Queen Elizabeth II Has Died at 96—Her Son, Charles, Will Succeed Her as King of England

According to a statement by Buckingham Palace, she passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday.

Queen Elizabeth
Photo: Pool / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom's longest serving monarch, has died at the age of 96. According to a statement released by Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland this afternoon. Her death marks the end of a historic reign that spanned seven decades.

The statement continued: "The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow." In addition to her son, the newly named King Charles III, and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, several other royals have rushed to Balmoral following Her Majesty's death, including her grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

While there has been much speculation as to who will take over the throne, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Charles will serve as King Consort following his mother's death. "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," King Charles wrote in a press release. "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother."

Although many believed that King Charles would step aside and abdicate the throne to his son, Prince William, People reports that His Majesty is ready to serve. Although the change in power is swift, The King likely won't be officially crowned for quite some time. According to People, the coronation will likely take place in about a year as the country mourns the loss of its queen.

The news of the Queen's passing comes after the monarch was placed under medical supervision earlier Thursday. In recent years she has been encouraged to make fewer public appearances and prioritize her health in lieu of reported mobility issues. Her grandson, Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, recently moved out of Kensington Palace to be closer to Queen Elizabeth, following reports that she was in poor health.

Queen Elizabeth, who ascended the throne in 1952, is succeeded by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. "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," the King said.

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