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Queen Elizabeth II has died. Here’s a look at how the day unfolded.

The image of Queen Elizabeth II is projected onto a large screen and reflected in a rainy street at Piccadilly Circus, in London, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press

Unease grew Thursday amid the news that Queen Elizabeth II, the 96-year-old monarch who had reigned for seven decades, had been placed under medical supervision by her doctors. Just a few hours later, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch had died.

Members of the royal family had traveled to Scotland to be by her side at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence, after her health took a downward turn. Her death means that her eldest son Charles, formerly the Prince of Wales, is now the king. He will be known as King Charles III, royal officials said.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”


Here is everything we know so far about the situation.

Members of the royal family traveled to be by the queen’s side

News of the queen’s worsening medical condition arrived on the heels of her canceling a virtual meeting of her Privy Council after doctors advised her to rest following a packed schedule on Tuesday, when she formally asked Liz Truss — who succeeded Boris Johnson — to be prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Many members of the royal family traveled to the queen’s bedside at Balmoral Castle, the Scottish estate near Aberdeen, to see her, the BBC reported. Among those who arrived included Charles and his wife, Camilla, and the queen’s younger sons, Edward and Andrew, along with grandson Prince William, who is now first in line to the throne. Princess Anne, the queen’s daughter, was already at Balmoral.

Early reports said that Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were traveling to Scotland to be at the queen’s side. The BBC later clarified that Harry was “traveling alone.” Prince William’s wife Kate also stayed behind with their children as school began. The couple will now be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall, a change reflected on their official Twitter account.


Charles called the death of his “beloved Mother” a “moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” in a statement after the news broke. During this “period of mourning and change,” he continued, the family will find comfort in knowing the “respect and deep affection” with which the queen was held.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-beloved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” he said.

It was unusual for Buckingham Palace to release a statement on her health

The BBC initially reported Thursday that the palace is typically “unwilling” to provide any sort of status update or commentary on medical matters that involved the queen. The fact that Buckingham Palace released a statement about the queen’s health early Thursday was highly unusual and quickly drew international attention.

Barriers were placed outside “one of the entrances to the estate” in Scotland, and early on BBC One suspended all regular programming to focus on the queen’s deteriorating health. As her death was announced, the network played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” over a portrait of her in full regalia, the Associated Press reported.

Pictures also showed a sign outside of the courtyard of Buckingham Palace on Thursday in London that read, “No guard changing ceremony today.” It later posted an official statement about the queen’s death on the gates, noting she had “died peacefully.” The palace lowered the flag to half-staff.


Crowds outside the palace swelled before news of her death broke. Afterward, pictures and video on social media showed that two rainbows appeared near the Queen Victoria Memorial. People also sang the national anthem.

The official website for the royal family has since gone black, only featuring a portrait of the queen and a statement about the news of her death. The website will be temporarily unavailable while “appropriate changes” are made, according to the statement.

Britain’s new prime minister and others offered support, then condolences

Word of the queen’s condition spread rapidly, and shortly after the news of the queen’s worsening condition broke, several prominent figures issued statements expressing their support for and admiration of her.

Parliament was in the middle of a debate at the time, following Truss’s announcement of a sweeping package to help manage the energy crisis. Truss left the House of Commons chamber “grave-faced” shortly after an “aide whispered” in her ear, the New York Times reported.

“I know I speak on behalf of the entire House when I say that we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and that she and the royal family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment,” said the speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, after the palace released its statement on the queen’s health.

Following the announcement of the queen’s death, Truss referred to her as “the rock on which modern Britain was built,” and said that the country had “grown and flourished” under her rule. In an address outside 10 Downing St., she also called on people to support King Charles III.


Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, released a statement saying that he was joining the world in mourning her loss. He said his prayers were with the king and the royal family.

“May God draw near them and comfort them in the days, weeks, and months ahead,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, said he was “heartbroken in our loss,” but added that despite his sorrow, “I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II.”

Leaders worldwide also expressed their condolences for the queen as the news of her death reverberated across the globe, touching on her legacy and memorable moments they shared with her.

President Biden released a statement with First Lady Jill Biden saying that the queen was “more than a monarch,” and instead “defined an era” with her steadying presence.


Former president Barack Obama also released a statement with wife, Michelle, saying that they were grateful to have witnessed the queen’s “dedicated leadership, and we are awed by her legacy of tireless, dignified public service.”

The queen had receded from public view in recent years

Over the past few years, concern had grown over the queen’s health. She canceled many public appearances and stopped traveling outside Britain several years ago, the New York Times reported. Prince Philip, her husband of more than 70 years, died in April of last year.

The queen skipped most of her other celebrations during the Platinum Jubilee in June. She also missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in June, CNN reported.

She had been planning for her succession for a period of time. Earlier this year, during the 70th anniversary of her accession to the British throne, the queen said that she wanted Camilla to be known as “queen consort” when Charles was named king, the Washington Post reported. He will now reign, and Camilla will be officially known as the queen consort.

Throughout her reign, the queen built a strong bond with the public. Many took to social media to offer their thoughts in the wake of the news. The impact of her loss will likely have significant implications and is already being felt on a global scale.

Shannon Larson can be reached at Follow her @shannonlarson98.