- Queen Elizabeth II of England died at the age of 96.
- The queen had been experiencing several health and mobility issues, including testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the year.
- It was reported that the queen died peacefully at her summer residence in Scotland.
On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II of England died after an extraordinary 70-year-long reign. She was 96 years old.
“This is our country’s saddest day. In the hearts of every one of us, there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected,” said former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a statement.
The palace announced she died at her summer residence, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, with members of the royal family who had rushed to her side after her health took a “turn for the worse,” reported the Associated Press.
The cause of death has not yet been announced.
Queen had a history of health issues
Queen Elizabeth II experienced back pain over the years and had knee surgery in the 2000s, reported Time.
According to the news outlet, the queen was also admitted to hospital for an overnight stay in October of last year for what Buckingham Palace called “preliminary investigations.”
The queen had also been experiencing mobility issues — using her late husband’s cane since October 2021, reported Town and Country.
The monarch missed a service in London honoring Britain’s fallen veterans last November after spraining her back and was hospitalized overnight for medical tests, according to Forbes.
‘Considerably thinner and frailer’
On February 17, she was seen carrying a cane as she told guests at Windsor Castle she “can’t move” during an official engagement, reported News.com.au.
According to the news service, BBC reporter Daniella Ralph told the BBC’s Today program, “There are a couple of obvious aggravating factors here. Firstly that she is 96, and that immediately puts her in the vulnerable category.”
“Also, when you see the queen now, she is considerably thinner and frailer than she was a year ago, and of course, she will now have to be carefully monitored,” she continued.
Recent speculation over her health
Following her appearance on Tuesday when she appointed Liz Truss the new British prime minister, “concerns swirled about the queen’s health,” reported Today.
This was because she couldn’t travel to London for the ceremony, which is a break from tradition, and photos of the event show she used her cane indoors, and her hand was obviously purple.
NBC News medical correspondents Dr. Natalie Azar and Dr. John Torres speculated that this discoloration might be the result of recently getting her blood drawn or having an IV needle placed in her hand, either of which could lead to bruising in older people, reported Today.
Queen tested positive for COVID this year
Queen Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 in February, reported the BBC, despite receiving her first vaccine dose in January 2021, and is “believed” to have had all her follow-up shots after that.
Shortly afterward, the palace issued a statement explaining that the queen “is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week,” Yahoo News reported in February.
Booster doses critically important for seniors
“But you know what we tell everybody is that if you’re over 80 or 75, you should get boosted,” said Dr. Robert Lahita, director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at Saint Joseph’s Healthcare System and author of “Immunity Strong.”
Her eldest son and soon-to-be king, the Prince of Wales, also tested positive for COVID-19 after sharing a room at Windsor Castle with his mother at that time, reported the BBC.
“Based on what we know about COVID’s activity with regard to the heart and the vasculature, that means clotting, and I don’t know what variant of COVID she might have had, whether it was the Omicron or the Delta — and the Delta is still going around. That could have been the source of her demise,” said Lahita.
The bottom line
Queen Elizabeth II of England died peacefully at her summer residence in Scotland at 96 years of age after ruling the UK for 70 years.
Although vaccinated, the queen experienced COVID-19 earlier this year, had long-standing health issues, and walked with the assistance of a cane.
While a cause of death has not yet been released, experts say her previous infection with the coronavirus may have contributed to her death.