Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history and an icon instantly recognisable to billions of people worldwide, died aged 96, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.
Her eldest son, Charles, 73, succeeds as king immediately, according to centuries of protocol, beginning a new, less specific chapter for the royal family after the queen’s record-breaking 70-year reign.
Queen’s Eldest son, Charles will be the Britain’s new king
“The demise of my Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a time of the greatest sorrow for whole family and me,” King Charles stated.
“We mourn the death of a beloved Sovereign and a Mother. I understand her death will be extremely felt in the whole country, the Kingdoms and the Commonwealth, and numerous people all over the world,” Charles said.
Operation Unicorn: The plan for Queen’s death in Scotland
It is no unknown that the UK’s plan for the eventual demise of Queen Elizabeth II was codenamed London Bridge.
But there were specific requirements if the sovereign died when Queen was in Scotland, named Operation Unicorn.
The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland and part of the royal coat of arms, along with the lion of England.
The 96-year-old majesty died at her remote Highlands home, Balmoral, with all her family arriving at her side.
The Duchess of Cornwall is also there, and the Duke of Cambridge is on his way.
The day before, the 96-year-old Queen refused to participate in the Privy Council of Ministers of the government, which was held on the Internet, and doctors advised her to rest.
Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace
There are immediate concerns about the Queen’s health, much more pronounced than before and without any reference to mobility difficulties, reports BBC Royal Correspondent Sean Coughlan.
Since late last year, the Queen has suffered from what Buckingham Palace has said is occasional mobility issues.
The careful wording of the palace’s current statement suggests something serious may be going on, says former BBC royal correspondent Richard Sumner, a storm that can be overcome, but I think that judging by the careful wording of the palace, there may be something serious going on here,” said Richard Sumner.
Prime Minister Liz Truss stated that the whole country was extremely concerned regarding the news.
“My thoughts and thoughts of people across the United Kingdom are now with Her Majesty the Queen and her family.” she added.
On Tuesday, the Queen formally appointed Liz Truss as prime minister at Balmoral instead of traditionally doing so at Buckingham Palace.
Her Majesty has been at her residence in Balmoral since July, she spends her summer holidays there.