• Queen Elizabeth II passed away recently
  • Her cause of death – "old age" – is rare
  • This is what experts say the cause actually means

The beloved Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022, after a historic reign. She lived to the proud age of 96. 

The Queen was said to have died "peacefully" at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. A few weeks then passed before her death certificate was released.

Queen Elizabeth II's official cause of death was "old age"

The document, provided by the National Records of Scotland, confirmed the Queen's cause of death as "old age" – a rather uncommon cause in this day and age. But does "old age" really kill? Here's what experts say the term actually means.

Also interesting:

According to the BBC, old age is given as a cause of death when doctors observe a "gradual decline" but no "identifiable disease or injury contributing to a death."

In addition, Healthline explains that the aging body naturally deteriorates. It also becomes "less able to fight off infection," so interrelated health issues are common in old age.

Separating immediate from underlying cause of death

Old age, then, is the immediate cause, while natural health issues are the underlying causes of death. Typically, the underlying causes are specified on a death certificate.

But the Queen is a rare case whose cause was listed only as old age. Even so, her various health issues became a public concern in her final months. 

A doctor for the Queen registered her death certificate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The Queen's daughter Princess Anne was the official informant.

The rare "old age" cause of death was also in the news a year prior. The Queen's husband, Prince Philip, passed at the age of 99 in 2021. Old age was also his cause of death.