It was the day that shook the country to its core, lead to an outpouring of global mourning, and changed the face and character of the British monarchy forever.
After 70 glorious years on the throne, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle on Thursday afternoon aged 96. She had suffered mobility problems in the last months of her life and had been forced to cancel appearance at public events, including those Platinum Jubilee ones organised to mark her astonishing, historic reign.
It was a tumultuous 24 hours which saw the elderly monarch first cancel a Privy Council meeting on Wednesday evening, before she was placed under ‘medical supervision’ at the request of her doctors the following day.
Senior royals Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex all raced to the Aberdeenshire estate to bid their farewells to the sovereign, but – like Prince Harry – sadly arrived after she had died.
At the moment of her passing on Thursday, her son Charles became King Charles III, and his wife Camilla the Queen Consort. At 6pm, the monarch gave his first television address to the nation as Sovereign, where he reflected on the legacy of his mother left behind.
Here, MailOnline sketches the contours of a day that will forever be etched into the hearts and minds of millions across the planet.
The Queen poses for a photograph in the drawing room at Balmoral shortly before her meeting with Liz Truss
‘London Bridge is down’ – Buckingham Palace’s behind-the-scenes code for Queen Elizabeth II’s death – triggers a period of mourning in which normal life in the UK will dramatically slow for the next ten days
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
6.02pm: Buckingham Palace announces that the Queen has postponed her Privy Council meeting
At 6.02pm on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had postponed her virtual Privy Council meeting after being advised by royal doctors to rest.
The proceedings would have seen Prime Minister Liz Truss take her oath as First Lord of the Treasury and new Cabinet ministers would have been sworn into their roles, and also made privy counsellors if not already appointed as one in past.
Though the advice did not involve a hospital stay, the announcement instantly raised fresh fears for Her Majesty’s health, who had been having mobility issues for several months and had previously cancelled a number of appearances at high-profile public events including the Platinum Jubilee celebrating her 70 years on the throne.
It had been reported that the future King Charles III had been making regular morning visits to see his mother, with the unplanned visits considered highly unusual.
She missed the Braemar Gathering highland games last weekend, which she usually attended each year.
A Palace spokesman said: ‘After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors’ advice to rest. This means that the Privy Council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged.’
Thursday, September 8, 2022
12.32pm: The Palace announces the Queen is under ‘medical supervision’ while MPs are informed of the monarch’s ailing health
The Palace then issued a statement at 12.35pm on Thursday announcing that the Queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral after doctors became concerned for her health.
Minutes later, the PA news agency said that the Queen’s immediate family members had been informed about her condition.
Down the road in the Commons, Nadhim Zahawi, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – the portfolio of land, property and assets held by the Queen – quietly entered the chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions, and took a seat next to newly anointed Prime Minister Liz Truss.
He handed a note about the ailing monarch’s health to Ms Truss – who was only appointed PM by the Queen in the ‘kissing hands’ ceremony two days earlier and was busily defending her Government’s radical decision to effectively write a blank cheque by freezing energy bills at £2,500 for two year.
The Prime Minister turned to look at Mr Zahawi with a look of consternation, while across the aisle Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer appeared to be informed of developments by his deputy Angela Rayner.
Rumours then quickly spread through the chamber and Parliament, forcing Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to interrupt the speech of SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford during the energy debate to tell MPs: ‘I know I speak on behalf of the entire House when I say that we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and that she and the royal family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment.’
He added: ‘If there is anything else, we will update the House accordingly.’
12.39pm: BBC One suspends its regular programming as Huw Edwards presents BBC News Special in dark suit, white shirt and
BBC One suspended its regular programming schedule following the announcement, and instead aired a BBC News Special presented by Huw Edwards – who was dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and black tie, in line with the BBC’s dress code for when a member of the Royal Family dies as a mark of respect.
BBC One interrupted Bargain Hunt at 12.39 to deliver the statement from the Palace which said royal doctors were concerned for health.
The broadcaster has been airing rolling news coverage since discussing the health concerns of the Queen with various reporters including BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell.
12.47pm: The royals begin to arrive at Balmoral: Charles and Camilla travel to Scottish estate while William and Andrew follow suit
Clarence House then announce that Charles and Camilla were travelling to Balmoral – while a minute later Kensington Palace said that Prince William was flying to the Aberdeenshire estate.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall had been staying in Scotland close to Her Majesty, with the Prince of Wales reportedly visiting his 96-year-old mother daily.
Meanwhile the Queen’s grandson William left Windsor and flew up on an RAF jet with Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex. William’s wife Kate remained at Windsor to stay with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – who this week had started a new school.
At 1.38pm, royal sources confirmed to the Press Association that The Princess Royal was already at Balmoral with Charles.
12.50pm: Political and religious leaders express their concerns for Her Majesty and hope for her recovery
Shortly after Sir Linday’s statement to the Commons, political and religious leaders including Sir Keir and the Archbishop of Canterbury expressed their concerns for the Queen and hoped for her recovery.
The Labour leader said he was ‘deeply worried’ by the news from Buckingham Palace, tweeting: ‘Along with the rest of the country, I am deeply worried by the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon. My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this time, and I join everyone across the United Kingdom in hoping for her recovery.’
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘All of us are feeling profoundly concerned at reports of Her Majesty’s health. My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and all of the royal family at this time.’
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said in a tweet: ‘Concerned to hear the news from Buckingham Palace. I send my best wishes to Her Majesty and her family on behalf of the people of Wales.’
Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone said the thoughts of all in the Scottish Parliament are with the Queen. Speaking after First Minister’s Questions, she told MSPs in a brief statement: ‘I am aware that a statement has been made at Westminster on the health of Her Majesty the Queen. I will, of course, monitor developments and keep members updated over the course of the day. But my, I’m sure the thoughts of all in Parliament are with Her Majesty at this time.’
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said he was ‘saddened’ to hear the announcement made about the Queen’s health.
Resuming his speech, Mr Blackford told the Commons: ‘I’m sure on behalf of all colleagues that we’re saddened to hear the announcement that has been made, and the thoughts and prayers of all of us will be with Her Majesty the Queen and indeed with the royal family.’
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the ‘prayers of the nation’ are with the Queen, tweeting: ‘My prayers, and the prayers of people across the (Church of England) and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today. May God’s presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral.’
Health minister Lord Kamall said the thoughts of all those in the House of Lords were with the Queen and Royal Family, saying in the upper chamber: ‘I’m sure that all noble lords will be concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace about concerns over the health of Her Majesty. I’m sure that the thoughts of all noble lords are with Her Majesty and her family at this time.’
