Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, has died at age 96, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.
The Queen’s oldest son Charles has now become King Charles III.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” the royal family announced in a statement posted on its official Twitter account, referring to Charles as the new King for the first time.
We feel a great loss at the loss of a beloved Mother and Sovereign. I am confident that the nation, the Realms, the Commonwealth, and a great many more people will be devastated by her passing,” he added in a statement.
After her father, King George VI, died in 1952, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne, presided over the final years of the British empire, endured internal controversy and international turmoil, and radically modernized the monarchy.
After medics claimed they had grown concerned about her condition on Thursday, she passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Elizabeth, one of the most well-known historical figures, ruled the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth kingdoms.
The Queen’s four children were at Balmoral Castle when the announcement was made.
Charles rushed to the Scottish castle earlier on Thursday together with his wife, Camilla. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, known as Princess Royal, was already there.
The Queen’s other two sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as Edward’s wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, arrived at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon. Prince William, who is now the heir apparent to the throne, was also present.
According to their official Twitter account, Prince William and his wife Catherine have adopted the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. By that name, Charles and Camilla were once known. Their three children attended their first day of school at a new school while Catherine stayed in Windsor.
The spokeswoman said Prince Harry was also on his route to Balmoral. The statement also stated that his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was not accompanying him on the trip.
The Queen’s ceremonial appointment of Liz Truss as the new prime minister of the UK on Tuesday was her last public appearance. The monarch was seen in an audience member’s image grinning while holding a walking stick and standing in Balmoral’s drawing room.
Ever since a brief hospitalization in October of last year, there have been worries about the Queen’s health. She has intermittent mobility problems, which have occasionally forced her to cancel engagements with the government.
But on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had postponed a virtual meeting of her Privy Council after being advised by doctors to rest. This raised even more concerns.
The Queen was under medical monitoring, but the palace claimed on Thursday that she was “comfortable” there at Balmoral. Throughout the day, her kids flocked to her side, signaling the gravity of the issue.