Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces

The Queen passed away at Balmoral Castle on Thursday.

Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces STV News

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

She passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire with her family – including Prince Charles and Camilla – by her side.

The palace released the following statement: “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.”

Charles will now take the throne – he will be known as King Charles III – and is expected to address the nation in the coming days.

He said: “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.”

Earlier this week, the Queen was pictured meeting Liz Truss as she appointed the 15th Prime Minister of her 70-year reign.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Truss led a host of tributes from world leaders, describing the death as “a huge shock to the nation and the world”, concluding her address by saying “God save the King”.

She said: “We are all devastated by the news we have just heard from Balmoral. The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world.

“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”

Concerns were first raised around lunchtime on Thursday when the palace announced that doctors were “concerned” for the Queen’s health.

They said she was under “medical supervision” and senior royals – including her children Charles, Andrew and Edward, and her grandson Prince William – began travelling to Balmoral.

Elizabeth II had pulled out of a number of engagements in recent months as her health began to fail.

Under a plan codenamed ‘Operation Unicorn’, the Queen’s body will first be moved to her official Scottish residence – the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh – before being taken to London.

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 ten days.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Queen had led a “life of extraordinary dedication and service”.

She said: “The Queen was unflinching in her dedication to duty, unwavering in her commitment to public service and unmatched in her devotion to the people of this country and the wider Commonwealth.

“We are all saddened by today’s news and will come together in the days ahead to mourn.

“But it is right and proper that we celebrate the unparalleled contribution she made in her 70 years as Sovereign.

“The Queen came to the throne following the Second World War, reigned through decades of social change and lived to be the monarch who opened our Scottish Parliament in the age of devolution.”

‘Life dedicated to duty’

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.

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.

A figure of stability in national life, 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, hailing the Queen’s unwavering commitment to serving her country and the Commonwealth.

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