Marking an end of an era, Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully on September 8, 2022.
Britain’s longest-serving monarch and the nation’s figurehead for the past seven decades, the queen lived to be 96.
According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, she died peacefully at her estate in Balmoral, Scotland, surrounded by close family.
The senior royals had gathered at Balmoral after the Queen’s doctors pronounced her health status as critical earlier in the day. Her grandson, and now second in line to the throne, Prince William and his brother Prince Harry were also present.
Her eldest son Charles succeeds her on the throne as King Charles III. In a press release, the newly crowned King said, “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.”
He also said that during the coming period of mourning, 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 his wife Camilla, now Queen Consort, will return to London today and are expected to address the nation.
The Queen recently celebrated her Platinum Jubilee to mark 70 years on the throne since she was crowned in 1952, following the death of her father King George VI, when she was just 25.
In 2015, she became the UK’s longest-serving monarch after surpassing the record of Queen Victoria who had ruled from 1837 to 1901.
Her reign spanned 15 Prime Ministers, from Winston Churchill (born in 1874) to Liz Truss (born in 1975).
Truss, who was recently appointed as the PM by the Queen, said the monarch was the rock on which modern Britain was built. On the new King, she said, “We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long,” adding, “And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country, exactly as Her Majesty would have wished, by saying the words ‘God save the King’.”
Messages from other world leaders also poured in following the sad news.
I had memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during my UK visits in 2015 and 2018. I will never forget her warmth and kindness. During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture. pic.twitter.com/3aACbxhLgC— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 8, 2022
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.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 8, 2022
A state funeral for the Queen is expected to be held in the next two weeks.