It is the end of an era. And it’s official. The only Queen of England most of us have ever known is dead at the age of 96:
Queen Elizabeth II has died today aged 96.
Her son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, is now King. He will address the shocked nation imminently, as the world grieves Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
All her children had rushed to Balmoral after doctors became ‘concerned’ for her health. Hours later she died, surrounded by her family.
At 6.30pm her death was confirmed. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘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’.
The Queen’s death will see Britain and her Commonwealth realms enter into a ten-day period of mourning as millions of her subjects in the UK and abroad come to terms with her passing.
And as her son accedes to the throne, there will also be a celebration of her historic 70-year reign that saw her reach her Platinum Jubilee this year – a landmark unlikely to be reached again by a British monarch.
I have a few thoughts on her reign and the British monarchy itself, but I shall save them for another time. In the meantime, my condolences to her former subjects.