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Nation mourns the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty is succeeded by her eldest son and heir, the Prince of Wales, who becomes King Charles III.

Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, peacefully at her home of Balmoral.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died on Thursday afternoon. The news was announced after her family had flown in to be together at the Queen's Scottish home.

She had pledged to dedicate her life to duty and did just that until her final days, last seen to be in good spirits in a photograph after appointing her 15th prime minister just 48 hours before.

In a statement at 6.30pm, Buckingham Palace confirmed that she had died and reassured the public that the moment had been peaceful.

The Queen’s health is understood to have deteriorated rapidly on Thursday, with members of her family making last-minute arrangements to fly to Balmoral.

She is succeeded by her eldest son and heir, until then the Prince of Wales, who became King upon the moment of her death.

A spokesman confirmed that he will be known as King Charles III. The Duchess of Cornwall has become the Queen Consort.

In a written statement on Thursday night, the King described his mother’s death as a “moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”.

Queen Elizabeth II'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 news will set in motion a period of national mourning for a monarch few can remember life without.

It was announced in a brief but moving statement, only after senior members of the Royal family gathered at Balmoral to say their final farewell.

Under the simple heading “Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022” in a statement issued at 6.30pm on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

“The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

For her millions of admirers, news of the Queen’s death came suddenly, just six hours after it emerged she was seriously unwell.

She was last photographed formally appointing Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister, at Balmoral on Tuesday.

NFU president Minette Batters shared her deepest condolences with the Royal Family.

“Words cannot describe the deep sense of sadness that I and the rest of the farming community will feel at the news of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

“Her Majesty has been the embodiment of duty and public service, seeing the country through seven decades where we have seen huge change in our nation and in our fields.

“The Queen’s deep connection to the countryside has been valued enormously by farmers and has left a remarkable legacy that will continue for generations.

“On behalf of farmers in England and Wales, I would like to send my deepest condolences to the King, Queen Consort and the Royal Family at this truly sad time for our country.”

Soil Association CEO Helen Browning joined these tributes: “We are deeply saddened at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with our patron, His Royal Highness King Charles III and the entire Royal Family.

“It is with immense admiration that we reflect on Her Majesty’s extraordinary service to the UK and the Commonwealth and we share the nation’s sorrow at her loss. We will celebrate and miss her equally as a remarkable monarch, inspirational woman and a warm and trusted constant across seven decades.”


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