Former Conservative prime minister David Cameron said he was ‘deeply concerned’ by the news about the Queen’s health.
And former Labour prime minister Sir Tony Blair also said he was ‘deeply concerned’, saying in a statement posted to Twitter: ‘It is deeply concerning to hear today’s news from Buckingham Palace. My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this worrying time.’
1.55pm: Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson announces the couple will be ‘travelling to Scotland’ – but do not directly mention Balmoral
Shortly before 2pm on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed that the couple would be ‘travelling to Scotland’ – not initially making direct mention of Balmoral. The pair had been due to attend the WellChild Awards ceremony in London that evening.
2.42pm: Government minister Jacob Rees-Mogg pays tribute to the Queen
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said ‘it is a matter of the gravest concern to all of us when our sovereign is unwell’.
Speaking for the first time in the House of Commons since his appointment to the role, and as he began his closing speech in the debate on energy costs, he said: ‘Can I begin by adding my voice to those of honourable and right honourable members about Her Majesty the Queen and wish her well from this House.
‘It is a matter of the gravest concern to all of us when our sovereign is unwell.’
4pm: At around 3.50pm, an RAF plane carrying William, Andrew, Edward and Sophie arrived in Aberdeen
3.50pm: RAF plane carrying William, Andrew, Edward and Sophie lands at Aberdeen airport
A flight containing members of the Royal Family landed at Aberdeen airport at 3.50pm.
Royal Air Force flight KRF23R took off from RAF Northolt in South Ruislip, west London, at 2.39pm, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24.com.
The BBC initially reported that it was carrying up to seven royals and that it may also be carrying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
However, PA confirmed that the RAF plane that landed in Aberdeen was carrying the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex – and neither Harry nor Meghan.
Thousands of mourners have gathered outside Buckingham Palace evening to pay respect to The Queen
4pm: Somber crowds begin to gather outside Buckingham Palace following news of the Queen’s ailing health
A crowd began to gather outside Buckingham Palace beneath dark clouds at 4pm, as news spreads that the Queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral.
More than 100 umbrella-clad observers congregated on the stone steps up to The Queen Victoria Memorial, opposite the royal residence, with dozens more standing beside the gates.
Despite the size of the crowd, the atmosphere was relatively quiet and many were peering through the bars of the main gates.
People begun laying flowers at the gates of the Palace, with one woman laying the first bouquet at the Queen’s central London residence just after 5pm.
By 5.30pm, the crowd outside Buckingham Palace has swelled to a few hundred. A downpour which drenched those waiting at the gates then abated, leaving a hushed silence among those gathered.
Some of those among the hundreds-strong crowd outside the Buckingham Palace gates turned round to take pictures of a rainbow that appeared after heavy rain.
At 6.17pm, the crowd had grown to about 1,000 people, while a helicopter circled overhead as people waited quietly for any news on the Queen’s health.
4.09pm: No10 says Liz Truss has no plans to travel to Scotland on Thursday or Friday
Downing Street announced that there were no plans for Ms Truss to travel to Scotland on Thursday or Friday.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman also said he could not give any updates on the Queen’s health or whether Ms Truss has been in touch with the Palace.
He said: ‘The Prime Minister is working from Downing Street this afternoon in a series of meetings. As is standard, I wouldn’t get into any contact certainly between the Prime Minister and the Palace.’
No10 also said it was not aware of any changes to business in the House of Commons on Friday. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said this would be a matter for the Speaker.
4.14-44pm: The half-hour back-and-forth: Conflicting reports suggest that Meghan WILL be travelling with Harry… before Sussex-friendly journalist Omid Scobie confirms the duchess will stay in England
At 4.14pm, a news alert by the Press Association said that Harry and Meghan were believed to be travelling to Balmoral ‘separately’ from other royals.
But less than 30 minutes later, the agency issued another news alert, quoting an unnamed source, saying that Meghan would not travel to Balmoral with Harry. The source said that Harry would be making the trip by himself, and that Meghan could potentially join him in Scotland at a later date, following what PA described as a ‘change of plan’.
Then at 4.44pm, Omid Scobie, a journalist considered to be ‘friendly’ towards the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and who often quotes unnamed sources close to the couple, tweeted that Meghan had not flown up to Scotland.
The post said: ‘A source has shared an update stating that only Prince Harry has made the trip up to Balmoral. Like the Duchess of Cambridge (who is in Windsor with their three children), the Duchess of Sussex is staying back in England (but still not attending tonight’s WellChild Awards).’
4.30pm: The Palace informs Liz Truss of the Queen’s death
At a time not yet announced, the Queen sadly dies aged 96.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman says Liz Truss was informed of the Queen’s death at 4.30pm by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.
Buckingham Palace informs Prime Minister Liz Truss at 4.30pm of the passing of the monarch, who then begins to prepare a statement before a public declaration of the death two hours later, at 6.30pm.
5pm: William, Andrew, Edward and Sophie arrive at Balmoral in fleet of cars
A fleet of cars carrying the Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived at Balmoral just after 5pm.
William drove his two uncles in a Range Rover as part of the cavalcade of cars, with the Duke of York in the passenger seat, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex were sitting in the back.
6pm: US President Joe Biden tells Liz Truss he is ‘keeping the Queen and her family in their thoughts’
US President Joe Biden told Liz Truss he was ‘keeping the Queen and her family in their thoughts’, the White House said.
The president and the Prime Minister were taking part in a video conference about the war in Ukraine when he relayed the message to the British head of state.
‘President Biden also conveyed to Prime Minister Truss that he was following reports about Queen Elizabeth’s health and that he and the First Lady are keeping the Queen and her family in their thoughts,’ a White House statement said.
6.30pm: Buckingham Palace announces the Queen’s death
At 6.30pm on the dot, Buckingham Palace announces the Queen’s death.
In a statement, courtiers 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 flag at Buckingham Palace was subsequently lowered to half mast, as people among the crowd gathered outside the gates began crying and taking pictures as a single helicopter circled the skies above. A group of armed police assembled with Palace staff in the grounds.
Her Majesty the Queen – Britain’s longest-reigning monarch – dies peacefully at Balmoral aged 96
And the Royal Family’s official website carried the message: ‘Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022’ along with the official statement issued by Buckingham Palace.
A statement on the site said: ‘The official website of the Royal Family is temporarily unavailable while appropriate changes are made.’
6.36pm: Flags are lowered to half-mast outside Downing Street as Liz Truss prepares to make statement about the Queen’s death
The flags in Downing Street were lowered to half mast at 6.36pm following the Queen’s death.
And staff carried a podium onto Downing Street as Ms Truss prepared to pay tribute to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch outside No10.
6.38pm: BBC presenter Huw Edwards delivers the news of the Queen’s death live on TV
Broadcaster Huw Edwards delivered the news of the Queen’s death live on BBC One at 6.38pm.
After an image of the flag at Buckingham Palace was shown at half mast, he told viewers: ‘A few moments ago Buckingham Palace announced the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.’
Edwards then read out the statement from Buckingham Palace which announced the news, before BBC One played the national anthem, showing a photograph of the Queen, followed by a royal crest on a black background and the words Queen Elizabeth II.
Reflecting on the example of leadership the Queen set as he announced her death, he said: ‘A lifetime of service to people in the United Kingdom, throughout the Commonwealth and in many parts of the world. An example of leadership which didn’t stray into the realm of politics and for lots of people the ideal symbol of what a constitutional monarchy should be like. Well, now the world has been told and the official notice has been posted.’
6.45pm: Tributes to the deceased monarch flood in from the world of politics
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the Queen’s death is a ‘terrible loss for us all’, adding: ‘We will miss her beyond measure.’
He said: ‘For all of us, the Queen has been a constant presence in our lives – as familiar as a member of the family, yet one who has exercised a calm and steadying influence over our country. Most of us have never known a time when she was not there. Her death is not only a tragedy for the royal family, but a terrible loss for us all.
‘During her 70 years on the throne – and even before that, as a teenager, reassuring and engaging with children and families disrupted by the Second World War – she has given our lives a sense of equilibrium.
‘While her reign has been marked by dramatic changes in the world, Her Majesty has maintained her unwavering devotion to the UK, the British Overseas’ Territories and the Commonwealth of Nations – and her gentle authority and sound reason have been felt throughout.
‘She has travelled the world extensively, modernised the royal family and is credited with inventing the royal ‘walkabout’, which enabled her to meet people from all walks of life during her visits.
‘As head of state, she has provided advice and the benefit of long experience to 15 prime ministers during her reign – and met more than a quarter of all the American presidents in the history of the US.
‘The Queen has been involved in everything that is important to us and which makes us who we are – from state occasions to royal weddings, and especially at Christmas, with her wise words and reflective annual message. She has been a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – but she has been our Queen, and we will miss her beyond measure.’
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: ‘We are all deeply mourning the profound loss of a great monarch, who served our country so faithfully all her life and who was loved the world over. For many people, including myself, the Queen was an ever-fixed mark in our lives. As the world changed around us and politicians came and went, the Queen was our nation’s constant.
‘The Queen represented duty and courage, as well as warmth and compassion. She was a living reminder of our collective past, of the greatest generation and their sacrifices for our freedom.’
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: ‘The death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth is a profoundly sad moment for the UK, the Commonwealth and the world.
‘Her life was one of extraordinary dedication and service. On behalf of the people of Scotland, I convey my deepest condolences to The King and the Royal Family.’
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted that he was ‘incredibly sad to hear of the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II’.
He added: ‘As our longest reigning monarch, she firmly upheld the values and traditions of the British Monarchy. On behalf of the people of Wales I offer our deepest condolences to Her Majesty’s family during this sad time.’
Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair said: ‘We have lost not just our monarch but the matriarch of our nation, the figure who more than any other brought our country together, kept us in touch with our better nature, personified everything which makes us proud to be British. ‘
Sir John Major said: ‘For 70 years Her Majesty The Queen devoted her life to the service of our nation and its wellbeing. In her public duties she was selfless and wise, with a wonderful generosity of spirit. That is how she lived – and how she led. For millions of people – across the Commonwealth and the wider world – she embodied the heart and soul of our nation, and was admired and respected around the globe.
‘At this moment of deep sadness, I believe we all stand hand in hand with the royal family as they grieve the loss of one so loved. For we have all lost someone very precious to us and, as we mourn, we should be grateful that we were blessed with such an example of duty and leadership for so very many years.’
6.46pm: ‘Militant Mick’ suspends planned rail strikes on September 15 and 17
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch announces that planned rail strikes on September 15 and 17 are suspended.
He said in a statement: ‘RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth. The planned railway strike action on September 15 and 17 is suspended. We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country.’
6.47pm: Religious leaders pay tribute to the Queen as a ‘shining light in our history’
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said his ‘prayers are with the King and the royal family’ as he mourns the death of the Queen, whose ‘steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are’.
‘As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation and society,’ Justin Welby said in a statement.
‘As we sustain one another in the face of this challenge, our shared grieving will also be a work of shared re-imagining. I pray that we commence this journey with a sense of Her late Majesty’s faith and confidence in the future.
‘In the late Queen’s life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and – through patient, humble, selfless service – share it as a gift to others.
‘The late Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy: one that is found in almost every corner of our national life, as well as the lives of so many nations around the world, and especially in the Commonwealth.
‘It was my great privilege to meet her late Majesty on many occasions. Her clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness invariably left me conscious of the blessing that she has been to us all.’
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, paid tribute to the Queen as a ‘shining light in our history’.
He said: ‘On April 21 1947, on her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth said, ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service’. Now, 75 years later, we are heartbroken in our loss at her death, and so full of admiration for the unfailing way in which she fulfilled that declaration.
‘Even in my sorrow, shared with so many around the world, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II. At this time, we pray for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty. We do so with confidence, because the Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity.
‘In her Millennium Christmas message, she said, ‘To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’ This faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many. The wisdom, stability and service which she consistently embodied, often in circumstances of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith.
‘Our prayer is that she is now received into the merciful presence of God, there to be reunited with her beloved Prince Philip. This is the promise of our faith, and our deep consolation. Queen Elizabeth II will remain, always, a shining light in our history. May she now rest in peace.
‘We pray for His Majesty the King, as he assumes his new office even as he mourns his mother. God save the King.’
6.48pm: World leaders pay tribute to Her Majesty after her death aged 96
World leaders instantly paid tribute to the Queen in the minutes after her death.
French president Emmaunel Macron called the monarch ‘kind-hearted’ and ‘a friend of France’, adding in a tweet: ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.’
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted: ‘It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.’
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: ‘It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s 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.
‘He added: ‘As we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion, and warmth. Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time.’
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, tweeted: ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our times. She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise.
