My1sttoday News — Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, Prince Charles ready to take the throne as the new heir.
The Queen had faced health challenges during the later chunk of her life — having experienced brief hospitalization in October of last year, continuous episodic “mobility issues,” and a case of the coronavirus in February.
But hours before her death Thursday in the afternoon, Buckingham Palace released a statement: “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 palace added that she was “comfortable.”
BBC soon stopped their regular programming. By 1:48 p.m. local time, the channel just read, “HM Queen Elizabeth’s health,” The Washington Post reported. Parliament members and journalists had also changed into black ties to reflect the “somber” news of her illness. She remained under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, reportedly her favorite place to relax, when she died.
Her family members — including now-King Charles — traveled to the castle on Thursday. Headed to Balmoral included Camilla, now-Queen Consort, and Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter. Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, also went to the castle.
Prince Harry also traveled to Balmoral and arrived after Queen Elizabeth died. Kate, the Dutchess of Cambridge, and Meghan, the Dutchess of Sussex, did not travel to Scotland. Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle were both surrounded by well-wishers supporting the royal family and mourning the Queen before and after her death.
According to the Washington Post, the Queen’s death was rumored and speculated online around 3 p.m. London time. The prime minister was notified about the Queen’s death at 4:30 p.m. local time, but it wasn’t officially announced until 6:41 p.m. local time by the Palace’s Twitter page: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”
Since her death, the royal website has been taken down and replaced with a message that reads: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and return to London tomorrow,” it added.
Her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, 73, immediately became King Charles III upon her death. His wife became Queen Consort Camilla. Buckingham Palace issued another black-bordered statement from “His Majesty the King,” shortly after her death.
“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,” the statement said. “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.” As the 41st monarch since William the Conqueror in 1066, Elizabeth was the symbol of stability as Britain and its 1,000-year-old monarchy sailed through roiling storms of the modern age, including a deadly pandemic.
Elizabeth enjoyed robust health most of her life, but lingering “mobility issues” affected her in recent months. She increasingly handed over duties to Charles, from the recreational to the constitutional. Last week, she couldn’t attend the annual Highland Games, the Braemar Gathering, which she never missed throughout her reign.
On Tuesday she presided over the transition of one prime minister to a new one, a constitutional duty as head of state which took place at Balmoral for the first time in her reign.
But on Wednesday, the palace announced she would not be able to attend via Zoom the meeting of the Privy Council, the standing committee of senior governmental advisers, after doctors’ orders to rest. She also missed significant appearances in June during the four days of celebration of her Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on the throne.
In February, two weeks after marking the 70 anniversary of her ascension to the throne in 1952, the palace announced she had tested positive for COVID-19. During an audience in mid-February, the queen mentioned to her visitors that she had difficulty “moving,” leading to “ongoing mobility” issues, as Buckingham Palace put it, that prevented some appearances, including the State Opening of Parliament on May 10.
She had missed this important head-of-state role only twice before during her reign, both for pregnancies, but for the first time she officially delegated Charles to stand in for her, accompanied by his elder son, Prince William.
She was preceded in death by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, who died April 9, 2021, at Windsor Castle at age 99, just short of his 100th birthday. He was Britain’s oldest and longest-serving royal spouse in 10 centuries.