Queen Elizabeth II, died earlier this morning (8 September) at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Buckingham Palace’s statement reads: “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.”
Queen Elizabeth’s oldest son, 73-year-old Prince Charles, becomes the King of the United Kingdom by default, as well as the head of state for 14 other realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Queen Elizabeth had been suffering from “episodic mobility problems” since last year and withdrew from almost all public engagements, and her family had rushed to be by her side at her home at the Balmoral Castle after doctors expressed concerns about her health.
She was the oldest and longest-serving head of state in the world, coming to the throne on 6 February 1952 at the age of 25 following the death of her father, King George VI.
Buckingham Palace’s statement
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’ statement
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.