The Queen, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, has passed away at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said the Queen ‘died peacefully’ this afternoon at Balmoral. The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral and return to London tomorrow.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday lunchtime that Her Majesty had been under medical supervision at Balmoral after her doctors had become “concerned” about her health.
The Queen’s children travelled immediately to Balmoral to be with their mother and were joined by Prince William the Duke of Cambridge.
The Queen was last pictured formally appointing new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, at Balmoral on Tuesday, her final public duty.
Queen Elizabeth II is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The Queen’s eldest son, Charles, is now King Charles III, while his eldest son, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, assumes the position of heir to the throne.
Former prime minister Boris Johnson said:
“This is our country’s saddest day. In the hearts of every one of us there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected.
“In these first grim moments since the news, I know that millions and millions of people have been pausing whatever they have been doing, to think about Queen Elizabeth, about the bright and shining light that has finally gone out.
“She seemed so timeless and so wonderful that I am afraid we had come to believe, like children, that she would just go on and on.
“Wave after wave of grief is rolling across the world, from Balmoral – where our thoughts are with all the royal family – and breaking far beyond this country and throughout that great Commonwealth of nations that she so cherished and which cherished her in return.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss said the country would now support the King.
“We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long.
“And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country, exactly as Her Majesty would have wished, by saying the words ‘God save the King’.”