Queen Elizabeth II Dead at 96: Everything to Know About the Death of Britain's Longest-Reigning Monarch
Here's everything we know about the death of Queen Elizabeth, and what came as her family, the United Kingdom and the world over mourned the loss of the longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch of Great Britain.
Queen Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other sovereign countries whose work earned her respect and admiration from around the world, has died. She was 96.
"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon," Buckingham Palace said in a statement Thursday.
The queen's passing came after her health appeared to begin sharply deteriorating Thursday.
Here's everything we know about the death of Queen Elizabeth, and how her family, the United Kingdom and the world over has mourned the loss of the longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch of Great Britain.
Queen Elizabeth Is Laid to Rest
Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral took place in London's historic Westminster Abbey on Monday, ending the United Kingdom's official period of mourning for its longest-reigning monarch.
President Biden and over 100 other heads of state were among the around 500 foreign leaders who attended the event.
Young Royals Pay Their Respects to Their Queen
Prince George and Princess Charlotte were praised for how they conducted themselves during Queen Elizabeth's funeral, carrying themselves with grace as they said goodbye to their great-grandmother.
Princess Charlotte could be seeing waiting as the Queen Consort and her mother, Catherine, Princess of Wales, exited their car. Prince George, now second in line to the throne, could be seen saying "good morning" to a member of the clergy. At one point, Prince George could be seen being comforted by his mother during the service. At another point in the day, Princess Charlotte broke down in tears.
But the pair were aware of their duties as members of the royal family as well. As the two children waited for the great-grandmother’s coffin to pass them at Wellington Arch, Princess Charlotte could be seen telling Prince George, “You need to bow.” Her big brother could be seen listening intently.
Security Was of the Utmost Concern When Preparing for the Queen's Funeral
A 12-mile “ring of steel” snaked around Central London, where two million people crowded, 500 world leaders among them, to say their final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth II Monday. How did authorities keep everyone safe?
Approximately 10,000 police officers from across Great Britain were called up for duty. Armed officers were positioned on rooftops with sniper rifles, while drones were banned from the skies in the area.
Former President Obama Reflects on His Time Spent With Queen Elizabeth
Immediately struck by how much the queen reminded him of his own grandmother, in not just appearance but also in manner, Obama said Queen Elizabeth was "gracious," but also had a "no nonsense" quality, was an "excellent listener" who had a genuine curiosity "although she was impatient to get to the point."
King Charles III Requests Harry Wear His Military Uniform to the Queen's Vigil After Previous Prohibition
King Charles III has reportedly changed his mind after having decided that Prince Harry would not be permitted to wear military uniform at any point during the services for Queen Elizabeth II. The king will permit Harry to join his brother Prince William in wearing their military uniforms at the vigil on Saturday.
Pomp and Ceremony Surrounding the Queen’s Death Takes Its Toll
A guard standing watch over the casket of Queen Elizabeth II fainted and fell headfirst to the floor. The scary incident happened at 1 a.m. as thousands filed past the queen’s coffin. Two Scotland Yard officers rushed to help.
It's reminding many of the moment King Charles III was unsteady on his feet after walking for 40 minutes behind the queen’s coffin, then standing to attention in the hall.
Charles had no public events on Thursday, but Prince William and Kate Middleton were out and about, shaking hands with well-wishers.
Prince Harry’s Upcoming Memoir Reportedly Delayed Out of Respect for Queen's Passing
The publication of Prince Harry's upcoming book is apparently being delayed, out of respect to Queen Elizabeth II, according to reports.
Originally set for release in November, the memoir is "now likely to be published next year,” the Daily Telegraph reported. There is speculation that the book "will be used to settle scores” and target King Charles III, Queen Camilla and Prince William.
Tension Behind the Palace Walls
Though the queen’s son Prince Andrew and grandson Prince Harry will not be wearing traditional military regalia for the mourning events since they are no longer senior working royals, an exception is being made once for Prince Andrew that has raised some eyebrows.
