Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II passes away at 96 | Live updates

With Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King

With Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King

Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K.’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years, the Buckingham palace has announced. Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

Obituary | Queen Elizabeth II, queen of the world

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

Also read | Queen Elizabeth’s death | Reaction from world leaders

The impact of her loss will be huge and unpredictable, both for the nation and for the monarchy, an institution she helped stabilise and modernise across decades of huge social change and family scandals.

Latest updates:

Tributes to the Queen

Sporting events cancelled as mark of respect

The world of sport reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday with a raft of cancellations across cricket, golf and rugby, while others paid tribute by holding a minute’s silence.

The second day of the third and deciding cricket test between England and South Africa at the Oval on Friday was suspended as a mark of respect, while matches in the domestic Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy were called off.

The English Football League (EFL) cancelled two fixtures scheduled for Friday, with the possibility of more postponements at the weekend.

“A determination regarding the remainder of this weekend’s scheduled fixtures will be made following a review of the official mourning guidance, in addition to further consultation with DCMS and other sports on Friday morning,” the EFL said.

British media reported that the Premier League is also likely to decide on the weekend’s fixtures on Friday.

At Wentworth, which is hosting the BMW PGA golf Championship, the flagship event of Europe’s DP World Tour, play was suspended on Thursday, and organisers cancelled Friday’s second round.

“She was truly an inspiration to people the world over … no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed,” the Tour said in a statement.

Peter Forster, captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, said the queen’s 70-year patronage was a “great honour”.

“Following her accession in 1952, Her late Majesty graciously accepted the Patronage of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews … although not a golfer, Her late Majesty’s 70-year patronage of the club was a great honour for its members,” said Forster.

Saracens’ game against Northampton Saints in the Premiership Rugby Cup later on Thursday was postponed while Scottish Rugby has suspended all domestic watches this weekend.

The British Horseracing Authority has also suspended all events for two days.

A minute’s silence was observed at Europa League soccer games featuring British teams on Thursday, while the U.S. Open tennis championships and motor racing’s Formula One will also observe silences.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe hailed the queen for her role in the successful staging of the 2012 London Olympics.

“In the most demanding of roles, she has shown exceptional leadership, grace, wisdom and fortitude, touching us across the full fabric of society, including sport,” said Coe.

“I will never forget her total commitment to the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” — Reuters,


Queen’s death marked around world with tributes and flowers

A double rainbow is seen outside of Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022 in London as crowds gathered on hearing the news of her health. The death of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died after 70 years on the throne, was announced later in the evening.

A double rainbow is seen outside of Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022 in London as crowds gathered on hearing the news of her health. The death of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died after 70 years on the throne, was announced later in the evening.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

As world leaders paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth on her death aged 96 on Thursday, ordinary people in Britain and around the globe paid their own respects to a woman who had been the face of her nation for more than 70 years.

On a rainy London night, thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace, in central London, some laying floral tributes outside the black iron gates. There were similar scenes outside the queen’s Windsor Castle home.

Royal superfan John Loughrey, 67, wept outside the palace as he paid tribute to the “inspirational” queen. He compared her and the late Prince Philip to swans, which are said to die of broken hearts when they lose their mate. She and Philip were married for 73 years until his death in April of last year.

“She went downhill after the Duke of Edinburgh died,″ Mr. Loughrey said. “They were like two swans.

“God save the Queen.”

Portraits of Queen Elizabeth were posted on billboard screens in central London’s Piccadilly Circus and the city’s Canary Wharf financial district, and also across the Atlantic in New York’s Times Square. Flowers were laid outside the British Consulate General in New York.

In Washington, the U.S. flag was lowered to half staff to mark the passing of a monarch whose legacy President Biden said “will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world”.

Her death was also marked in European cities.

In Berlin, flowers and candles were laid outside the British Embassy, while in Venice “God Save the Queen”, the British national anthem, was played outside the Italian city’s Festival Buildings — Reuters, AP


Vladimir Putin reaches out to King Charles III

Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the sea of world leaders who expressed their condolences to the British royal family over the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

Despite the tensions between Russia and Britain over the war in Ukraine, Putin reached out to King Charles III in a telegram. He wrote: “The most important events in the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty. For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.

“I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss. I ask you to convey the words of sincere sympathy and support to the members of the royal family and all the people of Great Britain.” — AP


Praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest: Pope Francis

Pope Francis told King Charles III in a telegram that he is praying for “eternal rest” for Charles’ late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The pontiff said he was deeply saddened to learn of the Queen’s death on Thursday at her Scotland estate, Balmoral Castle. He offered “heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

Pope Francis, who met with the queen in 2014, said, “I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”

Queen Elizabeth, who as queen was head of the Church of England, first visited the Vatican while a princess in 1951. The first pontiff she met at the Vatican as queen was John XXIII, in 1961. — AP

United Nations

U.N. Security Council pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

The U.N. Security Council stood in silent tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at the start of a meeting on Ukraine on Thursday after France’s U.N. ambassador, Nicolas De Riviere, the current council president, sent condolences on behalf of its 15 members to the Government and people of the United Kingdom, her family and friends.

As Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Mr. De Riviere said Queen Elizabeth presided “over a period of historic changes both for her country and the world,” and that “her life was devoted to the service of her country.”

Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Barbara Woodward, thanked the council for the silent tribute and said the Queen will be remembered “for her dedicated service at home, across the Commonwealth and around the globe” that “fostered peace and friendship worldwide.” — AP


Country’s saddest day: Boris Johnson

PM Liz Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson, said “this is our country’s saddest day.”

He said the death of the only monarch most Britons have ever known would provoke “a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected.”

He said her heir, King Charles III, would “amply do justice to her legacy.”

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer also paid tribute.

“Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon. As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world,” he said. “So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honor the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.” — AP


U.S. Presidents past and present express their condolences

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement that Elizabeth was “more than a monarch” and that “she defined an era.”

“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” the Bidens said. “She helped make our relationship special.”

Mr. Biden’s predecessor in the White House, Donald Trump, said in a statement that Queen Elizabeth “will always be remembered for her faithfulness to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow countrymen and women.”

“Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor. What a grand and beautiful lady she was — there was nobody like her!”

Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, also recalled the queen fondly.

“Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity,” the Obamas said in a statement. “Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.”

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter also issued statements expressing their condolences. — AP


Paris Eiffel Tower lighting turned off in honour of Queen Elizabeth

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a statement on Twitter that the lighting on the Eiffel Tower would be turned off on Thursday night in honour of Queen Elizabeth.

Ms. Hidalgo said she had ensured British Ambassador Menna Rawlings of the deep sympathy and support of Paris for the people of the United Kingdom.

“Tonight, the Eiffel Tower lights will be switched off in hommage to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Ms. Hidalgo said. — Reuters


Condolences are pouring in from around the world

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the Queen “embodied continuity and the unity of the British nation over 70 years. I retain the memory of a friend of France, a queen of hearts who marked as never before her country and her century.”

Germany’s Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, expressed sadness at the news, tweeting: “Germany remains forever grateful that she stretched out her hand to us in reconciliation after the terror of World War II.”

Italian Premier Mario Draghi in a condolence message hailed the queen as having been “the absolute protagonist of world history of the last 70 years.” Mr. Draghi, who is now acting in a caretaker role ahead of Italian parliamentary elections later this month, said Queen Elizabeth had represented the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth “with equilibrium, wisdom, respect for institutions and for democracy.” — AP


A moment of the greatest sadness: Britain’s new King Charles III

Britain’s new king, Charles III, said that Queen Elizabeth II was a “cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother” who would be missed around the world.

Here is the full statement issued by Buckingham Palace after Charles, 73, ascended the throne following his mother’s 70-year reign:

“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.”


‘New monarch will be known as King Charles III’

Royal officials have confirmed that Britain’s new monarch will be known as King Charles III, ending speculation about whether would use another name during his reign.

The former Prince of Wales has been known as Prince Charles since his birth in 1948, but British monarchs have in the past selected new names when they ascent to the throne.

The late Queen Elizabeth II said earlier this year that she hoped Charles’ wife Camilla, would be know as Queen Consort. — AP


The rock on which modern Britain was built: PM Truss

British Prime Minister Liz Truss says the country is “devastated” by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, calling her “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”

Ms. Truss said the news is “a huge shock to the nation and to the world” but that the Queen’s spirit will endure.

