- Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, has died at the age of 96
- She died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on Thursday afternoon, Buckingham Palace says
- The Crown passes immediately to her son and heir Charles, who will officially be known as King Charles III
- The new King said his mother’s death was a moment of “the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”
- Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen two days ago, described her as “the rock upon which modern Britain was built”
- The Queen steered the monarchy through turbulent times, as Britain’s Empire ended and its place in the world fundamentally changed
- She was head of state of the UK and 14 other countries, including Australia, Canada and Jamaica
- She is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren
At Piccadilly Circus in central London, people take pictures of a large image marking the death of Queen Elizabeth II
A woman bows her her next to flowers which have been place by an entrance to Balmoral Castle, Scotland Flowers have also been placed outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland
PA MediaCopyright: PA MediaAnd mourners have been laying flowers outside Windsor Castle, in BerkshireImage caption: And mourners have been laying flowers outside Windsor Castle, in BerkshireWhile at tonight’s Europa League match between West Ham United v FCSB in London, players paused for a minute’s silence before kick-off
National life will be put on hold Sean Coughlan Royal correspondent
After the sombre news from Balmoral, much of national life will now be put on hold in the days ahead.Television schedules will be cleared to reflect the scale of the historic moment. MPs will pay tribute to the Queen and will take an oath to King Charles. Flags will be lowered to half-mast on official buildings, there will be church bells tolling and gun salutes. Local and national organisations and charities will organise their own ways to pay their respects, with commemorative events and books of condolences.This will all lead up to the state funeral of the Queen, which is expected to take place in the next two weeks.The tone of public life might feel like a national pause for thought, with people considering their own memories of the Queen’s long reign.That doesn’t mean it will be a complete shutdown. Public transport and public services will continue. Schools, shops and businesses will stay open, at least until the day of the state funeral.But even if business carries on, it’s unlikely to be business as usual.
Archbishop’s prayers with the King and the Royal Family
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said in a statement that his “prayers are with the King and the Royal Family”.
The archbishop says he met her on many occasions. He paid tribute to her “clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness”.
Shock and disbelief in Windsor Helena Wilkinson Reporting from Windsor Castle
As the flag was lowered at Windsor Castle, and the announcement was made, there was stunned silence.Shock. Disbelief. Her Majesty the Queen had died at the age of 96.A woman next to me burst into tears. For most of the afternoon the rain had poured down in Windsor.Soon after the announcement, the skies cleared, and a rainbow appeared.Castle staff covered visitor signs in black paper. Crowds began to gather. They laid flowers. And candles.Windsor Castle was the Queen’s much-loved home. Locals here saw her as their neighbour.They along with so many around the world, will feel her loss deeply.Article share tools
Prince Harry arrives at Balmoral
The Duke of Sussex has now arrived at Balmoral, where a few floral tributes have already been laid, a few hours after his brother William and Princes Andrew and Edward. Prince Harry will join other members of the Royal Family as they mourn the death of the Queen, who died earlier this afternoon. His wife Meghan did not travel with him to Scotland.
Biden leads international tributes to the Queen
Leaders from around the world have been speaking of their sadness at the death of Queen Elizabeth II.US President Joe Biden spoke fondly of their first meeting in 1982 and more recently when she hosted him during an overseas trip in 2021.
She charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom. She stood in solidarity with the United States during our darkest days after 9/11, when she poignantly reminded us that, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’. from Joe Biden President of the United States of AmericaShe charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom. She stood in solidarity with the United States during our darkest days after 9/11, when she poignantly reminded us that, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’.Joe Biden President of the United States of America
French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute, saying the Queen was a “kind-hearted” monarch and a “friend of France”.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.” From Emmanuel Macron French President
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the Queen as a “role model and inspiration for millions”.He praised her role in repairing relations between the UK and Germany after “the horrors of World War II”.
She will be missed, not least her wonderful humour. From Olaf Scholz German Chancellor
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Queen Elizabeth was “one of his favourite people in the world”.
