Photo Credit: British Royal Family
Buckingham Palace announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II Thursday. She was 96 and the longest-reigning monarch in Britain, whose tenure as the country’s Queen lasted for over seven decades.
Immediately succeeding the throne after her death is her oldest son, Charles, who is now King Charles III. “[It is] a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” said the King.
“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,” the new head of the monarchy added.
In a statement, the royal family confirmed, “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 announcement caused large mourning crowds to gather outside the Balmoral Castle, where the Queen’s body temporarily rested. Even with the heavy rains currently experienced by Britain, hundreds of citizens came to the castle and other royal residences to offer their respects to the royal family.
The world mourns the Queen’s death
The news shocked the world, and many leaders expressed their condolences to the royal family.
Pope Francis sent a telegram to the King saying, “Commending her noble soul to the merciful goodness of our Heavenly Father, I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your high responsibilities as King,” the Pope wrote.
“Upon you and all who cherish the memory of your late mother, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings as a pledge of comfort and strength in the Lord,” the pontiff added.
A spokesperson of Downing Street also revealed that Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Liz Truss has spoken with King Charles III after being informed of the Queen’s death late afternoon. The minister is scheduled to sit with other leaders regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid respects to the Queen through a televised address, “Like everyone across Scotland, the United Kingdom, indeed the world, I feel a deep sense of sadness on the death of Her Majesty the Queen. On behalf of the people of Scotland, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the King, the Queen Consort and to the entire royal family.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also issued a statement offering condolences to the country, “From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia. Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours,” the Prime Minister wrote.
Other world leaders, British artists and actors have all expressed sympathies to the death of the Queen. British authorities and the royal palace are expected to sit down and make all the arrangements for the Queen’s death services the following days which is expected to gather crowds by the thousands.
Fast Facts about Queen Elizabeth II
Birth date: April 21, 1926
Birthplace: London, England
Name: Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
Father: King George VI
Mother: Queen Elizabeth
Spouse: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (November 20, 1947-April 09, 2021, his death)
Edward, Earl of Wessex (March 10, 1964);
Andrew, Duke of York (February 19, 1960);
Anne, Princess Royal (August 15, 1950);
Charles, Prince of Wales (November 14, 1948)
From Prince Charles and Princess Diana: (1) Prince William and (2) Prince Henry ;
From Princess Anne and Mark Phillips: (3) Peter Phillips and (4) Zara Phillips;
From Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson: (5) Princess Beatrice and (6) Princess Eugenie;
From Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones: (7) Lady Louise Windsor and (8) James Windsor, (9) Viscount Severn
From Zara Phillips Tindall: (1) Mia Grace, (2) Lena Elizabeth and (3) Lucas Philip;
From Prince William: (4) George Alexander Louis, (5) Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and (6) Louis Arthur Charles;
From Peter Phillips: (7) Savannah and Isla;
From Prince Harry: (8) Archie Harrison and (9) Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor;
From Princess Eugenie: (10) August Philip Hawke Brooksbank;
From Princess Beatrice: (11) Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi.