By Mushtaq A. Subhani
The longest-serving monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Thursday, September 8 at the age of 96 years.
She came to the throne at the age of just 25 years and was the queen of UK and other Commonwealth realms from February 6, 1952 until her death. She was queen regnant of 32 different sovereign states during her life, and served as monarch of 15 of them at the time of her death.
Her reign of 70 years and 214 days is the longest of any British monarch and the second longest in world history, only behind Louis XIV of France, who reigned for 72 years and 110 days.
However, her reign was the longest recorded of any female head of state in history.
Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexander Mary on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London. Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 as King George VI upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir.
In November 1947, Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark. Their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in April 2021.
They had four children: Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth — then 25-year-old — became queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylone (now Sri Lanka), as well as Head of State of the Commonwealth.
Her coronation on June 2, 1953 was the first major event of the television age Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign straddled two centuries of social, political and technological upheaval. But throughout, she remained consistently popular and was queen and head of state not just of the UK but 14 former British colonies, including Australia and Canada.
She was also head of the 56-nation Commonwealth, which takes in a quarter of humanity, and supreme governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Angelican communion.