Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history and an icon instantly recognisable to billions of people around the world, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.
Her eldest son, Charles, 73, succeeds as king immediately, according to centuries of protocol, beginning a new, less certain chapter for the royal family after the queen’s record-breaking 70-year reign.
According to Clarence House, he will be known as King Charles III. He will address the nation on Friday, his spokesman said, his first speech following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth.
Charles, Britain’s new king, released the following statement on Thursday after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
“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.”