BRITAIN’S longest-serving monarch Queen Elizabeth II has died “peacefully” at her private castle in Balmoral aged 96, two days after appointing Liz Truss the 15th Prime Minister in her 70 years reign.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
Confirming the news in a statement on Thursday, His Majesty the King Charles III said: “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.”
He said during the period of mourning and change he and his family would be “comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held”.
The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow, Buckingham Palace further said.
Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday. Crowds also gathered at the Buckingham Palace awaiting updates on the Queen’s condition and began crying as they heard of her death. The Union flag on top of the palace was lowered to half-mast at 18:30 BST.
Her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, who ascended the throne today upon the death of his mother, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
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.
The late Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, passed on last April at 99.