Queen Elizabeth II — a life in photos

Britain’s longest-serving monarch has died.

Queen Elizabeth II, Great Britain’s longest-serving monarch, has died. Buckingham Palace announced the news Thursday afternoon.

Grid will have more reporting and reflections soon — but for now, we share these images from a long life and historically long reign.

From the solidarity she showed during the German blitz to her message nearly eight decades later during the covid-19 pandemic — stressing that normal life would return — the queen represented among other things a steadiness during crisis, whatever form those crises took. The queen died just days after the investiture of new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who took office in a modern-day crisis born of soaring inflation and energy costs. Truss is the 15th prime minister to serve while Elizabeth occupied the throne; the first was Winston Churchill. Her reign lasted through the terms of 14 U.S. presidents — from Harry Truman to Joe Biden.

Among the images here, there is a meeting with Churchill, a few royal weddings — her own included — and the first official Buckingham Palace photograph of Prince Charles after his birth in November 1948. Charles will now assume the throne.

While polls in Britain have long reflected concern about the monarchy itself, the monarch — this monarch — remained a popular and even revered figure. Queen Elizabeth was 96 years old.

Members of the British royal family stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (later Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), in London on Nov. 20, 1947.
King George VI sits next to his daughter Princess Elizabeth, his son-in-law Duke Philip of Edinburgh and his wife Queen Elizabeth after the birth of his grandson, Prince Charles.
Princess Elizabeth greets Winston Churchill at a Guildhall reception on March 23, 1950, in London.
An open-topped car carries Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Nairobi's City Hall during their Commonwealth tour in Kenya on Feb. 4, 1952.
The newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London on June 2, 1953.
President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy pay a visit to the royal family in England.
Queen Elizabeth II visits Schwabish Hall, West Germany, on May 24, 1965.
The prince and princess of Wales pose with the queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day in London on July 29, 1981.
The queen attends a banquet with Nelson Mandela in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 20, 1995.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother attend the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, at Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 6, 1997.
Queen Elizabeth II offers a toast to President George W. Bush during a formal state dinner at the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 7, 2007.
Queen Elizabeth sits with other members of the royal family and Meghan Markle before the royal wedding in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in England on May 19, 2018.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on Oct. 14, 2019, in London.
Queen Elizabeth II addresses the nation in a special broadcast to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus outbreak on April 5, 2020, at Windsor Castle in Manchester, England.
Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021, in Windsor, England.
Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II, with other members of the royal family, watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 2 in London.
Queen Elizabeth II and new Conservative Party leader and Britain's Prime Minister-elect Liz Truss meet at Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland, on Tuesday.
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