Buckingham Palace announced the monarch’s passing on Thursday, September 8. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the official statement read. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Hours before her death, the palace revealed on Thursday that Elizabeth was placed under the “medical supervision” of her doctors and was “comfortable” at her Balmoral estate in Scotland. At the time, Prince Charles, Prince William and more loved ones gathered at the castle to be by her side.
Preparations for her burial will be finalized while the U.K. observes the traditional mourning period, with the Archbishop of Canterbury heading up the proceedings. Elizabeth, who was the longest-reigning British royal ahead of her death, will be honored with a state funeral.
When her husband, Prince Philip, died at age 99 in April 2021, he was not recognized with a state funeral due to the coronavirus crisis. At the time, a source told Us Weekly that the royals didn’t “want his death to have a negative impact on the U.K.’s pandemic protocols.” Instead, a more private, military-style service was held at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The queen was married to the former naval cadet for more than 70 years before he succumbed to old age. They shared four children — Charles, 73, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — along with eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
As the first in line for the throne, Charles, 73, immediately stepped in as king after Elizabeth’s death and will be officially proclaimed as the new monarch by the Ascension Council at a later date. He is succeeded by his eldest son, 40, with Prince Harry fifth in line behind William and Duchess Kate‘s children: Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
After the death of his father, Charles inherited the title of Duke of Edinburgh. According to a source, the heir-apparent has been preparing to take over as king for quite some time.
“This is something he’s dreamed about his entire life — he sees it as his birthright, and Her Majesty would find it extremely difficult to deprive him of that,” the insider told Us in November 2020, adding that his wife, Duchess Camilla, will happily serve “by his side.”
Ahead of her death, the monarch celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in February. At the time, she announced in a statement that Camilla, 75, would officially take on the title of Queen Consort. The decision was “a dream come true” for Charles, an insider exclusively revealed.
“Charles is over the moon that his mother has given her seal of approval,” the source added, shortly before Charles, Camilla and the queen each tested positive for COVID-19.
Celebrations continued in June, but Her Royal Highness missed a handful of the events as she struggled with mobility issues. “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” a palace statement noted after the Trooping the Colour. “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”
Amid the transition after Elizabeth’s passing, several governments outside of the U.K. were notified of the news, including the Commonwealth realms of which she was head of state. Her death was announced to the public with a message outside of Buckingham Palace.
Scroll down for the complete timeline of the queen’s funeral, which will be dubbed a National Day of Mourning: