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Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022)

9 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, died on 8 September at Balmoral Castle at the age of 96. The Queen served as patron of numerous arts organisations, among them the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Academy of Art; the monarch has been ‘Patron, Protector and Supporter’ of the latter since it was founded in 1768. Over the course of her long reign, the Royal Collection – ‘held in trust by the Queen as Sovereign for her successors and the nation’ – has become significantly more accessible to the public; the Queen’s Gallery opened to the public in 1962, while in 1993 the collection, previously run by the Royal Family, became a charitable trust. Museums and other arts institutions across the country have paid tribute to the life of the Queen; the National Gallery in London will be closed today (9 September) as a mark of respect, while the British Museum has announced that a book of condolences will be made available to visitors.