Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died peacefully at her estate in Balmoral last night, aged 96.
In a statement this morning, her eldest son, Charles – now 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.”
The Queen had been suffering from “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from almost all public engagements.
Her last public duty was Tuesday this week, when she appointed Liz Truss prime minister of England – the 15th of her reign.
News that the Queen’s health was deteriorating emerged shortly after midday yesterday when her doctors said she was under strict medical supervision, prompting her family to be by her side.
Royal palaces and government buildings across London, and many around the world, have lowered their British and other Commonwealth flags to half-mast.
Queen Elizabeth II was the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, arriving at the throne when she was just 25.