Ms. Truss was appointed by the Queen just two days ago, becoming the 15th Prime Minister to serve during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

The Union Jack flag atop the Prime Minister’s 10 Downing Street residence was lowered to half-staff after the monarch’s death was announced. — AP


A stalwart of our times: PM Modi

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our times. She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise. My thoughts are with her family and people of UK in this sad hour,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

“I had memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during my UK visits in 2015 and 2018. I will never forget her warmth and kindness. During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture,” the PM added.


Charles succeeds as King

The British monarchy’s rules state that “a new sovereign succeeds to the throne as soon as his or her predecessor dies.”

That means Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son, Prince Charles, became king immediately upon her death on September 8 afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Within 24 hours of a monarch’s death, a new sovereign is proclaimed formally as soon as possible at St. James’s Palace in London by the “Accession Council.” However, it may be months or even longer before Charles’ formal coronation.

In Queen Elizabeth’s case, her coronation came on June 2, 1953 — 16 months after her accession on Feb. 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI, died. — AP


Queen Elizabeth II has died

Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, has died. She was 96.

Queen Elizabeth spent more than seven decades on the throne as the U.K. rebuilt from war, lost an empire, transformed its economy and both entered and left the European Union.

She was a constant presence, the only monarch most Britons have ever known, and she guided the institution of the monarchy through choppy waters.

She likely met more people than anyone in history, and her image, which adorned stamps, coins and bank notes, was among the most reproduced in the world. But her inner life and opinions remained largely an enigma.

The impact of her loss will be huge, and unpredictable. — AP

Balmoral Castle

Royals arrive at Balmoral Castle

A fleet of cars carrying Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, have arrived at Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision.

The plane carrying the royal party arrived at Aberdeen Airport just before 4 p.m. local time, and arrived at the queen’s estate about an hour later.

Prince Harry, who was due to appear at a charity awards ceremony in London later Thursday, cancelled that appearance and is making his way to Scotland separately.


Crowd gathers outside Buckingham Palace

People shelter under their umbrellas as they gather outside Buckingham Palace, following a statement from the Palace over concerns for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s health, in London on September 8, 2022.

People shelter under their umbrellas as they gather outside Buckingham Palace, following a statement from the Palace over concerns for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s health, in London on September 8, 2022.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Crowds of people have begun to gather outside London’s Buckingham Palace as news spreads that Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.

More than 100 people, many holding umbrellas amid sometimes heavy downpours, have congregated on stone steps outside the royal residence, and dozens more are standing beside the gates, with many people peering through them.


EU chief offers ‘prayers’ for ‘legend’ Queen Elizabeth II

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday hailed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a symbol of Europe’s shared history and offered “thoughts and prayers” for the monarch.

“My thoughts and my prayers are with her. And she represents the whole history of the Europe that is our common home, with our British friends,” von der Leyen told a news conference in Rotterdam.

“She has given to all of us in all these years — always — stability, confidence. She has shown an immense amount of courage. She is a legend in my eyes.”– AFP

White House

White House says Biden’s thoughts are with Queen Elizabeth, her family

The White House said on Thursday that President Joe Biden had been briefed about the situation with Britain’s ailing Queen Elizabeth and that his thoughts were with her and her family.

“His and the first lady’s thoughts are solidly and squarely with the queen today and her family,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. — Reuters


‘God save the queen’: Londoners and tourists wish monarch well

“Get well soon” was the message from Londoners and tourists on Thursday after doctors said they were concerned about the health of Queen Elizabeth.

“Everybody is really stressed about it, we have had her for 70 years so we need to digest the whole thing because it suddenly happened,” London resident Sharon Gove said outside Buckingham Palace.

“Two days ago she was with the new prime minister then suddenly everybody is concerned about her. So it is not very nice but God save the queen!”

People pose for pictures outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse following a statement from the Buckingham Palace over concerns for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s health, in Holyrood, Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain on September 8, 2022.

People pose for pictures outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse following a statement from the Buckingham Palace over concerns for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s health, in Holyrood, Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain on September 8, 2022.
| Photo Credit: Reiters

Members of the royal family rushed to be with the 96-year-old monarch at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, where she had appointed Liz Truss as the new British prime minister on Tuesday.

