“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,” Charles’ statement began. “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 added: “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
Earlier on Thursday, the palace confirmed the queen’s passing in a statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
News of her death comes shortly after Buckingham Palace announced that the queen was “under medical supervision” amid several health issues. “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 statement read on September 8. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
At the time, it was reported that Prince William, Charles, 73, and Duchess Camilla were on their way to Balmoral, Scotland, to be by the queen’s side. A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed that he was traveling to see the monarch as well while Meghan remained in London.
Earlier this year, Us confirmed that the monarch battled coronavirus after both Charles and Camilla tested positive. The queen subsequently made changes to her schedule. “As Her Majesty is still experiencing mild cold-like symptoms she has decided not to undertake her planned virtual engagements today, but will continue with light duties,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement in February. More recently, she was suffering from “mobility issues.”
In October 2021, the queen also tweaked her planned duties following a brief hospitalization. She delivered an address virtually on the advice of her medical team and was later seen driving a car around her Windsor Castle residence. Royal watchers previously began to grow concerned for Elizabeth’s health that month when she was spotted using a cane at a Westminster Abbey service in London.
Queen Elizabeth and husband Prince Philip shared four children: Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They had eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. The queen’s passing means Charles will take over the throne, with Prince William subsequently moving up to first in line.
In April 2018, the Commonwealth backed the queen’s decision for Charles to be the next leader.
“It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations – and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales will carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” she said at a government meeting at the time. “By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us, a world where the Commonwealth’s generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”
Charles also spoke at the meeting: “The modern Commonwealth has a vital role to play in building bridges between our countries, fairer societies within them and a more secure world around them.”
The late queen married Philip in November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Less than five years later, she became the Queen of England at the age of 27 following her father’s death in February 1952. Her coronation took place in June 1953. Philip, for his part, died in April 2021 at the age of 99.
The queen made headlines in February for announcing Camilla would be given the title of Queen Consort when Charles takes over.
“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” her statement read. “And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”