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BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is dead

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The Queen Elizabeth II of England is dead.

Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that the queen died peacefully at Balmoral Castle following health challenges on Thursday.

She was 96.

Doctors at the Balmoral Castle had earlier on Thursday expressed concern about the queen’s health.

Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI.

READ ALSO: Queen Elizabeth II resumes public duties after stay in hospital

She ruled over the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms and became one of the most recognizable women ever to have lived.

Her son, Charles, immediately ascends to the throne following her death.

The 73-year-old, who is the eldest of four children born to the queen and her late husband Prince Philips, is the longest-serving heir in British history.

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