Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II has died after reigning for 70 years.

She was the first-ever female royal to join the Armed Forces as an active member, was the longest reigning-monarch in history and survived Covid-19.

She owned over 30 corgis in her lifetime and also bred her own dorgi; a cross between a dachshund and a corgi.

She was the only person permitted to drive without a licence in the UK, and never owned a passport as she didn’t need one to travel by plane. 

She ruled over the British Commonwealth and was the head of state for New Zealand and many other former British colonies. During her rule, 56 countries gained independence from the British Commonwealth. 

Re: takes a look back at key moments in her life.

Born April 21, 1926

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born at her parents’ home in Mayfair, London. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and her younger sister Princess Margaret, born August 21st 1930, were raised in their family home.

Margaret was born with Raynaud’s Disease, a chronic illness that weakened her immune system and prevented proper blood circulation. She died in February 2002 from a stroke. The Queen Mother died just one month later.

1945: Princess Elizabeth becomes the first female of the Royal family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member 

In this time she learned to drive and maintain army vehicles. 

In 2009, the Queen created the Elizabeth Cross, to give special recognition to families that lost loved ones in military operations or an act of terrorism.

November 20, 1947: marries Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at age 21

After meeting in 1934 through the Royal family, Princess Elizabeth got married to Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947 in Westminster Abbey. Their marriage lasted 73 years, before the death of 99-year-old Prince Philip in April 2021.

On November 14, 1948, at age 22, Elizabeth’s first child Charles, Prince of Wales was born.

They had three more children; Anne, Andrew and Edward, now known as Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

June 2, 1953: The coronation of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II held at Westminster Abbey

Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen, following the death of her father King George VI one year earlier. 

It was the first-ever coronation ceremony to be televised, and was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone. She was just 27 years old.

The Queen wore the George IV State Diadem crown which had 1,333 diamonds and 169 pearls. The ceremony lasted close to three hours.

1953: The Queen visits New Zealand for the first time

In December 1953, Queen Elizabeth did a Christmas tour of a few countries with her husband Prince Philip. On the 23rd she stopped in New Zealand for the first time. 

She was the first reigning monarch to open the Parliament of New Zealand, and broadcast her annual Christmas speech from the Government House in Auckland. 

She has visited New Zealand on ten occasions, the last being in 2002.

2015, September 9: Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning monarch

On this day, the Queen became the longest-reigning monarch. She had ruled for 23,226 days or more than 63 years, surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. 

Earlier in June 2015, Queen Elizabeth also became the oldest reigning-monarch, at 88 years old.

In June 2022 celebrated her Platinum jubilee; marking 70 years on the throne.

2022: Prince Andrew loses his Royal titles

On January 13, 2022, the Queen announced her own son, Prince Andrew, would lose all military titles and patronages, after he was accused of sexual assault in connection with American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein. 

After more than 150 veterans signed an open letter to the Queen asking her to strip him of his titles, she went with the majority advice, including that of her eldest son Prince Charles. 

2021: The Queen celebrates her 95th birthday during the pandemic

April 21, 2021 marked the Queen’s 95th birthday, just days after her husband Philip died at age 99.

Covid restrictions made it difficult for traditional birthday services to go ahead, which usually see parades attended by thousands of people on the streets around London. 

The Queen was known to walk around the streets at her prior birthdays, where well-wishers would give her birthday cards.

2022: Death at age 96

The queen passed away on Thursday afternoon (UK time) at her Scottish estate Balmoral Castle, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.

Her eldest son Charles has become the new monarch, King Charles III.

King Charles said in a statement the death of his mother “is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”

“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid tribute to the Queen describing Her Majesty as a monarch with an unwavering sense of duty.

"I know that I speak for people across New Zealand in offering our deepest sympathy to members of the Royal Family at the passing of the Queen. To us she was a much admired and respected monarch, to them she was a mother and grandmother," Ardern said. 

"The Queen was a much loved and admired monarch, whose record reign of 70 years is an absolute testament to her, and her commitment to us all. She was extraordinary."

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