Queen Elizabeth IIThe longest-reigning British monarch Seven decadesBuckingham Palace announced he passed away on Thursday at the age of 96.
Queen Charles’ eldest son is now King Charles III.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” the royal family said in a statement posted on their official Twitter account, referring to the new king for the first time.
His Majesty said in a statement that the Queen’s death was “a moment of great sadness for me and all of my family.”
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of your dear Sovereign and a very beloved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, realms and Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” he said in a statement.
Crowds of mourners gathered outside Balmoral Castle and other royal residences, despite heavy rain in parts of the UK on Thursday night. Many of them brought flowers and lit candles, and some of them seemed shaken by the news.
In keeping with royal tradition, a written statement announcing the Queen’s death was displayed on the gates of Buckingham Palace. In an astonishing moment immediately after the official announcement, the torrential rains stopped over London and a large double rainbow appeared over the palace.
Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. She oversaw the last agonies of the British Empire, fended off world turmoil and domestic scandals, and dramatically modernized the monarchy.
Prince Philip, her husband of 73 and the longest serving consort in British history, lost her husband in April last year.
Elizabeth ruled the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth kingdoms, and she became one of the most famous women of all time.
The Queen’s four children were at Balmoral Castle when the announcement was made.
Charles rushed to the Scottish castle earlier on Thursday with his wife Camilla. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, better known as the Princess Royal, was already there.
Prince William, now the clear heir to the throne, arrived at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon with the Queen’s two other sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as Edward’s wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Prince William and his wife Catherine have been named Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, according to their official Twitter account. Charles and Camilla were previously known by this nickname. The couple are now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
Catherine stayed in Windsor, where their three children attended First day in a new school.
Prince Harry arrived at Balmoral after the announcement. His wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was not traveling with him.
The Queen was last seen in public on Tuesday when she formally appointed Liz Truss as the UK’s new prime minister. A picture from the audience showed the monarch smiling as he stood in Balmoral’s drawing room and held a walking stick. Truss is the 15th – and last – British Prime Minister appointed by Elizabeth.
There have been concerns about the Queen’s health since her brief stay in hospital last October. She has had occasional mobility issues, which at times led to her withdrawing from her official engagements.
But those fears deepened on Wednesday when Buckingham Palace declared the Queen postponed A virtual meeting of the Privy Council after doctors advised her to rest.
And the palace announced, Thursday, that the Queen is under medical supervision, but said that she is “comfortable” in Balmoral. When her children rushed to her side during the day, it became clear that the situation was dangerous.
Her death comes seven months after the queen celebrated the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. The United Kingdom officially celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in June with days of pomp and processions, and they made appearances at several public events in London.
Condolences began pouring in from around the world immediately after the announcement, underlining the global impact the Queen has had during her 70-year reign.
Speaking outside Downing Street on Thursday, Truss said the Queen’s death was “a huge shock to the nation and the world”.
“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built,” said the new prime minister. “Our country has grown and prospered under her rule.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has praised Queen Elizabeth II, saying she is “loved and admired” by the people of Scotland.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the Queen as a “good friend” of the United Nations, adding: “She has been a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the development of the Commonwealth.”
Pope Francis also mourned the Queen’s death, praising her “steadfast witness to faith in Jesus Christ” in an open letter to King Charles III.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada learned of the king’s death “with the thickest of hearts”, while Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised the Queen’s dedication to “duty, family, faith and service”.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a national address that the Queen came to define “the concepts of service, philanthropy and consistency”.
The Queen was the head of state in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have described the Queen as a “steadfast presence”.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than just a queen. “You have defined an era,” they said in a statement.
Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins said his country had lost a “wonderful friend”.
Her Majesty the Queen has served the British people with exceptional dignity. Higgins said her personal commitment to her role and exceptional sense of duty were the hallmarks of her period as Queen, which will occupy a unique place in British history. In a very symbolic moment in 2011, the Queen became the first British monarch to pay a state visit to the Republic of Ireland.
Many kings, queens and royal families from other countries have also sent messages of sympathy. King Philip VI of Spain, King Abdullah II of Jordan, King Harald of Norway, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands sent their condolences.
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