Queen Elizabeth II dead at 96

The U.K.’s longest reigning monarch passed away surrounded by family at Balmoral Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II passed away “peacefully” on Thursday afternoon at 96, surrounded by family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.

Officials announced earlier in the day that the queen was under “medical supervision” and her family traveled to her summer residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to be at her side. 

Elizabeth’s 73-year-old eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, said the death of his mother is “a moment of the greatest sadness” for the royal family. 

“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,” Charles wrote.

His wife, Camilla, is now Queen Consort.

The royal family’s webpage went completely black after the queen’s death, only featuring a photo of Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953 and a statement about her passing.

Word of the queen’s death, at about 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time, sent Londoners into the street and to the front of 10 Downing Street on which the notice of her death was posted outside on the black, iron gates. 

U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, appointed earlier this week by the queen, upon Elizabeth’s passing said: “It’s an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years. Her long her life of service stretch beyond most of all living memories.”

As recently as Tuesday, the queen actively participated in diplomatic affairs when she met with Truss. However, the queen for the first time in her 70-year reign appointed a new prime minister somewhere other than Buckingham Palace, raising speculation about her health.

Condolences poured in from across the world. 

Canada, a member of the Commonwealth, placed the flag on Ottawa’s Peace Tower at half-mast in the queen’s honor.

Dozens of members of U.S. Congress posted their sympathies online.


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