Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned as the longest-reigning British monarch, died on Thursday at the age of 96. Her oldest son, Charles, has now become King Charles III. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace announced in a statement posted on Twitter. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.” The King said in a statement that the Queen’s death was “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”
The Queen is dead. The monarch, who reigned for more than 60 years and oversaw the last throes of the British empire, weathered global upheaval and domestic scandal, and dramatically modernized the monarchy, died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Elizabeth ruled over the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms.
Queen Elizabeth II’s four children were at Balmoral Castle when the announcement was made that she would be retiring. Earlier on Thursday, Charles rushed to the Scottish castle with his wife, Camilla. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, known as the Princess Royal, was already there. Prince William, who is now the heir apparent to the throne, arrived at Balmoral Thursday afternoon together with the Queen’s other two sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as Edward’s wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. Charles and Camilla have taken on the title of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall , according to their official Twitter account . William and Catherine have remained at Windsor , where their three children attended their first day at a new school . Harry is also en route to Balmoral ; Meghan is not traveling with him , a spokesperson said .