Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest reigning monarch and a symbol of continuity and stability from the postwar era into the 21st century, has died at the age of 96.
News of her passing came in early this morning, 6.30pm London time (3.30am AEST). She passed away at Balmoral Castle, in the Scottish Highlands, just three months after Britain held four days of public celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70 years on the throne.
The palace announced her doctors had ordered the Queen to rest just a day after she appointed the 15th British prime minister of her reign, Liz Truss. Less than 24 hours later it was confirmed her doctors were “concerned” for her health and recommended she be put under medical supervision.
Her children and several other family members travelled to Scotland to be by her side.
Charles has succeeded his mother as King and head of the royal family. The 73-year-old is the oldest newly crowned monarch in British history. He has been first-in-line to the throne since he was three.
In a statement, King Charles III said: “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.”
Elizabeth became sovereign in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. She was just 25 at the time and in the 70 years since has morphed into an adored leadership figure and one of the world’s most admired women.