Queen Elizabeth II Dies ‘Peacefully’ at 96

Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty
Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty

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Queen Elizabeth II has died at age 96. She passed away at Balmoral, her Scottish country residence, on Thursday with members of the royal family, including her children and heirs, at her side.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the Royal Family tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Prince Charles is set to address the nation and world from Balmoral, to usher in a 10-day period of official mourning on the last day of which the queen’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey. Charles will be officially declared king tomorrow, Friday.

The announcement came after her doctors earlier in the day were “concerned” for her health and were keeping her under medical supervision, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

An emotional crowd quickly gathered outside Buckingham Palace, where an announcement of the queen’s death had been put on display. Some sang “God Save the Queen.”

Royal Family Rushes to Queen’s Bedside as Condition Worsens

The 96-year-old British monarch was evaluated Thursday morning, the spokesperson said in a statement. The queen “remained comfortable,” the statement added.

Prince Charles and Camilla were at Balmoral, along with Prince William, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie. Prince Harry, who was in Britain as part of a tour with wife Meghan Markle, also flew to Balmoral. Meghan did not travel with him. She could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, a source told the Daily Mail.

Dramatic photographs showed Prince William driving Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie into Balmoral. Meanwhile, people gathered in the pouring rain outside the gates of Buckingham Palace hundreds of miles away in London, awaiting a further official announcement—some had brought flowers.

Earlier in the day, a palace spokesperson said: “Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

NBC News reported that National Security Council spokesman John Kirby had told reporters that President Joe Biden will be “updated throughout the day” on the queen’s condition, adding the president’s thoughts were “solidly and squarely with Queen Elizabeth and her family.”

The queen had been suffering with mobility problems, and looked frail as she appointed Liz Truss as Britains new prime minister on Tuesday. She was forced to pull out of a Privy Council meeting the next day.

With over 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in British history. During her reign, the queen was served by 15 prime ministers—the first being Winston Churchill, in 1952—and 14 U.S. presidents.

Her 73-year-old son, Prince Charles, now becomes King Charles.

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