Queen Elizabeth II dies at the age of 96, leaving behind a long and complicated legacy

While overseeing the transitions in Britain’s place in the world and its relationship with its former colonies, Queen Elizabeth also reigned as her own family’s relationships and actions came under scrutiny. In the 1990s, Elizabeth dealt with scandals and tragedies such as the extramarital affairs and divorce of her son Prince Charles – who has now become king – and his wife Diana, who later died in an accident caused by media harassment.

Over the years, Elizabeth has also tried – sometimes unsuccessfully – to downplay allegations of sexual abuse against her son Prince Andrew and allegations of racism against her husband Prince Philip, who died last year. And Elizabeth has been criticized for contributing to an atmosphere of racism and hostility towards her grandson Prince Harry’s wife, actress Meghan Markle, leading to Harry and Meghan leaving Britain and retiring from the royal family. These various scandals have tarnished, but not destroyed, the legacy of Queen Elizabeth and the royal family. The Queen celebrated her 70th birthdayth anniversary as monarch – her platinum jubilee – in a lavish celebration earlier this summer.

This long reign and legacy will no doubt be discussed for years to come, as Queen Elizabeth’s death marks the end of an era and heralds a momentous change for the monarchy and the United Kingdom.

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