Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

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Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96
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Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

The second Elizabethan era of British history came to an end with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s longest-serving queen, at the age of 96, kicking off the reign of her son, King Charles III.

Two days after fulfilling her final public constitutional duty by appointing the 15th prime minister of her 70-year reign, the monarch, for whom abdication was never an option, passed away quietly at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon.

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Charles now reigns as king, and the Duchess of Cornwall is the Queen Consort as a result of her death.The King issued the following statement on Thursday night:

“The passing of my cherished mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a time of the deepest sorrow for me and all members of my family.

“We deeply lament the loss of a beloved mother and beloved sovereign. I am confident that the nation, the realms, the Commonwealth, as well as a large number of people all over the world, will be devastated by her passing.

“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.”All four of her children had rushed to Balmoral after Buckingham Palace announced in a statement at 12.32pm that she was under medical supervision at Balmoral after her doctors said they were “concerned for her health”.

The first person to arrive was Charles. The Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York, and Earl and Countess of Wessex flew from RAF Northolt and arrived at Balmoral at around 5 o’clock as the nation awaited news with bated breath.

Additionally, the Duke of Sussex made a separate trip to Scotland and arrived after the rest of the family.The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace made at 6:30 p.m.

The King and the Queen Consort will spend this evening and tomorrow in Balmoral before traveling back to London.The flag of Buckingham Palace was flown at half-mast.

Addressing the nation from outside Downing Street, the prime minister, Liz Truss, who was told of the Queen’s death at 4.30pm, spoke of “the passing of the second Elizabethan age”.Elizabeth II will be accorded a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, expected to be held on Monday 19 September, though that has not yet been confirmed.

She is expected in coming days to lie in rest for 24 hours at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, with members of the public able to file past the coffin before it is flown to London for her official lying-in-state.

As Queen of the UK and 14 other realms, and head of the 54-nation Commonwealth, Elizabeth II was easily the world’s most recognisable head of state during an extraordinarily long reign.

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