Britain has entered a 10-day period of national mourning following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday (8 September) at her beloved Balmoral estate in rural Aberdeenshire.
Her Majesty’s death at 96 brings an end to an extraordinary 70-year reign, the longest of any monarch in our history, which began when she succeeded her father George IV in 1952, and ended in the year of her platinum jubilee celebrations with her inviting her 15th prime minister, Liz Truss, to form a new government.
In her final hours, spent under medical supervision at her Scottish residence, many of the Queen’s immediate family raced to be at her bedside to say goodbye, including her sons Charles, Andrew and Edward and grandsons William and Harry.
Many more royal relatives will be expected to attend her state funeral at Westminster Abbey to pay their final respects.
The Queen married Prince Philip in 1947. The Duke of Edinburgh was her husband, consort and rock for almost 74 years until he passed away in April 2021.
The couple had four children: Charles, now King Charles III and formerly the Prince of Wales, born in 1948; Anne, the Princess Royal (born 1950); Andrew, the Duke of York (1960); and Edward, Earl of Wessex (1964).
Charles had two sons from his ultimately unhappy marriage to the late Princess Diana, William and Harry, the former now the heir to the British throne.
Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011 and the now-Duke of Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge have three children of their own, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, all of whom happened to be taking part in their first full day at Lambrook School in Berkshire on Thursday, hence their absence, and that of their mother, from Her Majesty’s bedside.
Prince Harry married the American actress Meghan Markle in 2018 but the couple have since acrimoniously severed their official ties with the royal family and relocated to the US. They have two children: Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
Princess Anne meanwhile presented the Queen with two grandchildren from her first marriage to Captain Mark Phillips: Peter Philips and Zara Tindall, the latter a successful equestrian married to the former England rugby player Mike Tindall.
Mr Philipps and his ex-wife Autumn have two daughters, Savannah and Isla, while the Tindalls have three children: Mia, Lena and Lucas.
The Duke of York, who has recently faced difficult questions about his friendships with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, is likewise divorced but has two daughters from his marriage to Sarah Ferguson, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Both princesses have married and each had their first child last year – Beatrice gave birth to a daughter, Sienna Mapelli Mozzi, and Eugenie a son, August Brookbank – bringing the Queen’s total number of great-grandchildren to 12.
Lastly, Prince Edward has two children from his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones, the Countess of Wessex: Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn.