On Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace sent out a terse message, boxed in black: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon." Britain's Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96. She passed away "peacefully" in the afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The message was immediately posted at the gate of Buckingham Palace in London, where more and more people have been gathering for hours since the palace announced in the early afternoon that there were "concerns" about the Queen's health. At 6.30 p.m. local time, the flag at the palace was lowered to half-mast, and the news of the Queen's death was also read out on the London underground lines.
British news channels played the British anthem "God save the Queen" in honor of the Queen, which is now being rewritten. Her son Charles automatically becomes king upon the death of his mother, he is known as Charles III. take over the office of British head of state. Charles' son William, who becomes heir apparent, now bears the title of Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.
The House of Commons had already briefly suspended its session in the afternoon. Prime Minister Liz Truss and opposition leader Keir Starmer had been given notes on the Queen's health during the ongoing debate, shortly afterwards the speaker of the House of Commons interrupted the session to inform all MPs. The message only said that the Queen was "under medical supervision", but the palace rarely commented on the state of health of the monarch, which is why it quickly became clear that this time it had to be serious. For hours afterwards, the news channels alternately showed images of Aberdeen Airport, the entrance gate to Balmoral Castle and Buckingham Palace, where, despite the rain, more and more people gathered in the late afternoon.
The Queen appointed the Prime Minister on Tuesday
For several weeks, the British monarch was at Balmoral Castle, the summer residence of the royal family in Scotland. Most recently, it was always said that she had "mobility problems", which is why she did not change her prime minister in London on Tuesday for the first time in her 70-year reign. She appointed Liz Truss, her 15th Prime Minister and the successor to the resigned Boris Johnson, in the Balmoral drawing room. The photos that were taken, the Queen in a skirt and cardigan, with the fireplace flickering in the background, are now the last public pictures of the Queen.
Heir to the throne Charles and his wife Camilla made their way to Scotland in the afternoon, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Princess Anne and Charles' sons William and Harry also traveled to Aberdeenshire, where Balmoral Castle is located. Harry actually lives in the USA with his wife Meghan, but is currently in Europe anyway: he was just in Düsseldorf, the location of the Invictus Games he initiated, which will take place in Germany in 2023.
Charles, the new king, said it was "a moment of great sadness". He will travel back to London this Friday with Camilla, now titled Queen Consort. Prime Minister Liz Truss said in a short Downing Street speech that "we are all devastated by this news" and that the Queen was "the rock on which modern Britain was built". Truss ended her speech by saying "Long live the king". Numerous other heads of government and heads of state also expressed their condolences. "Queen Elizabeth II is a woman who has shaped a century," wrote Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to the royal family. "She was more than a monarch, she defined an era," said US President Joe Biden.
For ten days the nation will mourn. This also includes the Queen's coffin being laid out in the Palace of Westminster for three days so that the population can say goodbye to her. The state funeral is scheduled to take place on the tenth day after her death.
For many years there has been a detailed plan for the days after the death of the Queen, "Operation London Bridge". All important members of the royal family have code names after bridges for such cases. In the event that the Queen dies in Scotland, there is also "Operation Unicorn", which stipulates, among other things, when and how her body is to be brought to London. Transport by train is planned.
queen elizabeth II. was the world's second longest reigning monarch in history. Only Louis XIV reigned longer in France in the 17th century.