When you think of the UK, it’s impossible not to conjure up an image of Her Majesty the Queen, so synonymous was the 96-year-old royal with the island nation.
In the afternoon of Thursday, September 8 Bucking Palace announced on the Royal.uk website that the Queen had passed away.
'The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,' read the statement.
'The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.'
Since ascending to the throne in 1952, the mother-of-four worked as a mechanic and military truck driver during World War II, talked politics with 15 prime ministers and 13 US presidents, led 53 Commonwealth countries and welcomed eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Earlier on Thursday Buckingham Palace broke the news that The Queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral following doctor's concerns about her health, leading many to assume that these are now her final days.
A statement from Buckingham Palace:https://t.co/2x2oD289nL
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
A Palace spokesperson said: “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision.
"The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral” pic.twitter.com/ufjDd5cfIO
— PA Media (@PA) September 8, 2022
A Palace spokesperson said earlier in the day: 'Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision.
'The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.'
In response, newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss wrote on Twitter: 'The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime.'
The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime.
My thoughts - and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom - are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) September 8, 2022
She added: 'My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.'
Members of the Royal Family travelled urgently to Balmoral soon after news hit the headlines.
Prior to her most recent health update, the 96-year-old monarch pulled out of a virtual Privy Council on Wednesday, September 7 a day after appointing the new Prime Minister.
UPDATE: Prince Charles and Camilla have travelled to Balmoral to be with the Queen. They were staying nearby at Birkhall on the estate
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 8, 2022
In February, Her Majesty contracted Covid-19, but it was understood she had mild symptoms. And on March 1, she was seen for the first time since testing positive for the virus when virtually speaking to three foreign diplomats.
As for her late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on April 9, 2021 Buckingham Palace announced that he had died aged 99. He was the longest serving consort in British history.
NEW: Prince William also now travelling to Balmoral after todays announcement on the Queen’s health.
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 8, 2022
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, only 30 guests were able to attend the funeral, including the late Duke's children and grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry. It's believed the royal family considered his great-grandchildren too young to attend the ceremony.
Following the news of the Queen's passing, here is everything you need to know about what will now happen:
Will Prince Charles become king when the Queen dies?
The Prince of Wales has become King following the Queen’s death and is expected to address the nation in the coming hours. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall will become Queen Camilla.
It's believed Prince Charles has adopted the title of King Charles III.
If Prince Charles chooses to keep his own name (royals can choose another upon ascending to the throne) he will be known as King Charles III. It is believed that Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, will then become the Prince of Wales.
In 2019, the Sun reported that the Queen would ‘retire’ when she turned 94. It was widely believed that Prince Charles would step up to take on the Queen’s duties in 2021.
A royal source reportedly told the publication at the time: ‘Planning for Charles to become king has been going on for some time. A transition is plainly already underway. Her Majesty is in her nineties and can understandably only do so much.’
The same year Prince Charles took the Queen’s place at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
The Queen had been slowly reducing the number of public engagements she attended in recent years. In April 2022 the royal returned to her official duties for the first time since the death of her husband, and in September was spotted attending an at Westminster Abbey with a walking stick.
What will happen the day the Queen dies?
A brief bulletin was published from the Palace in the hours following the Queen's death.
'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,' the statement read, along with the date of her passing.
On the night of her father King George V’s death, the Palace announced: ‘The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close.’
Two days before Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, the institution shared: ‘The Queen is suffering from great physical prostration, accompanied by symptoms which cause much anxiety.’
Soon after the announcement of Her Majesty's death hit the headlines, the Royal Mail workers' planned strike for Friday, 9 September, was suspended, as well as the BBC Proms and Mercury Awards due to take place this evening.
Where will the Royal Family go following her death?
Following the Queen's passing it was announced that Prince Charles and Camille would 'remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow'.
It's likely the other members of the Royal Family will likewise return to London after traveling to Balmoral, Scotland earlier on Thursday, September 8 to be with the Queen.
Where was the Queen during Covid-19?
The Queen tested positive for coronavirus on February 20, 2022.
The Palace confirmed the news, explaining that Her Majesty had 'mild cold like symptoms', but 'expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week'. The statement continued: 'She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines.'
On March 1, 2022 the Queen resumed her royal duties and received His Excellency Mr Carles Jordana Madero and His Excellency Mr Kedella Younous Hamidi, after postponing several engagements the week prior.
Despite her earlier Covid-19 symptoms, the royal is believed to have carried some light duties at Windsor Castle during her illness, including her weekly telephone audience with the Prime Minister, per the Evening Standard.
