Queen Elizabeth II – monarch of the United Kingdom, sovereign over 14 other kingdoms, head of the Commonwealth, supreme governor of the Church of England, and an iconic figure in global public life for about three-quarters of a century – has passed away, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. She is 96 years old.
“The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the royal family said in a statement statement. “The King and Queen will stay at Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow.”
When news of her death, The flag is lowered atop Buckingham Palace in London, where mourners had begun to gather. According to royal custom, a framed copy of the death notice was placed on the gate of the palace. The BBC also began broadcasting the British national anthem and showing images of the late queen.
New King also released a statement in which he said his mother’s death was “a moment of greatest grief for me and all members of my family.”
“We deeply mourn the passing of a venerable Sovereign and a beloved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt across the country, Kingdom and Commonwealth, as well as countless people around the world,” said the King. “During this time of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our understanding of the deep respect and affection with which the Queen has been so loved.”
The royal family announced earlier on Thursday that the doctors were “concerned” about the Queen’s health and placed her under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her children and grandchildren traveled to stay with her.
The King was last photographed by a photographer on Tuesday at her Scottish residence, where she met Liz Truss to invite her to become prime minister. Truss and outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson traveled to Scotland, rather than Buckingham Palace in London, because doctors had advised the Queen not to travel.
In a speech outside 10 Downing Street on Thursday night, Prime Minister Truss said it was “a day of great loss”, describing the late queen as “the rock on which modern Britain has been built built on it”.
“Our country has grown and flourished under her reign,” Truss said. “England is the wonderful country it is today because of her.”