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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dies at the age of 96





Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

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

The Queen. Picture: Kirsty O’Connor/PA (59181945)
The Queen. Picture: Kirsty O’Connor/PA (59181945)

His Majesty the King 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.”

“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”

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

Liz Truss, who was appointed as the country’s new Prime Minister on Tuesday at Balmoral, said the Queen’s death is a “huge shock to the nation and the world”.

She said she was “the rock on which modern Britain was built and our country has flourished under her reign”.

And she said the country would give the new king its support.

“We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long,” she said.

“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’.”

The Queen on her last visit to Cambridgeshire in 2019, where she opened Royal Papworth Hospital. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Queen on her last visit to Cambridgeshire in 2019, where she opened Royal Papworth Hospital. Picture: Keith Heppell

Doctors had announced this morning that the Queen was under medical supervision and all of her children travelled to be with her at Balmoral, near Aberdeen.

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.

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

An official portrait of Princess Elizabeth
An official portrait of Princess Elizabeth

Her Majesty was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor in Mayfair at 2.40am on April 21, 1926, during the reign of King George V, her grandfather.

Her father, the Duke of York, was the king’s second son and would later become King George VI, while her mother was the Duchess of York, later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

She was named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra in recognition of her paternal great-grandmother, who had died six months earlier, and Mary after her paternal grandmother. Close family called her ‘Lilibet’.

She spent her early years at 145 Picadilly in London and at White Lodge in Richmond Park, and spent much of the Second World War in Windsor.

When she was born, she was third in line to the throne and was not expected to become Queen. But 10 years later in December 1936 her uncle - King Edward VIII - abdicated and her father took to the throne.

Following his death, Her Majesty came to the throne in 1952 at the age of just 25.

1953: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II wears the Imperial State Crown as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh - dressed in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet - wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the crowds after the Coronation. Picture: PA
1953: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II wears the Imperial State Crown as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh - dressed in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet - wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the crowds after the Coronation. Picture: PA

Her 70-year reign made her the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-serving female head of state.

She married the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip in 1947.

They had four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.

The Queen in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA (59181943)
The Queen in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA (59181943)

The Queen dedicated her life to her royal duty.

She 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.

[Read more: Cambridgeshire pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II]

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

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

A figure of stability in national life, the Queen was head of state, the armed forces, the Commonwealth and the Church of England.

She made many visits to Cambridgeshire, the last of which came in 2019, when she officially opened Royal Papworth Hospital.



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