‘My thoughts are with her family and people of UK in this sad hour.’
European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: ‘Our thoughts are with the royal family and all those who mourn Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and worldwide. Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment.’
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen offered her ‘heartfelt condolences’ to the royal family and the British people following the death of the Queen.
She tweeted: ‘It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was the world’s longest-serving head of state and one of the most respected personalities worldwide. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the royal family and the British people.’
The President of the Irish Republic, Michael D Higgins, issued a statement voicing his ‘profound regret and a deep personal sadness’ at the Queen’s death.
He said: ‘On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I express my heartfelt sympathy to His Majesty King Charles and to the Royal Family on their very great personal loss. May I offer my deepest condolences to the British people and to the members of the Commonwealth on the loss of a unique, committed and deeply respected Head of State.
‘Her Majesty served the British people with exceptional dignity. Her personal commitment to her role and extraordinary sense of duty were the hallmarks of her period as Queen, which will hold a unique place in British history.’
Mr Higgins paid tribute to her majesty as representing a ‘remarkable source of reassurance to the British people’, adding: ‘This was a reassurance based on a realism of the significance of present events, rather than any narrow conception of history. This was so well reflected by a remarkable generosity of spirit which helped to foster a more inclusive relationship both with the British people themselves and with those with whom her country has experienced a complex, and often difficult, history.’
He concluded: ‘As we offer our condolences to all our neighbours in the United Kingdom, following the loss of a remarkable friend of Ireland, we remember the role Queen Elizabeth played in celebrating the warm and enduring friendship, and her great impact on the bonds of mutual understanding, between our two peoples. She will be deeply missed.’
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: ‘Deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
‘Over more than 70 years, she exemplified selfless leadership and public service. My deepest condolences to the royal family, to our #NATO Allies the United Kingdom and Canada, and to the people of the Commonwealth.’
6.53pm: Buckingham Palace officials bring note confirming the Queen’s death to the gates… before the crowds outside the gates burst into the national anthem after the flag is lowered to half mast
Officials brought a notice confirming the Queen’s death to the gates of Buckingham Palace which read: ‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.’
A large crowd gathered to read it, and Royal Parks staff began constructing pens from metal barriers to control the public.
Crowds then burst into the national anthem outside Buckingham Palace with many weeping after the flag was lowered to half mast.
Meanwhile a rainbow appeared over Windsor Castle, where the Queen spent most of lockdown, as well-wishers burst into tears outside the main entrance.
‘A lovely rainbow,’ one woman gazing at it said, before breaking down. Another woman clutching a bag from a nearby gift shop sobbed as she spoke down the phone. A Union flag fluttering from one of the towers has been lowered to half mast.
The official announcement of the Queen’s passing was displayed on the gates of Buckingham Palace
A man fights back the tears as he lays flowers outside Windsor Castle – where The Queen resided for much of her final few years
Royal superfan John Loughrey, 67, wept outside Buckingham Palace as he said he ‘can’t believe’ the news and paid tribute to the ‘inspirational’ Queen whose ‘duty always came first’.
‘I met the Queen twice. I gave flowers to her. I can’t believe it,’ he said. ‘She was inspirational. She served her duty – her duty always came first, her family next. She went downhill after the Duke of Edinburgh died. They were like two swans. God save the Queen.’
Annette German, who attended the Queen’s coronation, said the Queen ‘could not better have dedicated her life’ to her people.
Speaking outside Buckingham Palace, Ms German, 84, a retired teacher from south London, said: ‘I was with my grandmother at the coronation and when I heard the news she was unwell, I thought I must be there and I got on a train and got the news as I was just round the corner.
‘I share a birthday with the Queen and I’ve listened to the national anthem every birthday.
‘I’m from a left-wing family but massively in favour, the Queen could not have better-dedicated her life to her country.’
Speaking of her shared birthday with the Queen, she said: ‘It’s a very special. I’ve had that link all that life.’
Christine Evans, from Shropshire, 68, said the Queen was a ‘wonderful’ leader who would be ‘sorely missed by us all’.
Speaking outside Buckingham Palace, she said: ‘I’m proud to be here and to see all this support, and how loved the Queen is by all these people. She will be sorely missed by us all.’
Ms Evans added that she hoped the royal family were brought closer together in the aftermath, and that Harry and Meghan could heal their alleged rift.
She added: ‘Obviously it’s a very sad occasion but sometimes it brings people together and family have got to stay together.’
7.06pm: Charles pays tribute to the ‘cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother’ as he becomes King
Charles, who became King on the death of his mother, said: ‘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.’
King Charles III released this poignant statement reacting to the death of his ‘beloved mother’ as he took the throne today
7.07pm: Prime Minister Liz Truss gives a statement praising the Queen outside Downing Street
Prime Minister Liz Truss stepped out of No 10 and to the podium on Downing Street at 7.07pm, dressed in black, to address the nation following the Queen’s death.
Paying tribute to Her Majesty’s ‘extraordinary’ life in public service, the Tory leader said the Queen was ‘loved and admired by the people in the United Kingdom and all around the world’ and called her ‘a personal inspiration to me and to many Britons’.
Referring to Charles, the new King, as King Charles III, Ms Truss said: ‘Today the Crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, his majesty King Charles III.’
She added that it was ‘the passing of the second Elizabethan age’ and concluded her address by saying ‘God save the King’.
7.20pm: The arts industry pays tribute to the Queen as theatres dim their lights and observe a minute’s silence while writers and musicians praise Her Majesty
Theatres across the country announced they would be dimming their lights and observing a minute’s silence, playing the national anthem and opening books of condolences prior to performances as mark of their respect, following news of the death of the Queen.
A statement from Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre said they were ‘deeply saddened’ by the news of the Queen’s death.
The message, from Stephanie Sirr and Jon Gilchrist, joint Presidents of UK Theatre and Eleanor Lloyd, President of SOLT, said: ‘We are deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
‘The theatre industry is thankful for all the support and patronage Her Majesty has shown throughout her lifetime. We would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the Royal Family at this time of national mourning.’
They added that, in accordance with advice from the DCMS, scheduled theatre performances will go ahead tonight and during the official period of mourning.
JK Rowling described the monarch as ‘a thread winding through all our lives’ during her seven-decade-long reign.
The Harry Potter author said the Queen had been an ‘enduring, positive symbol of Britain all over the world’ and had ‘earned her rest’.
‘Some may find the outpouring of British shock and grief at this moment quaint or odd, but millions felt affection and respect for the woman who uncomplainingly filled her constitutional role for seventy years,’ Rowling wrote on Twitter.
