Queen Elizabeth II, The United Kingdom’s Longest Reigning Monarch, Dies At 96

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch, has passed away at the age of 96. She was surrounded by her family, including her children and grandchildren who traveled to Balmoral in Scotland to be by her side before she died.

At her side was Prince Charles, soon to be sworn in as king, along with his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Also in attendance were Prince Andrew; Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and Prince William were also present. Prince Harry was said to be traveling to the Queen’s beloved holiday home to be with his family at this difficult time.

The United Kingdom and other commonwealth nations will now observe a 10-day period of mourning, with a state funeral taking place at a date to be announced in due course. The formal announcement of her death has been affixed to the railings at Buckingham Palace as tradition dictates, and a ceremonial gun salute will be given as a mark of respect, The Guardian reports.

Charles, the Prince of Wales, is now officially king, though his coronation date has not yet been determined. He is, however, expected to meet with Prime Minister Liz Truss at some point today before an official proclamation is made at an accession council at St. James Palace.

Charles, who will reign as King Charles III, issued a statement shortly after his mother’s passing, saying: “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. 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.”

The statement continued: “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.”

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill