Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

Summary

The Royal Family issued a statement that Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-serving monarch, died at 96.  

"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 said. 

Numerous heads of state have sent condolences, praising Her Majesty's "steadfastness", proclaiming her a 'stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy'

Amid the public mourning, the national grief and the lowering of flags will come a transition of power and national memorializing, known as Operation London Bridge, that will overtake the country’s agenda for days and play out potentially for months before the coronation of a new monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

By the time the world knew about the queen’s death, her son Charles had already become king. Under common law, the moment of the sovereign’s death marks the moment the heir becomes the monarch.

King Charles III - as he will be officially known - will be the oldest person, at 73, to become King in British history. His wife Camilla, will become Queen Consort.

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

What happens next?

The country now enters an official period of mourning that continues until after the queen’s funeral, which is expected to take place 10 days after her death and be a public holiday.

According to protocol, as NYTimes reports, at 11 a.m. on the day after the queen’s death, a proclamation will be read that officially declares the reign of the new king, which is then passed across the country, first by heralds who will arrive on horseback wearing official uniforms that have roots in the clothing from the Middle Ages to read the news in Trafalgar Square and then the Royal Exchange in London.

Flags across the country are to be lowered to half-staff and stay that way until the morning after the queen’s funeral, with one exception. On Proclamation Day, flags will be raised until the next afternoon, and then revert to half-staff.

After the proclamation of the new king, attention will once again turn to the funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

The queen’s coffin is expected to rest in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace for four days after her death, before being moved in a formal parade to Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state until the funeral. The coffin will be placed on a raised platform draped in regal purple, and tradition dictates that each corner of the platform be guarded around the clock.

Members of the public will most likely be allowed to file past and pay their respects, and international dignitaries are expected to descend on London in the coming days.

The queen’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey.

On the morning of Elizabeth’s funeral, as her coffin pauses at the entrance to the church at 11 a.m. after a short procession, protocol calls for the nation to fall silent in a moment of reflection. After the funeral ceremony, the queen’s coffin is expected to be placed on the same green gun carriage that carried her forefathers’ coffins, in a final procession down the Mall, which runs between Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

It will then be driven to Windsor Castle, about 23 miles away, to the resting place of nearly all British sovereigns since George III.

Elizabeth will be buried alongside her royal predecessors at St. George’s Chapel, including her husband, Prince Philip, was buried there in April 2021

While the deaths of Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, and the Queen Mother are all sealed in the nation's collective memory, the death of Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, in 2021, was the most recent to stir patriotic emotion (albeit amid a muted ceremony due to COVID restrictions). However, perhaps it was the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and the nation's patriotic union that we will see again when Elizabeth is laid to rest for the final time...

One can only imagine what the next ten days will be like for many Brits...

*  *  *


Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

Update (1437ET): BBC confirms the new King will be known as "King Charles III." 

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Charles will be "the oldest person, at 73, to become King in British history." 

* * * 

Update (1428ET): Prime Minister Liz Truss said Queen Elizabeth II left a "great legacy," and "today the Crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III." 

"With the King's family, we mourn the loss of his mother and come together," Truss said. 

Truss concluded by saying: "God save the King."

* * * 

Update (1405ET): The Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son, has become the new monarch, King Charles III, though his name has yet to be confirmed. 

A statement from the King reads:

The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. 

During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.

The Queen's seven-decade reign was alongside 15 British and 14 US leaders. She was the UK's longest-reigning monarch and was highly respected worldwide. Here's what world leaders said immediately after the news of her death:

  • Trump hails queen's 'legacy of peace and prosperity for Great Britain'
  • France's Macron salutes Queen Elizabeth II as 'a friend of France'
  • India's Modi 'pained' by death of Queen Elizabeth II
  • Irish president calls queen 'remarkable friend of Ireland'
  • EU chief Michel salutes 'Elizabeth the Steadfast'
  • Israeli PM salutes Queen Elizabeth II, sends condolences
  • Ukraine's Zelensky says queen's death is an 'irreparable loss'
  • Biden pays tribute to queen as 'stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy'
  • Sri Lanka president offers 'deepest condolences' over Queen Elizabeth's death
  • Spanish PM hails Queen Elizabeth II as 'figure of global importance'
  • King of Belgians mourns 'exceptional' UK queen
  • Obama hails queen's 'legacy of tireless, dignified public service'

Her first appearance in TIME was in 1929. 

Here's the royal line of succession to the British throne:

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96
Source: WaPo

Watch a live feed of the developments following the Queen's death.

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Update (1331ET): The Royal Family has issued a statement that Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-serving monarch, died at 96.  

"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 said.

Earlier in the day, Buckingham Palace issued a rare statement that said the Queen was "under medical supervision" and doctors were "concerned" for her health. 

At 96, she was Britain's longest-serving monarch, stretching over seven decades. She represented stability for the UK in a postwar era.  

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

The Queen took the throne when Winston Churchill was in power. Her seven-decade reign saw the decolonization of the British Empire in Asia and Africa. Her popularity has kept her in power for many years. 

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

She became the longest-serving British monarch in 2015, surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. 

In global history, the Queen was the second-longest reigning monarch, outdone only by French King Louis XIV, who served as monarch for more than 72 years after taking the throne at age four and dying in 1715.

"Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones — my own is no exception — but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness," the Queen said in June. 

* * * 

Buckingham Palace released a statement saying after "further evaluation" on Thursday morning, doctors for Queen Elizabeth II are "concerned for Her Majesty's health." 

"Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision," the statement read. 

The statement continued: "The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral."

On Wednesday night, the Queen, who is 96, postponed her Privy Council meeting after being advised by doctors to rest. 

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

Earlier in the week, the Queen appointed Liz Truss to form a new administration as the new leader of the Conservative Party. She met with outgoing PM Boris Johnson, who offered his resignation earlier on Tuesday, ending his time in office. 

The meeting between the Queen, Truss, and Johnson would've occurred in Buckingham Palace, but the ceremony was held in Balmoral Castle in Scotland due to the monarch's mobility issues.

"The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime," Truss tweeted Thursday.

"My thoughts — and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom — are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time," she added.

Reports indicate the Queen's family has traveled to Balmoral. 

Daily Mirror says a Royal helicopter landed on the grounds of Balmoral. 

Queen Elizabeth II Has Died Aged 96

"It comes as members of the Royal Family are racing to see the Queen after the palace made a rare announcement about her health," the British newspaper said.

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Buckingham Palace have confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral on the afternoon of Thursday 8th September 2022.

Her family had been gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns about her health grew earlier in the day.

The Queen was 96 and had reigned. for 70 years.

Her death brings to an end the longest reign in the history of the United Kingdom, and one of the longest reigns by any head of state.

The BBC reports: The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “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.”

All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.

Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.

*Developing

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