‘Most British people have never known another monarch, so she’s been a thread winding through all our lives. She did her duty by the country right up until her dying hours, and became an enduring, positive symbol of Britain all over the world. She’s earned her rest.’
Stephen Fry admitted that he was ‘sobbing’ following news of the death of the Queen.
‘Oh dear. Oh my. Oh heavens. Bless my soul. Oh lor. Heck,’ the actor and comedian wrote on Twitter. In a separate post, he added: ‘I don’t know why I’m sobbing. Silly really. Oh dear.’
British author Sir Philip Pullman has paid tribute to the Queen, writing on Twitter:‘The Queen was an extraordinary woman and this nation has been very lucky. I’m just old enough to remember the coronation; she’s been there all my life, and I shall miss her.’
The official Twitter account of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts remembered the Queen after it was announced she has died at the age of 96.
‘We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty The Queen, whose close association with BAFTA spanned over 50 years. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy,’ the organisation said.
The Royal Variety Charity has remembered the Queen after it was announced she has died at the age of 96.
In statement to the PA news agency, the charity’s chairman Giles Cooper said: ‘The Royal Variety Charity is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.
‘Her Majesty was Patron of the Royal Variety Charity for 70 years, taking on this duty after the death of His Majesty King George VI in 1952. The Queen was an enthusiastic supporter of our charity, and we were honoured to have Her Majesty’s presence at 39 Royal Variety Performances, the first in 1945 and the final one in the Diamond Jubilee year of 2012. The Royal Variety Charity sends its sincere condolences to His Majesty The King and the entire Royal Family.’
7.21pm: Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed ‘timeless’ and ‘bright and shining light’ the Queen
Former prime minister Boris Johnson said: ‘This is our country’s saddest day. In the hearts of every one of us there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected.
‘In these first grim moments since the news, I know that millions and millions of people have been pausing whatever they have been doing, to think about Queen Elizabeth, about the bright and shining light that has finally gone out.
‘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.
‘Wave after wave of grief is rolling across the world, from Balmoral – where our thoughts are with all the royal family – and breaking far beyond this country and throughout that great Commonwealth of nations that she so cherished and which cherished her in return.’
7.22pm: Labour leaders Sir Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan pay tribute to the Queen
Labour leader Sir Keir paid tribute, saying in a statement: ‘Today, we mourn the passing of a remarkable sovereign. It is a deep, private loss for the Royal Family and all our thoughts are with them at this time. The nation shares in their grief.
‘We will always treasure Queen Elizabeth II’s life of service and devotion to our nation and the Commonwealth; our longest-serving and greatest monarch.
‘Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon. As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world.
‘So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied. For seventy years, Queen Elizabeth II stood as the head of our country. But, in spirit, she stood amongst us.’
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘The nation and the world mourns today in recognition of the extraordinary service of our Queen – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She served for 70 years with unrivalled grace, dignity and purpose.
‘Throughout a period of unprecedented transformation, she was a source of great stability, inspiring hope during the most testing of times and exemplifying the best of what it means to be British.
‘I’m proud to have served as Mayor of London while Queen Elizabeth II was our monarch. I know Londoners, and people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, are immensely proud and grateful for what she achieved for us all over so many years.
‘I offer my condolences to the Royal Family at this difficult time.’
7.24pm: William and Kate’s Twitter account @KensingtonRoyal refers to couple as The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge
From 7.24pm, William and Kate’s Twitter account @KensingtonRoyal referred to the couple as The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
7.26pm: Planned Royal Mail strike on Friday is called off
A planned strike by Royal Mail workers on Friday has been called off, the Communication Workers Union announced, following the death of the Queen.
7.30pm: Floral tributes are laid outside Windsor Castle to mourn Her Majesty’s death
Floral tributes have started to be laid outside Windsor Castle to mourn the death of the Queen.
The crowds outside were so big that staff members returning to the castle struggled to drive through the main entrance.
Lisa, a collector of royal memorabilia from Florida, said the Queen’s death had brought people together.
‘I’m surprised at all the different kinds of people that are here,’ she said. ‘I’m hearing lots of different accents, lots of different cultures are represented. It’s a very nice thing. ‘The world being as it is today, this is something we all agree on.’
One well-wisher said it felt ‘special’ to gather with other mourners outside Windsor Castle. Lisa, who arrived on Thursday from Florida, said: ‘I turned the news on and I was shocked, I didn’t realise what had happened.’
Nodding to the gathering crowd, she said: ‘But today’s special … I feel this is good to be sitting here. And did you see the rainbow? It’s fading a little bit but it’s been beautiful.’
Of the Queen, Lisa said: ‘I admire her greatly. I actually have been collecting royal commemorative memorabilia for about 40 years.’
One visitor from Australia said she felt ‘blessed’ to be outside Windsor Castle as the Queen’s death was announced.
Denise Speck, from Perth, said: ‘I didn’t think it was going to happen so quickly after seeing her [on television] a couple of days ago. I just feel very blessed to be here at this time because I’m on holiday from Australia … to actually be here at this time is very special. My family back in Australia won’t even know yet because it’s the middle of the night.’
Ms Speck also predicted that the Queen’s death could cause a rift between Britain and Commonwealth countries like Australia.
She said: ‘I think it will be a new era now … the Queen was something that everyone admired even though they didn’t necessarily want to be part of the British system. It’s the Queen that was the glue that kept it all going.’
7.30pm: Government ministers including Ben Wallace and Nadhim Zahawi pay tribute to the Queen
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Nadhim Zahawi said the Queen was ‘a beacon of light in every corner of the globe’.
‘Her Majesty’s passing saddens me more than I can say,’ Mr Zahawi said in a statement.
‘Mine and my family’s prayers are with her family as she is reunited with her strength and stay, the Duke of Edinburgh. Her sense of duty, warmth and obvious kindness made Britain home to me and so many others. Throughout my life I have been proud to live in a country that had the privilege of having Her Majesty at its head. But her reach went beyond the shores of this great nation. Her Majesty was – and will always be – a beacon of light in every corner of the globe.
‘In this darkest of moments, I take comfort in knowing Her Majesty will always be with us as long as we uphold the values she exemplified.’
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tweeted: ‘The sad passing today of Her Majesty The Queen will be felt by every member of her Armed Forces. Her Majesty was more than their Commander in Chief, she was their guardian. She was deeply involved in championing their welfare & supporting them before, during and after operations.
