Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. Britain’s longest-reigning monarch passed away at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne.
She is succeeded by her eldest son and heir, the Prince of Wales, who becomes King Charles III.
Her Majesty’s death comes after one of the most significant periods of her reign, in which she rallied the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, and felt the affection of her people as she returned to public life after the death of her beloved Prince Philip and celebrated her Platinum Jubilee year.
The Queen was last pictured in public formally appointing the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, at Balmoral on Tuesday. She postponed a virtual Privy Council meeting the following day after being advised by doctors to rest.
On Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that she was under medical supervision at Balmoral after her doctors became “concerned” about her health.
The Queen had enjoyed remarkably good health until her mid-90s, where she scaled back her public appearances after suffering mobility problems and illness that required her to rest.
As she increasingly suffered from what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility problems”, she was compelled to miss events, including the State Opening of Parliament, service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph and the Commonwealth Day service. In February, she contracted Covid-19 amid an outbreak at Windsor Castle.
Through it all, she maintained her devotion to her constitutional duties and was regularly photographed holding meetings in person and via videolink from Windsor.
The announcement of her death marks the start of national mourning, with the Royal court to spend one month officially honouring her memory.
Across the country, union flags will be lowered, church services held, and condolence books offered for members of the public to pay their respects during the most seismic institutional change of most of their lifetimes.
Her Majesty’s many admirers are expected to be welcomed to commemorate her life over the coming 10 days, during a lying in state at Westminster Hall, a funeral at Westminster Abbey and a spectacular ceremonial procession to her final resting place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Buckingham Palace will release official arrangements for the funeral in the coming days, after they have been signed off by the new King.
New era begins under King Charles
While the nation mourns the Queen, it will also mark the beginning of a new reign as a new era of monarchy begins under King Charles.
The Accession Council will now meet in St James’s Palace to agree the formal proclamation of the new King, which will be announced to the public from a balcony in the Palace’s Colour Court.
Charles is expected to be present at the meeting to take a religious oath, in what is expected to be the first time the historic ceremony has been televised live.
With inputs from Telegraph UK ( Click here to read the original)