Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, has died, leaving her folks in mourning however reflecting on a lifetime of responsibility through which she certain the nation collectively by means of 70 years of momentous change.
Her dying, on the age of 96, was introduced by Buckingham Palace at 6.30pm on Thursday. It marked a watershed second within the lifetime of the nation, leaving it with out its “matriarch”.
The Prince of Wales was at her bedside at Balmoral, her beloved fortress within the Scottish highlands, together with different members of the royal household. In the mean time of her dying, her son grew to become King Charles III.
The brand new King mentioned his mom’s dying was a second of “the best disappointment for me and all members of my household”. He mentioned the household can be “comforted and sustained” by the respect and affection felt in the direction of the Queen in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth.
Flags throughout the nation flew at half mast, whereas at Westminster a band performed “God Save the King”. As nightfall fell, 1000’s of individuals amassed outdoors Buckingham Palace to pay tribute.
Buckingham Palace mentioned: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” The King and his spouse, Camilla, who turns into the Queen Consort, will stay at Balmoral and return to London on Friday.
The Queen celebrated the seventieth anniversary of her reign this 12 months. She had represented continuity and stability for Britain from the postwar period into the twenty first century, appearing as a unifying determine at occasions of disaster.
Through the Covid pandemic, because the nation locked itself behind closed doorways, the Queen captured a temper of defiance and hope with a easy reference again to the second world conflict: “We’ll meet once more.”
The Queen, who carried out army service in that battle, carried out her final formal perform on Tuesday, inviting Liz Truss to type a brand new authorities. Truss was the Queen’s fifteenth prime minister; her first was Winston Churchill.
Truss mentioned: “It’s a unprecedented achievement to have presided with such dignity and style for 70 years. Her lifetime of service stretched past most of our dwelling recollections.
“She was the very spirit of Nice Britain, and that spirit will endure,” she added. “It’s a day of nice loss however Queen Elizabeth leaves an incredible legacy.”
Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair mentioned: “We’ve misplaced not simply our monarch however the matriarch of our nation, the determine who greater than every other introduced our nation collectively, saved us in contact with our higher nature, personified all the things which makes us proud to be British.”
French president Emmanuel Macron mentioned: “I bear in mind her as a buddy of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a long-lasting impression on her nation and her century.”
The nation was braced for the dying of the monarch on Thursday morning when Buckingham Palace issued a uncommon medical bulletin on the Queen’s well being.
The information of the monarch’s deteriorating situation was relayed to Truss within the Home of Commons shortly earlier than noon, as she made a press release to parliament on a state intervention within the vitality market.
The BBC suspended regular programming and the nation will now enter a interval of choreographed nationwide mourning, culminating within the Queen’s funeral later this month.
In keeping with custom, officers introduced a discover confirming the Queen’s dying to the gates of Buckingham Palace. The bells of Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral will ring out on Friday.
The Queen had been a central a part of life within the UK for seven a long time, because the dying of her father George VI in 1952.
Her reign encompassed the decolonisation of a lot of the British empire in Africa and Asia, in addition to the consolidation of the Commonwealth. It additionally noticed the emergence of the fashionable monarchy, which grew to become the topic of intense media scrutiny.
The Queen’s private reputation was an necessary think about sustaining help for the monarchy within the UK lately. When London hosted the Olympic Video games in 2012 she took half in a skit through which she appeared to sky-dive into the world.
She principally shied away from political interventions — though she discreetly let her issues in regards to the prospect of Scottish independence be recognized throughout the 2014 referendum, saying she hoped voters would “assume very rigorously”.
She was recognized mainly to her topics by her presence at public occasions and televised Christmas messages, which regularly emphasised the values of responsibility and dialogue.
She grew to become the longest-serving monarch in British historical past in 2015, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
King Charles will play a key function in main the nation’s mourning of his mom and is anticipated to go to all nations of the UK earlier than the Queen’s funeral takes place. He turns into monarch on the age of 73 after the longest interval as inheritor to the throne in British historical past.