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Elizabeth's passing closes book on seven decades of continuity

Monarch offered reassuring presence in a changing Britain

Queen Elizabeth II opens a plant sciences laboratory at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden in 2011.   © Reuters

The U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth II, a unique symbol of national continuity in an age of polarization and economic turmoil, has died at her stately home in Balmoral, Scotland, aged 96.

She ruled for more than 70 years, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. She is succeeded by her son Charles.

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