The Queen’s oldest son Charles has now become King Charles III.
“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 royal family said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account, referring to Charles as the new King for the first time.
The King said in a statement that the Queen’s death was “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,” he said in a statement.
Crowds of mourners gathered outside Balmoral Castle and other royal residences, despite heavy downpours in parts of the UK on Thursday evening. Many brought flowers and lit candles, some looking visibly shaken by the news. In keeping with the royal tradition, a written statement announcing the Queen’s death was displayed on the gates of Buckingham Palace. At a striking moment just after the official announcement was made, the heavy rain battering London stopped and a large double rainbow appeared over the palace. In keeping with the royal tradition, a written statement announcing the Queen’s death was displayed on the gates of Buckingham Palace. In a striking moment just after the official announcement was made, the heavy rain battering London stopped and a large double rainbow appeared over the palace.
Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. She oversaw the last throes of the British empire, weathered global upheaval and domestic scandal, and dramatically modernized the monarchy.
She lost Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years and the longest-serving consort in British history, in April last year.
Elizabeth ruled over the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms and became one of the most recognizable women ever to have lived.