Royal duties. Prince Charles responded to Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 8, 2022, with a statement that “profoundly” mourns the death of “a cherished sovereign and mother.” The statement was issued on behalf of His Majesty the King, making reference to Charles’ imminent ascension to the throne.
“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,” the statement published on Twitter read. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign, and 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 on which The Queen was so widely held.”
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News broke of Elizabeth’s passing in the afternoon of September 8 after months of her health slowly deteriorating. Buckingham Palace made a formal announcement that she “died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.” But the world was preparing for her death as soon as news circulated members of the royal family were gathering at Balmoral Castle in Scotland to be by her side. “Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” an earlier statement from Buckingham Palace said. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.” The palace also confirmed that Prince Charles, Camila Parker Bowles and Prince William were immediately informed of the Queen’s health. “Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have traveled to Balmoral.”
Charles, 73, is the heir to the British royal throne and is expected to take over as King immediately after his mother’s death, but it is unclear exactly when his coronation will take place. His son, Prince William, is second in line. Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest-running monarch, celebrating 70 years of reign with her Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. “Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones—my own is no exception—but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness,” she said at the time.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, meanwhile, will transition into their new titles following the death of the Queen. According to their Twitter account, the couple second in line for the British throne is now “the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge and the Royal Foundation, based at Kensington Palace.” They have yet to make an official announcement but retweeted the statement issued by King Charles III.
For more about the British royal family, check out Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch. The New York Times bestseller, which includes the “real story” behind several storylines featured in Netflix’s The Crown, follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her childhood as the “heiress presumptive” to her father, King George VI; to the moment he et her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13 years old; to her ascension to the throne at 25 years old in 1952. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-revealed documents, provides a deep dive into the Queen’s legacy as one of the most famous monarchs in recent history.
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