Elizabeth II, the longest serving Queen of the United Kingdom, has died at the age of 96.

The announcement was made on Thursday (8). On June 5 this

year, the United Kingdom celebrated 70 years of Elizabeth II's reign, the longest in the island nation's history.

Born on April 21, 1926, London, England, the monarch assumed the throne on February 6, 1952, at the age of 25, being the sixth woman to ascend the British throne.

"The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral

this evening and return to London tomorrow," Buckingham Palace said in a statement

an announcement received with enormous emotion in the UK, where Elizabeth II was very popular.

Elizabeth married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947, with whom she had four children:

Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Andrew, Duke of York; and Edward, Earl of Wessex. The Queen leaves eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, as she was christened, was named after her mother, also named

Elizabeth, who was known as the "Queen Mother" and who died in 2002 at the age of 101.