizabeth II: Britain’s longest-reigning monarch dies at 96

 Queen Elizabeth II, the British queen with the longest reign, passed away in Scotland. Charles, her son, is currently King Charles III.

The UK has been preparing for this moment, and an extensive plan called "Operation London Bridge" lays out what would happen next. But it still comes as a surprise. Elizabeth, 96, represented stability and continuity despite royal scandals, the decline of the British Empire, and significant global upheavals. She presided over the selection of her fifteenth prime minister just a few days ago.

The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon, the royal family stated in a statement. The King and the Queen Consort will spend this evening and tomorrow in Balmoral before flying back to London. The BBC's newscasters carried the depressing news while dressed in black.

After his mother passed away, Charles instantly ascended to the throne and decided to take the name Charles III. He will soon make his opening statement. At a later time, he will be formally crowned.

The queen is described as "the seemingly everlasting monarch who became a dazzling but mysterious light of continuity in the United Kingdom during more than seven decades of rule" in The Washington Post's obituary.

The expansive Balmoral Castle, located in the Scottish highlands of Aberdeenshire, has long maintained a special place in the affections of the monarchs of Britain.

In 1852, Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, bought it for her. The marriage went on to have ten children, which resulted in the formation of numerous royal houses dotted all throughout Europe. Under Albert, who collaborated with local architects and developed a deep interest in engineering, the castle received renovations and additions. The castle is a prime example of Scots Baronial architecture.

Bill Clinton, a former president, and Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, delivered remarks on Thursday afternoon lamenting the passing of Queen Elizabeth. The couple "unite with others across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and all around the world, in offering thanks for her wonderful life," the former president said in a statement.

With "unfailing grace, dignity, and real regard for the welfare of all its people," the monarch, according to him, led Britain.

In a letter to King Charles III on Thursday night, Pope Francis paid homage to the late monarch while expressing his sympathies to the UK and blessings to the future king.

President Biden has issued an executive order to fly the American flag at half-staff at the White House and other public locations around the nation "until sunset, on the day of interment," as well as at U.S. embassies, consulates, and other facilities abroad for the same period of time.

Queen Elizabeth was described by Biden as "a stateswoman of incomparable dignity and constancy who enhanced the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States" when he announced the lowering of the flags.

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