‘She dedicated her life to serving her Nation. The motto of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is ‘Serve to Lead’. The Queen’s lifetime was a living embodiment of that.’
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said the Queen was ‘the outstanding public servant of our time’.
‘Today we mourn the passing of our late sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,’ he said in a statement.
‘She was the outstanding public servant of our time. An incredible life lived in service to the British people and the Commonwealth. God Save the King.’
7.38pm: The Americans mourn the ‘sad passing’ of the Queen
The US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said Americans are mourning the ‘sad passing’ of the Queen, describing her as ‘a pillar of leadership in the global arena and a devoted friend of freedom’.
‘On behalf of the United States Congress, I extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the royal family during this sad time,’ Ms Pelosi said in a statement.
‘Queen Elizabeth embodied the highest spirit of civic duty: earning the reverence of her people and the respect of the world.
‘Her Majesty capably shepherded the United Kingdom through great turbulence and transition.
‘Under history’s brightest spotlight, Queen Elizabeth offered a masterclass in grace and strength, power and poise. Her extraordinary life and leadership will continue to inspire young women and girls in public service, now and for generations to come.
‘Personally, it was an honour to be on the Floor of the House during her historic address to the Congress in 1991 and to welcome her as Speaker on her important visit to the United States in 2007, which deepened the special relationship between our nations.
‘May it be a comfort to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the entire royal family that Americans join them in prayer at this sad time.’
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said the Queen was ‘more than a monarch’ and that she ‘defined an era’.
A White House statement said: ‘In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her.
‘An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.
‘She was the first British monarch to whom people all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection – whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around their televisions for her coronation, or watched her final Christmas speech or her platinum jubilee on their phones.
‘She, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service.’
Former US President Barack Obama said he and wife Michelle had been ‘awed’ by the Queen’s ‘legacy of tireless, dignified public service’.
In a statement posted on Twitter, he said her Majesty had ‘captivated the world’, adding: ‘Her Majesty was just 25 years old when she took on the enormous task of helming one of the world’s great democracies.
‘In the decades that followed, she would go on to make the role of Queen her own – with a reign defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic, defying the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation.’
Mr Obama added that the Queen had been ‘responsible for considerable diplomatic achievements’, but also paid tribute to her willingness to take part in a comedy sketch at the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012.
‘Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us,’ he said.
‘Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity.
‘Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humour and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.’
7.45pm: Harry and Meghan’s Archewell website homepage honours the Queen
Harry and Meghan’s Archewell website homepage has become a blacked-out landing page with the words: ‘In loving memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022.’
7.45pm: TSSA cancels planned strikes in September
The TSSA is cancelling planned industrial action in September, it said in a statement.
7.52pm: Harry arrives at Balmoral at 7.52pm, more than an hour after arriving at Aberdeen Airport
7.52pm: Harry arrives at Balmoral… nearly two hours after royal courtiers announced the Queen’s death
The Duke of Sussex arrives at Balmoral at 7.52pm, two hours after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s death.
The Duke of Sussex’s flight had been due to land at 6.29pm, a minute before the statement. But it was 20 minutes late taking off from London’s Luton Airport – with flight data showing it departed at 5.35pm. It took one hour and 11 minutes to reach Aberdeen.
By the time he landed, at 6.46pm, it was 16 minutes after the palace had made the announcement.
Harry then faced a lonely drive to the castle, finally arriving at 7.52pm where he joined other members of the Royal Family in mourning the Queen’s death.
He looked ashen-faced on the back seat of the Range Rover as it swept into the Balmoral estate. As well as losing a beloved grandmother, he may have been reflecting on his future without her as monarch. She remained fond of him, in spite of recent challenges, and he was said to have retained an ability to make her laugh.
By the time he arrived, his and Meghan’s Archewell website homepage had been replaced with a respectful blackedout page with the words: ‘In loving memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022.’
7.56pm: Kensington Palace confirms Kate and William will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge
Kensington Palace has confirmed that Kate and William will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
8.45pm: Police remove barriers blocking the gates to Balmoral to allow the public to lay flowers
Police have removed barriers blocking the gates to Balmoral Castle to allow the public to lay flowers for the Queen.
The area had been blocked off as members of the royal family arrived earlier, including the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.
Gillian Neale and her daughter Jodie, 11, made the 45-minute trip from Alford, Aberdeenshire, to pay their respects at Balmoral Castle.
The 49-year-old braved the pouring rain and said: ‘It’s a very sad mood here. She was very popular around here, everybody loved her and she loved it here. We came here to be respectful.’
10.30pm: Fergie says she is ‘heartbroken’ at Queen’s death in Twitter statement
Sarah, Duchess of York, said she was ‘heartbroken’ at the death of the Queen and praised her for ‘giving her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK and Commonwealth’.
In a statement on Twitter, she wrote: ‘I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years.
‘She has given her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK & the Commonwealth. To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce.
‘I will miss her more than words can express.’
10.41pm: Britain and the world pay tribute to the Queen as colourful bouquets and rows of flickering candles light up Buckingham Palace… while American expats in California honour Her Majesty
Hundreds of colourful bouquets and rows of flickering candles brightened the gates of Buckingham Palace as night fell on Thursday.
A thousands-strong crowd remained outside the royal residence, with many huddled under umbrellas and tearfully consoling one another. Further back, others sporadically broke out into the national anthem and rounds of applause.
Dozens of police officers lined the gates while fans draped a huge union flag across the Victoria memorial opposite.
Meanwhile more than 5,000 miles away in California, expats and Americans alike came together to honour the Queen, in true British-style, at the pub.
At Ye Olde Kings Head, in Santa Monica, a shrine dedicated to the monarch, featuring candles, roses and pictures was placed outside.
11.17pm: BBC announces last two nights of The Proms are cancelled as a mark of respect
The BBC announced that the final two nights of The Proms had been cancelled as a mark of respect for the Queen.
‘Following the very sad news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen, as a mark of respect we will not be going ahead with Prom 71 on Friday September 9, or the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday September 10,’ the organisation tweeted.
Friday, September 8, 2022
6.30am: Early mourners arrive at Balmoral to pay their respects
From 6.30am on Friday, police started to let members of the public stand at the gates of Balmoral Castle to pay their respects to the Queen.
Several people walked to the entrance of the grounds of the Scottish royal retreat to lay bouquets of flowers as a tribute to the late monarch. One woman was spotted lighting a candle while others were seen reading personal notes written on the flowers.
