THE Queen died peacefully with Charles and Anne by her bedside yesterday as her family dashed in vain to Balmoral, sources claim.
Senior royals dashed to be at the monarch’s side after doctors shared the tragic news she had just hours to live.
Her Majesty the Queen has passed away aged 96
The nation has entered a period of mourning
The nation was gripped by news of the Palace’s announcement on Thursday that the Queen’s health was failing.
Prince Andrew, Prince William, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie flew to Aberdeen by private jet yesterday – but did not make it to the royal estate before Her Majesty’s passing, MailOnline reports.
Meanwhile Prince Harry arrived at 8pm, after the heartbreaking news of the 96-year-old’s death was announced by the Palace to the public.
The Queen’s death marks an end to her historic reign and sparking an outpouring of grief around the world.
In a sombre statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed Her Majesty Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history, had passed away – making her son, Charles, King.
Buckingham Palace announced in a statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral yesterday afternoon.
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The Queen’s passing comes as…
- Liz Truss hailed the Queen as ‘the rock on which modern Britain was built’
- King Charles told of his ‘greatest’ sadness as he paid tribute to his mother
- The Queen went from a shy daddy’s girl to a hero who dedicated her life to the country
- The Union flag flew at half mast as the devastating news was announced
- Prince Charles has now become King Charles III
- Prince Harry was pictured holding his head as he travelled to Balmoral to be with his family
- Crowds have gathered at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral to pay tribute to the Queen
Thousands of Brits took to the streets to pay their respects to the monarch, leaving flowers and gathering to remember her.
A tearful crowd broke into God Save the King outside Buckingham Palace yesterday when news of the death was announced.
Last night Charles, who will now be known as King Charles III, gave a sombre statement as he led the nation in mourning.
The new King said: “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.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was formally appointed by the Queen just two days ago, said the Queen’s death was a “huge shock to the nation and the world”.
She added: “God save the King”.
Tributes have also flooded in from other world leaders who met the Queen during her unwavering service.
US President Joe Biden hailed the royal as “more than a monarch” and said she “defined an era”.
Barack Obama said he and wife Michelle had been “awed” by the Queen’s “legacy of tireless, dignified public service”.
While ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the passing marked the “country’s saddest day”.
He added: “She seemed so timeless and so wonderful that I am afraid we had come to believe, like children, that she would just go on and on.
“We grieve for Elizabeth the Great, the longest serving and in many ways the finest monarch in our history.”
Meanwhile Pope Francis said: “I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queens eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the Queen as a “constant presence in our lives”.
He said: “It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canadas longest-reigning Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“She was a constant presence in our lives and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Her Majesty was an extraordinary and world-renowned public figure who lived a remarkable life.
“Her life and legacy will be fondly remembered by many around the world.
“The Queens commitment and dedication during her 70 years on the throne remains a noble and virtuous example to the entire world.”
And Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the hearts of his people go out to mourning Brits.
The UK was immediately plunged into a state of mourning, with plans for the Queen’s funeral and a national day of remembrance to be announced in the coming days.
Prior to her death the monarch was said by Buckingham Palace to be “comfortable” at Balmoral, where she remained under medical supervision.
Meanwhile cities around the world have lit up in purple or displayed the Union Jack in a mark of respect to the Queen.
The tireless monarch always put her sense of duty to the UK first, and carried on with engagements just four days after the death of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, in April 2021.
The love felt for her by Brits was clear in June when she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 incredible years on the throne.
Her Majesty beamed as royal fans erupted in applause as she entered the balcony at Buckingham Palace to kick off the four-day Bank Holiday.
The Queen met Liz Truss at Balmoral in her final days
She appeared in good spirits
It came after the Queen made a number of surprise appearances leading up to the celebrations – including at the opening of her namesake new Tube line in May.
Despite her sunny demeanour, she was advised to slow down as she handed more responsibility to Prince Charles.
He stepped in for his mother at the State Opening of Parliament in May after she was forced to pull out for the first time in 59 years.
The advice from doctors to take a step back followed a night the Queen spent in hospital in October 2021 to undergo “preliminary investigations”.
The Queen was later seen walking with the help of a cane, and a sprained back forced her to miss the following Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph – something that “disappointed” her greatly.
She battled back from a Covid infection and was captured displaying her beloved sense of humour as she met Justin Trudeau on March 7.
But Her Majesty was urged to slow down in the months leading to her death as her public appearances were significantly curtailed amid fears for her health.
She also moved to Balmoral in her final months as she continued to suffer mobility problems.
But she didn’t allow the move to get in the way of her duty and was pictured meeting Liz Truss on September 6 when she was announced as the new Prime Minister.
On the advice of doctors, she was forced to postpone her Privy Council meeting the next day after being told to rest for a “full day”.
The Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 at the tender age of 25, and was on a royal tour of Kenya when Philip delicately broke the news that her father, King George VI, had died.
The Duke of Edinburgh was at her Coronation the next year and remained a constant figure by her side at thousands of engagements over the next seven decades.
The royal couple married on November 20, 1947, and went on to have four children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren together – with the Queen affectionately known as “Gan-Gan” to the youngest members of the family.
Despite spending 70 years on the throne, Her Majesty was never actually meant to become Queen.
