Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, has died at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace has announced.
In a statement Buckingham Palace 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 brings to an end the longest reign in the history of the United Kingdom, and one of the longest reigns by any head of state.
Elizabeth II became Queen on the death of her father King George VI on 6 February 1952. She held her coronation at Westminster Abbey the following year.
Her reign of 70 years was seven years longer than that of Queen Victoria.
Leading the monarchy from the final years of the British Empire into the age of social media, she became one of the world’s most recognised and respected figures.
The Queen’s 70-year reign has ended, and her eldest son, Charles, is now King of the United Kingdom.
The Queen guided the UK and the monarchy through generations of change, winning respect and admiration around the world for her dedication to duty.
Most people living in the UK and in the Commonwealth will not have known a time without her as monarch.
An era that began in 1952 – known by some as the New Elizabethan age – is over.
In the last few moments staff have carried a podium onto Downing Street after Buckingham Palace announced the news of the Queen’s death.
The Union flags have been lowered to half-mast and Prime Minister Liz Truss is expected to speak shortly.
Royal Family goes into mourning
The Queen leaves a large and devoted family – one that has recently mourned the death of her husband Prince Philip.
Her four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward, gave her eight grand-children. She also leaves 12 great-grandchildren.
Prince William has become the heir to the throne, at the age of 40.
The Royal Family will now enter a period of mourning. Official engagements will be cancelled and union flags will be flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings, across the Armed Forces and UK Posts overseas.