Messages of thanks for the Queen and condolences to her family were left among the floral tributes from the public at the gates of Balmoral Castle.
One said: ‘Thank you Queen Elizabeth II for your service to our nation.’
Another card said: ‘Thank you for your dedication, service and reign. You have been a source of inspiration and a calming figure through my life.’
Dozens of bouquets were left by people who braved the heavy rain in north east Scotland to pay their respects. One tribute came in the shape of a model corgi – the Queen’s beloved breed of dog. Another card was left by pupils from St Roman’s Primary School more than 100 miles away in West Dumbartonshire. And another message simply said: ‘Just thanks.’
8am: Enormous crowds flock to Buckingham Palace gates again
Hundreds of people gathered from 8am at Buckingham Palace gates to pay tribute to the Queen the day after her death.
Mourners, many dressed all in black, congregated beside hundreds of colourful bouquets and messages which were left overnight and early in the morning. A large Union flag in tones of black and grey was pinned to the right flank of the gates, while police officers kept a crowd back from the main gates further to the left.
Leo Cheung, 37, who has lived in London for 20 years after moving from Hong Kong, was one of hundreds of mourners to lay flowers at Buckingham Palace.
He said: ‘We have a very strong connection to the Queen. We are quite neutral towards the royal family but the Queen has been there since we were born. She was part of our lives and it’s sad to see someone we know pass away.’
Laura Huff, who moved to London three-and-a-half years ago from the US, was in tears as she paid her respects at Buckingham Palace.
‘We always knew this day would come but it just seemed to happen quite quickly when it did. She was like a grandmother to the nation. As someone who wanted to move here my entire life, she was someone you always hear about and read about. I think she had a really strong sense of responsibility and you could really see that.’
Prince Harry flies out of Aberdeen Airport in Scotland on Friday morning alone, around 12 hours after arriving at Balmoral
8.15am: Prince Harry leaves Balmoral… with grief etched on his face
The Duke of Sussex was seen leaving Balmoral at about 8.15am, with the convoy passing flowers that had been laid as tributes to his late grandmother.
9.12am: The Palace declares period of royal mourning and royal residences will close until after the Queen’s funeral
In an announcement from 9.12am, Buckingham Palace says royal Mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, royal household staff and representatives of the royal household on official duties, together with troops committed to ceremonial duties.
Courtiers also said royal residences will close until after the Queen’s funeral, including the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, as well as the Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh.
Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House, the Queen’s private estates, will also close for this period, as will Hillsborough Castle, the sovereign’s official residence in Northern Ireland.
Those who wish to leave floral tributes at Buckingham Palace will be guided to lay them at dedicated sites in Green Park or Hyde Park, the Palace says. Flowers left outside the Palace gates will be moved to the Green Park Floral Tribute Garden by The Royal Parks.
At Windsor Castle, floral tributes can be left at Cambridge Gate on the Long Walk. These flowers will be brought inside the castle each evening and placed on the castle chapter grass on the south side of St George’s Chapel and Cambridge Drive. At the Sandringham Estate, people are encouraged to leave floral tributes at the Norwich Gates. At Balmoral Castle, floral tributes can be left at the main gate.
At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, people are encouraged to give floral tributes to the wardens at the entrance to The Queen’s Gallery. Those flowers will be laid on the forecourt grass in front of the Palace’s north turret. At Hillsborough Castle, floral tributes may be laid on the castle forecourt in front of the main gates.
9.30am: Ministers pay tribute to the Queen in Cabinet
Cabinet paid tribute to the Queen at a meeting on Friday morning.
It is understood that ministers shared memories of the monarch’s lifetime of service, including fond recollections of their own encounters with her.
There was a moment of silence at the conclusion of the meeting.
9.42am: The Palace announces service of prayer and reflection on the death of the Queen in St Paul’s Cathedral at 6pm
A service of prayer and reflection on the death of the Queen will be held in St Paul’s Cathedral at 6pm.
The Prime Minister and Lord Mayor of London are expected to attend the service which will be broadcast on the BBC.
The audio of the King’s televised address to the nation will be played inside the cathedral if it coincides with the service.
9.52am: Harry boards a BA flight at Aberdeen airport back to Heathrow
The Duke of Sussex was seen boarding a British Airways flight at Aberdeen International Airport.
Harry wore a black suit and carried a shoulder bag as he walked towards the steps of the plane. He was accompanied by a woman wearing a hi-vis vest, who he spoke with and at one stage he was seen placing his hand on her shoulder.
9.54am: Cabinet Office announces details of the Queen’s funeral in ‘due course’
Details of the Queen’s funeral and other forthcoming ceremonial and commemorative events will be announced ‘in due course’, the Cabinet Office said.
The department also warned of crowding and delays on some public transport as people seek to pay their respects.
It said: ‘We recognise that many people will travel to Buckingham Palace and other royal residences as a mark of their respect.
‘We expect large crowds, which can pose risks to public safety. Those who do travel are asked to follow any instructions given to them by stewards and the police. We expect significant crowding and delays on some public transport. The public should check ahead and plan accordingly.
‘As you would expect, a number of organisations will now be making practical preparations including contingency planning for the state funeral and related events. Access to some areas, especially in central London, will be restricted, with road closures and diversions that will cause delays to vehicles and pedestrians.
‘Those who wish to lay floral tributes near royal residences in London, Windsor, Edinburgh, Balmoral and Sandringham are asked to do so only in designated areas, as directed by stewards. Further details will be made available shortly.’
10.20am: Prince Harry’s BA flight leaves Aberdeen airport
The British Airways flight carrying the Duke of Sussex departed Aberdeen International Airport at 10.20am.
11.27am: King Charles III is pictured leaving Balmoral with Queen Consort Camilla
The King was pictured in the back of a car, with the Queen in the front passenger seat, as they were driven in convoy over the River Dee towards Ballater.
An emotional King Charles III leaving Balmoral on his way to Aberdeen Airport on the first leg of his journey to London
11.32am: Harry’s BA flight lands at Heathrow
The British Airways flight carrying the Duke of Sussex landed at London Heathrow Airport at 11:32am after completing its journey from Aberdeen International Airport.
12.10pm: MPs observe minute’s silence in memory of the Queen in the Commons as they pay respects to Her Majesty
MPs have observed a minute’s silence in memory of the Queen in the House of Commons chamber before paying their respects to the monarch.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle led the tributes, telling MPs: ‘She is wed in our minds with the crown and all it stands for.’
