The Queen dies ‘peacefully’ at Balmoral aged 96 after historic 70 year reign

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Queen Elizabeth II has died today aged 96.

Her son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, is now King Charles III, as the world grieves his mother, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

All Her Majesty’s children had rushed to Balmoral today after doctors became ‘concerned’ for her health. Hours later she died, surrounded by her family.

At 6.30pm her death was confirmed. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘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’.

The Queen’s death will see Britain and her Commonwealth realms enter into a ten-day period of mourning as millions of her subjects in the UK and abroad come to terms with her passing. Her coffin will be moved to London on the royal train via Edinburgh before she lies in state in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament for four days. Hundreds of thousands of people will be able to pay their respects.

The state funeral is expected take place at Westminster Abbey in central London on Monday, September 19, which will be attended by her bereft family as well as 2,000 heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life around the globe.

And as her son accedes to the throne, there will also be a celebration of her historic 70-year reign that saw her reach her Platinum Jubilee this year – a landmark unlikely to be reached again by a British monarch.

Charles, who will reign as King Charles III, said today: ‘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.’

Tributes are already pouring in for Her Majesty, to many the greatest Briton in history and undoubtedly the most famous woman on earth. To billions around the world she was the very face of Britishness.

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