Queen and Duke of Westminster at Liverpool One opening BW edited c PNW

Queen Elizabeth II ruled the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth from 1952 to 2022. Credit: PNW

Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96

The Queen II c Library and Archives Canada e

Queen Elizabeth II in 1959. Credit: Library and Archives Canada e010975985

The United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch passed away at Balmoral Castle Thursday afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth II had been unwell for some time and had been slowly retreating from public life in the past year. Her son, Prince Charles, had delivered the Queen’s Speech to Parliament in May. She had also limited her appearances during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old when she died. She had been the queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth for 70 years, having ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25.

On the night of her coronation in 1953, she had made a solemn promise to the nation during a radio broadcast.

“Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust,” she said.

During Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, she oversaw the continued decline of the British Empire in favour of the growth of the Commonwealth of Nations – a group that now includes 56 member countries and is home to 2.5 billion people.

The Crown Estate became an independent commercial business under her guidance. The Queen still owned the Crown Estate’s £15.6bn land portfolio, but the portfolio is managed by an independent board. Surplus from the estate is given to the Treasury. Assets owned in the North West include the Burbo Bank wind farms, Aintree Shopping Park, and Coliseum Shopping Park in Ellesmere Port.

As monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was also the Duke of Lancaster. Her duchy included more than 45,000 acres in England and Wales. Among these properties are 11 farms in Crewe, the Whitewell Estate within the Forest of Bowland, and the Forton motorway services area off the M6. The Duchy also owns Halton Castle and Lancaster Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II was the first monarch to have her coronation televised. She also tweeted and published posts on Instagram.

The Queen gave Royal Assent to approximately 4,000 Acts of Parliament. She conducted more than 21,000 engagements during her reign, including a tour of newly opened Liverpool One in 2008 and the opening of Peel L&P’s MediaCityUK in 2012.

Robert Hough, chairman of Peel Airports Group, had met the Queen during her visit to MediaCityUK.

Hough said: “The Queen’s presence created such a wonderful and everlasting memory of the occasion.

“She exuded such grace and showed an extraordinary interest in all those she met.”

Peel L&P chairman John Whittaker shared his condolences on Twitter.

“I had the privilege of meeting Her Majesty a number of years ago and have the upmost respect for the dedication she has shown to our country during her remarkable reign,” he wrote.

“Her loss will be felt by so many across the world and my thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty’s family at this very difficult time.”

Chris Oglesby, chief executive officer at Bruntwood, said both his family and those working at Bruntwood had also met the Queen through the company’s philanthropic efforts.

“Despite the breadth of her activities, we always found her to be engaged, interested and charming whatever our interaction,” Oglesby said in a statement.

Oglesby also praised the Queen’s role as the Head of the Commonwealth. It was in this role, Oglesby wrote, that “we witnessed her spirit of togetherness and community, watching as she united people from around the world – something we will continue to be inspired by.”

Queen Elizabeth II was also the patron of more than 500 charities and organisations including the Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester Royal Infirmary, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Orchestra.

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