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Queen Elizabeth II

The moment the longest reign in British history came to an end


Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

The historic reign of Queen Elizabeth II came to a close at 3.10pm on September 8th 2022.

Her Late Majesty was at Balmoral when she passed away.

Her elder children, King Charles and Princess Anne, were with her.

Elizabeth II had reigned for 70 years, 7 months and 2 days. She had taken the throne on February 6th 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI.

The exact moment that her historic rule started has never been known. King George VI died in his sleep some time after midnight on February 6th 1952 but no one knew he had passed away until his staff went to wake him that morning.

As Queen Elizabeth II died in Scotland, the exact moment of her passing was recorded on her death registration. So, too, were the names of her parents.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II was announced at 6.30pm, just moments after a double rainbow appeared at Buckingham Palace and another rainbow glowed over Windsor Castle.

The reign of King Charles III began at the exact moment of his mother’s death. His Majesty has now reigned for a year.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.