Prince Andrew will be allowed to wear his Navy uniform at a vigil for the queen, despite having been stripped of his rank, but Prince Harry, who served in the British Army for 10 years, rose to the rank of Captain and undertook two tours of Afghanistan, will not be allowed to wear his uniform.
Queen Elizabeth II Impersonator Retires Out of 'Respect' for Late Monarch
Mary Reynolds has been impersonating Queen Elizabeth II for more than 30 years, but she has now hung up her faux crown out of respect to the late monarch. The time has come to put aside all things related to being a pretend monarch, she said.
“It’s been a great privilege to look like her because I think she’s so incredible,” Reynolds told Britain's PA news agency. “I mean, it’s a change of an era now, it’s all going to be very weird."
Tributes Pour in From the U.S. And Around the World
Tributes from across the country and world are pouring in to honor Queen Elizabeth II.
The lights on the Empire State Building shone purple and silver in her honor. In Los Angeles, city hall was illuminated with red lights.
Late-night talk-show hosts, including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden also paid their respects.
Others shared messages on social media, including Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross, who performed outside Buckingham Palace during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
The queen is also being remembered for her sense of humor and wit, along with the beloved corgis who kept her company over the years.
King Charles III Arrives at Buckingham Palace
In his first trip to Buckingham Palace as king, his majesty King Charles III arrived in London Friday from Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
He greeted cheering crowds gathered outside the palace as some sang "God save the king” as he embarks on his first day of duties since taking the throne following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.
King Charles is said to have a stacked schedule where he will meet with the United Kingdom's new prime minister, Liz Truss, who is new to the job after being appointed earlier this week and was the final prime minister to meet the Queen Tuesday, NBC reported.
The United Kingdom has entered a 10-day mourning period with many events canceled such as the English Premier League and the coveted Mercury Prize music award ceremony.
The Royal Family and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Speak on Queen Elizabeth II's Passing
Queen Elizabeth's oldest child, now known as King Charles III, said in a statement that "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," he continued.
Outside Downing Street, Prime Minister Liz Truss said "we are all devastated" at the news of the queen's death, which she called a "huge shock to the nation and the world."
Saying the queen was a "rock on which modern Britain was built," the prime minister added, "Britain is the great country it is today because of her.
"Her devotion to duty is an example to us all," she continued.
U.S. Presidents Honor the Life of Queen Elizabeth II
It's been estimated that 90% of the people alive today have known of no other monarch of England than Queen Elizabeth II. She was just 26 when she ascended to the throne, and her enduring presence transcended the United Kingdom to become a beloved figure all over the world.
In 1957, she made her first state visit to the United States, and over the years, met 13 U.S. presidents. She welcomed then-President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama to Buckingham Palace in 2009.
"Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us," Obama said, in part, in a tribute to the queen.
Ten years later, she gave former President Donald Trump the full pomp-and-circumstance when he and Melania made a state visit. "What a grand and beautiful lady she was—there was nobody like her!" Trump said in part in a statement released on Truth Social.
President Joe Biden, who visited the queen just last year with first lady Jill Biden, said in part, "Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world."
Prince Charles Becomes King Charles III in the Wake of the Death of His Mother
In the announcing of Queen Elizabeth II's death, Buckingham Palace used the new titles Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, now hold.
"The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow," the statement said.
And the king's statement on his mother's passing began, "A statement from His Majesty The King."
As Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay from 1952 to his accession to the throne, King Charles was the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He was also the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held the title from 1958 until his accession Thursday.
Family Drew Near as Queen Elizabeth II's Health Began Waning
The queen’s four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as her grandson Prince William, were with her at Balmoral. Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was also by the queen’s side, according to reports.
Prince Harry, who was already in the United Kingdom for a charity event, arrived in Balmoral after his grandmother's death. The Duchess of Cambridge, commonly known as Kate Middleton, remained in Windsor as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were in school. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, remained in London but did not attend the WellChild awards event as originally planned.
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