The Royal Family has begun a ten-day mourning period after Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully in Balmoral, aged 96.
A pre-recorded message from King Charles will be televised around the world.
National mourning will be observed in the United Kingdom from Friday until seven days after the Queen’s funeral. Britain will hear from its new head of state, King Charles III, in a pre-recorded message tonight at around 6 pm BST. At the same time, a public service will be held at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral and will be attended by the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss. On Friday afternoon she will meet with King Charles, who is returning to London from Balmoral with the Queen Consort, Camilla.
King Charles has described Queen Elizabeth’s death as “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”. The new reigning King of England said in a written statement: “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. “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.”
President Joe Biden spoke about the Queen’s “history-making reign” – which passed the 70-year milestone in February in a statement. He credited the Queen with being “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. “She helped make our relationship special.”
The President has also ordered US flags to be flown at half-mast for the next 10 days until the Queen’s state funeral. He set a rare proclamation calling for all the nation’s flags to be lowered to mark the Queen’s death, not just at the White House, but at all government buildings, embassies and military bases around the world “until sunset on the day of interment”.