The thoughts of American tourist Lupe Garcia, 60, were also with the family.

“Well I think it is very sad, I hope the Queen recuperates very quickly. I think everybody loves her and respects her and we want what is best for her and her family,” she said.

Some well-wishers were drawn to the palace just to be there after the news that the queen was ailing broke.

“I work close by and I heard on the news about her majesty’s failing health so I was concerned and it led me to come to Buckingham Palace, to be at the heart of the monarchy,” said Alexander Caplan, a 40-year-old who works as a technology entrepreneur.

Others were thinking of the queen and her family elsewhere on the streets of London.

Student Beatriz Cintra, 29, said she hoped the queen recovered and that the royal family could “navigate through this difficult period united and that they find peace in whatever happens”.

Bar tender Albert Laane, 18, summed up the thoughts of many, saying: “Hey Elizabeth, get well soon.” — Reuters


Prince Harry going alone, without wife Meghan, to see Queen in Scotland: local media

Britain’s Prince Harry is travelling alone to Scotland, without his wife Meghan, to be with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, after doctors expressed concern about her health on Thursday, PA Media reported. – AFP


Royal family gathers as Queen Elizabeth under ‘medical supervision’

Queen Elizabeth II’s closest family rushed to Scotland on Thursday, after doctors placed the 96-year-old monarch under medical supervision, prompting concern from British political and religious leaders.

Britain’s longest-serving monarch has been dogged by health problems since last October that have left her struggling to walk and stand.

Her children — heir to the throne Prince Charles, 73, Princess Anne, 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58, were either already at or quickly headed to Balmoral after the announcement.

A convoy of vehicles arrives outside the gates of the Balmoral Estate in Ballater, Scotland on September 8, 2022.

A convoy of vehicles arrives outside the gates of the Balmoral Estate in Ballater, Scotland on September 8, 2022.
| Photo Credit: AFP

They were joined by Prince Charles’s elder son Prince William plus his younger son Prince Harry, who has been on a rare visit to Britain after abandoning royal life to move to the United States. – AFP


Liz Truss says ‘whole country concerned’

Moments before, notes were passed to Prime Minister Liz Truss and senior members of her team in parliament, prompting them to leave the chamber.

Ms. Truss tweeted almost immediately afterwards. “The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime,” she wrote.

“My thoughts — and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom — are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.”


Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer

“Along with the rest of the country, I am deeply worried by the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon. My thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time, and I join everyone across the United Kingdom in hoping for her recovery.”


First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon

“All of us are feeling profoundly concerned at reports of Her Majesty’s health. My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and all of the Royal Family at this time.”


Archibishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

“My prayers, and the prayers of people across the @churchofengland and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today. May God’s presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral.”


Here are some facts about Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Elizabeth was born at 17 Bruton St, London, on April 21, 1926, and christened on May 29 that year in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace.

She became heir apparent when her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated on Dec. 11, 1936, and her father became King George VI. She was 10 years old.

She married navy lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, a Greek prince, at London’s Westminster Abbey on Nov. 20, 1947. They had four children: Prince Charles (born in 1948), Princess Anne (1950), Prince Andrew (1960) and Prince Edward (1964). Philip died in April 2021, aged 99.

She ascended the throne on the death of her father on Feb. 6, 1952, while she was in Kenya on a royal tour. She was crowned on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey, the first ever coronation to be televised.

When she ascended the throne, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and Harry Truman were leading the Soviet Union, China and the United States, while Winston Churchill was British prime minister.

She has been served by 15 prime ministers. During her reign, there have been 14 U.S. presidents, all of whom she has met bar Lyndon Johnson.

On Sept. 9, 2015, she surpassed the 63 years, 7 months, 2 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes that her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne to become the country’s longest-reigning monarch in a line dating back to Norman King William the Conqueror in 1066.

Elizabeth remains queen of 15 realms including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tuvalu.

She celebrated her Platinum Jubilee – the 70th anniversary of her accession – on Feb. 6, 2022. – Reuters

(With inputs from Agencies)

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