The monarch, pictured with her parents and sister Margaret, was never meant to become Queen
Her Majesty as a youngster
She was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, to Prince Albert, Duke of York, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Her father was the younger son of King George V, meaning his older brother Edward – the Queen’s uncle – was always due to become King.
But in late 1936, Edward sensationally abdicated to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson in a scandal that rocked the Royal Family.
His abdication after just 326 days elevated Prince Albert to King George VI – and ten-year-old Elizabeth was now heir to the throne.
Her formal coronation as Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey – making her the sixth woman in history to ascend to the British throne.
The Queen spent her first ten years in charge overhauling the stuffy, unapproachable image of the royals that Brits were used to and transforming them into a more modern and relatable family.
The Queen was coronated in 1953
In an unprecedented move, she even televised her annual Christmas broadcast for the first time in 1957 in a now annual tradition watched by millions.
Seen as a shining beacon of hope to punctuate the darkest moments in Britain’s history, Her Majesty became the epitome of a true leader thanks to her unwavering strength.
Even before she was Queen, she vowed: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.”
And while she remained true to her word, she let the mask slip a handful of times – endearing her to the nation even more as a royal who was brave enough to show emotion.
The Queen was seen looking heartbroken while she visited Aberfan in 1966, where a colliery spoil tip had collapsed killing 144 people including 116 children.
She also famously shed a tear while attending the decommissioning of her beloved Royal Yacht Britannia during a ceremony in Portsmouth in 1997 after 22 years of service.
But it was in 1992 during her 40th year on the throne that the Queen stunned the nation by revealing it was not a year she would look back on “with undiluted pleasure”.
The Queen married her prince in 1947
The couple enjoyed an enduring marriage
The separation of Prince Andrew from the Duchess of York, Princess Anne’s divorce from Captain Mark Phillips and Prince Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana crumbling left the Firm facing its most tumultuous year since Edward’s abdication.
A subsequent Andrew Morton biography on Diana portrayed the royals as uncaring robots who had essentially chucked the People’s Princess to the wolves.
The bombshell – coupled with pictures of the Duke of York’s estranged wife Sarah Ferguson getting her toes sucked on a yacht and a fire at Windsor Castle – led to the Queen branding it her “annus horribilis”.
Cracks that had already started to form in public opinion of the royals were then deepened by the family’s reaction to Diana’s death in 1997.
Many began to see the institution as out of touch and anger grew as the grieving nation demanded the flag over Buckingham Palace be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.
Although she ultimately broke royal protocol to ease rising tensions across Britain, it took five days for the Queen to address the nation after Diana’s death, as she was with Prince Harry and Prince William in Balmoral.
Her Majesty was known for her sparkling wit
Prince Charles will now be King
In her first live broadcast since the Gulf War in 1991, Her Majesty said: “We have all felt those emotions in these last few days. So what I say to you now as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from the heart.
“First, I want to pay tribute to Diana, myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others, especially for her devotion to her two boys.”
Although the reaction was delayed, the Queen had won back the public with her rare show of grief and continued to remain a resolute leader.
In a more recent broadcast to the nation as Covid ravaged the UK and plunged Brits into lockdown, she brought calm during troubling times by promising better days would come.
Evoking the spirit of Forces’ Sweetheart Vera Lynn, she said: “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
She also ensured she was still relevant to the social media generation thanks to an Instagram and Twitter account highlighting her gruelling public service.
The Queen also successfully steered the Royal Family through waves of recent scandals – including a racism row, Prince Andrew’s alleged sex abuse shame and Megxit – without ever crumbling.
In her final months she was forced to walk with the use of a cane and pulled out of the Commonwealth Day service on March 14.
But the sparkling wit that endeared her to the world was never lost as she made jokes while cutting cakes with swords and at events close to her heart.
Though rumours constantly swirled she would step aside and let Charles take the throne, Her Majesty always remained a stable presence at the head of the Firm.
Charles now faces the mammoth task of stepping into his mother’s shoes after decades of unwavering service to the country she loved so much.
The Queen’s death is announced tonight
The Palace used this stunning image to make the announcement
The flag is flown at half mast at Buckingham Palace
Members of the royal family – including Prince Andrew – scrambled to be by the Queen’s side
Prince William drives his uncles and Sophie Wessex into Balmoral
Prince Charles leaves Dumfries and heads to Balmoral to see his mum
The Queen delighted the crowds at her Platinum Jubilee
She walked out on the Buckingham Palace balcony to a roar from the nation
The Queen was left devastated by the death of her beloved Philip
The poignant image of her at his Covid-secure funeral moved the nation
The Queen lived for her family including her 11 great-grandchildren
She was the longest-serving monarch in British history
The Queen overhauled the stuffy monarchy – including with the first televised Christmas speech in 1957
Her Majesty places a coronet on Charles during his investiture as Prince of Wales
The Queen inspects damage caused by a fire at Windsor Castle in 1992
She poses with the Royal Family at William and Kate’s wedding in 2011
Her Majesty famously starred in a James Bond sequence for the 2012 London Olympics
The Queen with two of her beloved fell ponies in a snap to mark her 96th birthday
Royal fans gather outside Buckingham Palace after it was confirmed doctors were concerned by her health