Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died Thursday at age 96. The announcement was made on social media by the Royal Family.
At 6:30 p.m. UK time, Buckingham Palace tweeted the first announcement.
The tweet was, “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.”
King Charles III, who succeeded his mother as monarch, released a statement 30 minutes later with a post on the royal family’s official Twitter account.
“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.” He wrote.
“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.”
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The United States Government also released their statement on Twitter.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch, She defined an era.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the death of Queen Elizabeth II is a time of mourning for the people in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.
He stated that the Queen is the only reigning monarch most Australians have known and the only one ever to visit their country.
“And over the course of a remarkable seven decades, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change,” he said. “Through the noise and turbulence of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.”
The British monarch is Australia’s official head of state, although these days the role is considered primarily ceremonial.
According to Buckingham Palace, The King and his wife, Camilla, now Queen Consort, will return to London on Friday. He is expected to address the nation on Friday.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby – spiritual leader to the Church of England of which the monarch is supreme governor – expressed his “profound sadness”.
He said, “My prayers are with the King and the Royal Family.”
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Sources: CNN, AP News, BBC News
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