Church bells ring out in nearby Ballater
As the news came out about the death of Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral, the nearby village of Ballater fell silent. The only sound came from the church bells ringing out of Glennuick Church in the centre of the village. Passers-by stopped in their tracks and bowed their heads in an act of remembrance.This is a place used to seeing members of the Royal Family, a place which protected them and respected their privacy.
One woman said that while the Queen’s death was sad, Balmoral was the best place for it to happen because Her Majesty loved it here.
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign saw the world change dramatically but she remained a constant presence in the lives of the people of the UK and Commonwealth.
Formal notice of Queen’s death placed outside palace
This evening two members of staff posted the formal notice of the Queen’s death on an easel on the railings of Buckingham Palace.
The notice says:
We’ll treasure the Queen’s life of service – Labour leader
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has paid tribute to the Queen, describing her as a “remarkable sovereign”. In a statement he said:
“It is a deep, private loss for the Royal Family and all our thoughts are with them at this time. The nation shares in their grief
As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world. So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world. So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.
For seventy years, Queen Elizabeth II stood as the head of our country. But, in spirit, she stood amongst us.
Charles finally achieves his destiny
For Charles, there will be conflicting emotions. There will be great sadness, that he refers to in his statement, for the loss of his mother.But also, this is the moment he finally achieves his destiny. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir-apparent in British history. He will be the oldest person, at 73, to become King in British history.Charles III will know this is a challenge – to step into the role successfully occupied by Elizabeth II for so many years.He has had a long time to think about this, he hasn’t spoken about it – because it wouldn’t be appropriate. The only clue he has given, is that he fully understands the role of monarch is very different to that of the Prince of Wales.He will reign in his own way, but within the constraints of the constitutional monarchy.
BREAKING: New King will be known as Charles III
The new King will officially be known as King Charles III, it has been officially confirmed.
Scottish and Welsh First Ministers send deepest condolences
The first ministers of the devolved nations of Scotland and Wales have paid tribute to the Queen, sending their condolences to the Royal Family.Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted:
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said that he was “incredibly sad” to hear of the Queen’s death.
As our longest-reigning monarch, she firmly upheld the values and traditions of the British Monarchy. On behalf of the people of Wales, I offer our deepest condolences to Her Majesty’s family during this sad time.” from Mark Drakeford
Millions will feel a sense of personal loss
This news is, for the Royal Family and the nation, an absolutely massive moment – the moment so many people have dreaded for so long.It is a moment of great solemnity, and national sadness.It’s really hard to fully take it in. It’s no great surprise given Queen Elizabeth’s age, but nevertheless it is a moment of very considerable shock that she has died.
Millions will feel a sense of personal loss, and many will find it rather disorientating.It is not just the death of the longest-reigning monarch in British history, it is the end of one of the most remarkable reigns in the more than 1,000-year history of the British monarchy.It is a reign which will be remembered and talked about in years to come.Crowds of people have gathered outside Buckingham Palace this evening
God save the King – Truss Prime Minister Liz Truss says Queen Elizabeth II leaves a “great legacy”.
She finishes her statement saying it is “the passing of the second Elizabethan age”.Truss concludes by saying: “God save the King.”
A huge shock to the nation and the world – Prime Minister Truss
Prime Minister Liz Truss has been speaking outside Downing Street. She said “we are all devastated” at the news of the Queen’s death, which is a “huge shock to the nation and the world”. She describes the Queen as “a rock on which modern Britain was built”, adding: “Britain is the great country it is today because of her.” She said the Queen was a personal inspiration to her as well as many Britons.
The new heir
Since he was born in 1982, Prince William has been second in line to the throne – that is, two steps removed.
His father is now the King, and he has become the first in line. Prince William does not automatically become Prince of Wales as the title is in the gift of the monarch, but he is now Duke of Cornwall, and his wife Catherine is Duchess of Cornwall. Unlike the Queen, Prince William has known all his life that one day he would become heir to the throne. Behind him in the line of succession is his eldest child, Prince George. The nine-year-old is now second in line to the throne.