King Charles III mourns 'beloved mother' Queen Elizabeth II

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King Charles III has led tributes to his "cherished" mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The royal, the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world's oldest head of state, passed away at her Balmoral residence in Scotland with her family by her side on Thursday afternoon. She was 96.

Following the sad news, Charles issued a statement in which he honoured his "beloved mother".

"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," he wrote. "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."

Charles, who became King of England following his mother's death, will remain at Balmoral for the rest of Thursday and return to London with his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, on Friday. A representative for Clarence House confirmed he will now be known as Charles III.

"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," the 73-year-old added.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss described The Queen's passing as a "huge shock to the nation and the world".

"We are all devastated," she told reporters outside Downing Street, noting it is the "passing of the second Elizabethan age".

And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, remembered the royal's "steadfast loyalty" to the people of the U.K.

"As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service, and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation, and society," he stated.

The Queen celebrated her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Sapphire Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2017, respectively, and became the first British monarch to reach a Platinum Jubilee this year.

Her husband, Prince Philip, passed away at the age of 99 in April 2021.

She is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.