Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96, bringing to an end the 70-year reign of Britain’s longest-serving monarch and heralding the reign of her son, King Charles III.
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral two days after undertaking her final public constitutional duty, with the appointment of Liz Truss as prime minister, Buckingham Palace announced.
In a statement, the new 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.”
Tributes to the late monarch poured in from leaders around the world.
US President Joe Biden said in a joint statement with first lady, Jill Biden, that Elizabeth “was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” adding that she had been “a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her”.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.
“No foreign sovereign has climbed the stairs of the Élysée Palace more often than she, who honored France with six state visits and met each of its presidents. For her, French was not a mere relic of Norman ancestry that persisted in so many customs, but an intimate, cherished language. The Queen of sixteen kingdoms loved France, which loved her back.”
Plans for the Queen’s funeral and events surrounding it are yet to be announced, although preparations have long been in place under a plan codenamed Operation London Bridge.