Special Edition: Queen Elizabeth dies

Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, the nation's figurehead and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96. Her death triggered reaction from politicians and officials around the world.


Elizabeth’s crowning achievement over her long reign was to maintain the popularity of the monarchy across decades of seismic political, social and cultural change that threatened to make it an anachronism. Some commentators describe her reign as a "golden age" reminiscent of that of her namesake Elizabeth I, who ruled England 400 years ago during a period of growing power and cultural flourishing. Others say the 96-year-old's impact on the nation was less profound than that of her illustrious forebear.


With the death of his mother, Prince Charles has finally become king of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms, ending a wait of more than 70 years - the longest by an heir in British history. The role will be daunting. Charles’ late mother was overwhelmingly popular and respected, but she leaves a royal family that has seen reputations tarnished and relationships strained, including over lingering allegations of racism against Buckingham Palace officials.


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