Breaking: Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces

The Prince of Wales is now King, having acceded to the throne immediately on the death of his mother.
Breaking: Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces

File photo of Queen Elizabeth II watching a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the first day of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Pic: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Queen of England has died, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Elizabeth II, 96, was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, serving as head of state for more than 70 years.

The Prince of Wales is now King, having acceded to the throne immediately on the death of his mother.

In a statement, the Palace said: 

“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 Queen was the first British monarch in history to reach her Platinum Jubilee, and has died just three months after the national celebrations in June celebrating her 70 years on the throne.

The Queen was also the longest-reigning still-serving monarch in the world.

She mourned the loss of her beloved husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in April 2021.

The Queen was head of state, the armed forces, the Commonwealth and the Church of England.

The majority of the population has known no other monarch.

Britain will enter a period of national mourning, as tributes flood in from around the globe.

The long-held so-called London Bridge plans for the coming days and the Queen’s state funeral will now be put in place, as will the contingency element Operation Unicorn for a death in Scotland.

The Queen is expected to lie in state in a few days’ time, with her funeral held in Westminster Abbey in central London in around 10 days.

Alongside her public duties, the Queen was also a mother of four, grandmother to eight and great-grandmother of 12 great-grandchildren.

The new King – Charles – is expected to speak to the nation and lead the tributes to his beloved mother.

The Duchess of Cornwall is now Queen, and as a Queen Consort, will be crowned at Charles’s side at his eventual coronation.

Fears dramatically escalated for the Queen’s health on Thursday when the Palace announced the Queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral.

The royal family including all of the monarch’s four children and the Duke of Cambridge made the urgent dash to be by her bedside.

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