Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.
The Queen has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace has announced.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace said.
Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world’s oldest head of state.
On her death, the Queen’s eldest son and heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales, has become King of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms.
No official details have been released about what will happen over the coming days, but it is anticipated that the Queen will be given a full state funeral, as is traditional to mark the death of a monarch.
It is also expected that her body will lie in state to allow the public to pay tribute.
The King will sign off the final plans in the coming days.
Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said:
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.
Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week.
She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
At Buckingham Palace in London, crowds awaiting updates on the Queen’s condition began crying as they heard of her death.
The Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in Mayfair, London, on 21 April 1926.