Liz Truss said: ‘We have witnessed the most heartfelt outpouring of grief’ before declaring a new ‘Carolean age’ and saying: ‘God save the King’.
Addressing MPs in the Commons for tributes to the Queen, she said: ‘In the hours since last night’s shocking news, we have witnessed the most heartfelt outpouring of grief at the loss of Her late Majesty the Queen. Crowds have gathered, flags have been lowered to half-mast, tributes have been sent from every continent around the world.’
Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ‘was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known’, the Prime Minister said.
She added: ‘On the death of her father King George VI, Winston Churchill said the news had stilled the clatter and traffic of 20th century life in many lands. Now 70 years later in the tumult of the 21st century life has paused again. Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.’
She also said she spoke with the King last night, adding: ‘In an instant yesterday our lives changed forever. Today we show the world that we do not fear what lies ahead.’
‘His Majesty King Charles III bears an awesome responsibility that he now carries for all of us. I was grateful to speak to His Majesty last night and offer my condolences. Even as he mourns, his sense of duty and service is clear. He has already made a profound contribution through his work on conservation, education and his tireless diplomacy. We owe him our loyalty and devotion.’
Again MPs murmured affirmation and some could be heard saying ‘hear, hear’.
Sir Keir said the Queen did not simply ‘reign over us’, she lived ‘alongside us’.
Paying tribute to the Queen in the Commons, the Labour leader said: ‘All our thoughts are with her beloved family, our Royal Family, at this moment of profound grief.
‘This is a deep and private loss for them, yet it’s one we all share because Queen Elizabeth created a special, personal relationship with us all. That relationship was built on the attributes that defined her reign: her total commitment to service and duty, a deep devotion to the country, the Commonwealth, and the people she loved. In return for that, we loved her.’
Sir Keir added: ‘And it is because of that great shared love that we grieve today. For the 70 glorious years of her reign, our Queen was at the heart of this nation’s life. She did not simply reign over us, she lived alongside us, she shared in our hopes and our fears, our joy, and our pain. Our good times and our bad.’
12.18pm: The Palace announces King Charles III will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10am on Saturday
The King will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10am on Saturday in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace said.
Courtiers said: ‘His Majesty The King will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10.00hrs tomorrow morning 10th September in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace, London.
‘The Accession Council, attended by Privy Councillors, is divided into two parts. In Part I, the Privy Council, without The King present, will proclaim the Sovereign, and formally approve various consequential Orders, including the arrangements for the Proclamation.
‘Part II, is the holding by The King of His Majesty’s first Privy Council. The King will make his Declaration and read and sign an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland and approve Orders in Council which facilitate continuity of government.
‘The Accession Council will be followed by the Principal Proclamation, which will be read at 11.00hrs from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s Palace. The Proclamation will be read by Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the Earl Marshal, other Officers of Arms and the Serjeants at Arms. This is the first public reading of the Proclamation.’
12.33pm: King Charles III arrives at Aberdeen airport to board plane to London
The King arrived with the Queen at Aberdeen International Airport, where they have boarded a plane to London, at 12.24pm.
Charles arrived at the airport in a dark suit and was carrying what appeared to be a folder or file as he made his way towards the plane.
Ge stopped to shake hands and chat to three people at the plane steps before Camilla, his new Queen Consort, joined him holding an umbrella. She was wearing a long black coat and made her way up the steps and on to the plane ahead of her husband.
Minutes later, at 12.33pm, the plane takes off.
1pm: Gun salutes are fired around the UK and overseas to mark the Queen’s death
Royal salutes were fired with one round for every year of the Queen’s life on Friday at 1pm in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
Thousands of people stood in solemn silence for 16 minutes as the cannons boomed once every 10 seconds, sending smoke across the grounds with each round, applauding as the spectacle came to an end.
1.05pm: Kensington Palace announces Prince William has left Balmoral for Windsor
The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge left Balmoral and travelled back to Windsor to be with his family ahead of the Accession Council, Kensington Palace said.
It is also announced that William, who is a Privy Counsellor, will attend the Accession Council.
The couple left the airport in a vintage Rolls-Royce for the journey to Buckingham Palace where thousands of people had gathered to greet them
1.36pm: King Charles III lands at RAF Northolt
A plane carrying the King landed at RAF Northolt in west London.
A group of more than 100 people assembled to watch him land in England for the first time as king. The group is now waiting at the gates of the RAF base for the monarch. Two police helicopters are also circling the base.
At 1.55pm, the King and Queen left RAF Northolt by car for Buckingham Palace.
Police stopped traffic on West End Road as a convoy of four black cars, a black van and a police car exited the air base. The King waved to the crowd which had gathered outside the exit and his car passed by. The sun shone as onlookers waved back at the King and filmed him on their mobile phones.
2.13pm: King Charles III arrives at Buckingham Palace for the first time as monarch and greets crowds of well-wishers
Cheers rang out at Buckingham Palace as the King and Queen Consort arrived, along with shouts of ‘God save the King’
Onlookers shouted three cheers for Charles as he spoke to countless onlookers who had gathered to mourn his mother
Huge crowds cheered the couple as they arrived at the palace before the King left his car and began shaking hands with members of the public
The King arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time as monarch.
At 2.20pm, the Royal Standard was raised above Buckingham Palace for the first time of the King’s reign.
There were cheers from the crowds as the King’s state Bentley arrived at the gates of the Palace. He stepped from the car to greet the hundreds of well-wishers gathered outside.
Charles shook hands with countless members of the public lined up behind a barrier, thanking them for their good wishes.
The Queen followed behind at a distance, before joining the King at his side to view the floral tributes left outside the gates. The pair waved to the onlookers, who gave three cheers for the new monarch and his consort.
Cheers rang out at Buckingham Palace as the King and Queen arrived, along with shouts of ‘God save the King’. Many people held their phones aloft to try to catch a glimpse of them as they greeted members of the crowd and look at the tributes left for the Queen as the sun shone.
4.13pm: Mourners take their seats at St Paul’s Cathedral ahead of 6pm service
At 4.13pm, mourners began to take their seats in St Paul’s Cathedral for the service of prayer and reflection which will begin at 6pm.
4.18pm: King Charles III meets Liz Truss for the first time since the Queen’s death, at Buckingham Palace
The King met Liz Truss for the first time since the Queen’s death, at Buckingham Palace, at around 4.20pm.
The Prime Minister arrived at the central London residence this afternoon after the monarch returned from Balmoral.
It came after she had hailed his late mother for creating modern Britain as she launched a special session of the Commons.