Her Majesty, who was believed to be fully vaccinated, having taken booster injections following her first dose in January 2021, wasn't the only royal to contract Covid-19 in recent months. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, both tested positive in February, and it was the second time the Prince of Wales had caught the virus.
In March 2020, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen was moving to Windsor as a precautionary measure amid the virus outbreak.
The royal’s trip to Windsor Castle took place earlier than planned in the year, and she was expected to remain there beyond the Easter period with her husband. She has since returned to her London base at Buckingham Palace.
Following her departure from London last March, the Queen urged the country to unite and said that everyone had a role to play in the coming days and months to tackle the pandemic.
As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen’s diary.
Read our press release in full:https://t.co/dWXKCT0AQj
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 17, 2020
‘We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them,’ the Queen said.
She added: ‘At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.’
‘Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.’
On March 22 2021, it was widely reported that the Queen was planning to give a rare televised address to the nation on coronavirus.
The monarch was thought to have been liaising with the Government on the timing for the speech. Apart from Her Majesty's annual Christmas day address, the last time she made a similar speech was in 2002, following her mother's funeral. She also made rare a rare speech in 1997 after the death of the late Princess Diana and on the topic of the Gulf War in 1991.
In 2020, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were residing at their Scottish home on the Royals' Balmoral estate, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were staying at Anmer Hall, Norfolk with their three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The family has since returned to their London home, Kensington Palace.
Who will contact the prime minister about the Queen’s death?
According to the Guardian, Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s private secretary, was the individual in charge of informing the prime minister of the Queen’s passing.
During her speech shortly after the Queen's passing was announced, Prime Minister Liz Truss described the Queen has 'the rock on which modern Britain was built'.
The code word ‘London Bridge’ was believed to have been used to announce her death to officials, with civil servants expected to have said ‘London Bridge is down’ on secure lines.
When King George VI died, the code was ‘Hyde Park Corner’ was used to prevent switchboard operators from finding out.
The Foreign Office’s Global Response Centre was then expected to share the news to the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen was also the head of state, and the 36 other nations of the Commonwealth.
How will the public know the Queen has died?
An announcement went out first to the global news agency Press Association and the rest of the world’s media simultaneously. As per tradition, a footman in mourning clothes walked out of Buckingham Palace and pinned a black-edged notice to the gates.
An easel announcing the death of the Duke was placed outside of Buckingham Palace following his passing on April 9, 2021.
A radio alert transmission system known commonly as ‘Rats’ was also expected to have been activated, which is a wartime alarm.
In 2011, BBC Radio 1 Head of Music Chris Price wrote on the Huffington Post: ‘If you ever hear 'Haunted Dancehall (Nursery Remix)' by Sabres of Paradise on daytime Radio 1, turn the TV on.
‘Something terrible has just happened.’
The news spread via the main TV channels first, with all BBC channel programmes being paused to show the BBC One feed, which will show information of her passing and reign. Newsreaders will wear black suits and ties, which they keep on standby with them at all times.
Pilots are expected to announce the death of the Queen during their flights and all comedy TV shows will not be shown until after her funeral.
What will happen in the hours after the Queen’s death?
It might sound morbid but news publications across the world will have had obituaries prepared, which will have been published on hearing news of Her Majesty’s passing.
Flags will fly at half-mast across the UK (as was the case when the Duke of Edinburgh died too) and it has been rumoured for several years that workers may have days off on Friday, September 9.
The day of the Queen’s death - Thursday, September 8 - will be followed by a 12-day mourning period. During this time, the Queen’s body will be moved to Buckingham Palace, from Balmoral, and preparations will be made for the state funeral. The Archbishop of Canterbury will be in charge of funeral proceedings.
Her Majesty’s coffin will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days. Previously, this was the case so that the public could pay their respects.
After this period, it is expected that her body will finally then be laid to rest in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Queen Mother and King George VI are also buried there.
Will the Queen have a state funeral?
It's believed the state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, London and will include a procession in London and Windsor and a nationwide two minutes' silence at midday.
Politico.eu reported that there would also be a 'committal service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and the Queen will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel'.
What will happen to the economy after the Queen’s death?
The Queen’s funeral and Prince Charles’ coronation will become national holidays.
On the day of the funeral, the London Stock Exchange will close. It’s unknown what will happen to the British economy following her death. That said, Business Insider reported that the national holidays will result in an estimated economic hit to gross domestic product of £1.2 billion to £6 billion.
In March 2020, the pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, as the spread of the virus continued.
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