Queen latest LIVE: World reacts as Buckingham Palace announces death of the Queen, aged 96

·40-min read
Queen latest LIVE: World reacts as Buckingham Palace announces death of the Queen, aged 96

The Queen has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The monarch passed away at her Balmoral estate in Scotland, the palace said.

In a short statement issued at 6.30pm, 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.”

Charles, who became King on the death of his mother, said: "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.

"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.

"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 announcement came after the Queen’s close family - including her four children Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward - had gathered at Balmoral to be with her.

Buckingham Palace had announced earlier on Thursday that she was under medical supervision with doctors concerned for her health.

The monarch had pulled out of a virtual Privy Council on Wednesday, a day after appointing Liz Truss as PM at her home in the Scottish Highlands.

Candles flicker as thousands keep vigil outside palace

22:51 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Hundreds of colourful bouquets and rows of flickering candles brightened the gates of Buckingham Palace as night fell on Thursday.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A thousands-strong crowd remains outside the royal residence, with many huddled under umbrellas and tearfully consoling one another.

Further back, others sporadically break out into the national anthem and rounds of applause.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Dozens of police officers line the gates while mourners have draped a union flag across the Victoria memorial, outside the palace.

Fergie pays tribute to ‘most incredible mother-in-law and friend’

22:41 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Sarah, Duchess of York, says she is “heartbroken” at the death of her “most incredible” former mother-in-law, the Queen.

The Duchess - mother of princesses Beatrice and Eugenie - remembered the Queen’s “generosity” following her divorce from Prince Andrew.

She wrote on Twitter: “I am heartbroken by the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

“She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy: the most fantastic example of duty and service and steadfastness, and a constant steadying presence as our head of state for more than 70 years.

“She has given her whole life selflessly to the people of the UK & the Commonwealth. To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend.

“I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce.

“I will miss her more than words can express.”

Sporting fixtures cancelled and more expected to follow

22:22 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Sporting events are being cancelled following the death of the Queen and more are expected to follow as a period of national mourning begins.

Decisions regarding further postponements in the calendar are set to be determined by official mourning guidance, which is due to be issued by the Cabinet Office.

However, it is understood it will be left to sports event organisers to decide how to proceed, and postponements will not be mandatory.

A meeting involving representatives from sports governing bodies and the Government is scheduled for Friday morning.

The English Football League has confirmed tomorrow night’s Championship game between Burnley and Norwich and the League Two match between Tranmere and Stockport have been postponed.

A decision on Saturday’s fixtures is yet to be made.

Meanwhile in rugby league, the RFL postponed Friday’s Betfred Championship fixture between Sheffield Eagles and Dewsbury Rams. Further announcements about the weekend’s fixtures at all levels are set to be made “as soon as possible”, the governing body said.

The British Horseracing Authority also announced events scheduled for Friday – including the third day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster – have been cancelled.

In cycling, tomorrow’s Tour of Britain stage has been cancelled with a decision on the rest of the tour to be made.

Putin sends personal message of condolence to King Charles

22:04 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Vladimir Putin has reached out to King Charles III in a telegram, despite tensions over the war in Ukraine.

Expressing his sympathies to the royal family, the Russian President described Queen Elizabeth’s death as a “heavy, irreparable loss”.

He wrote: “The most important events in the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty.

“For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.

“I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss. I ask you to convey the words of sincere sympathy and support to the members of the royal family and all the people of Great Britain.”

Empire State Building glows purple for Queen

21:53 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Some of the world’s most famous landmarks are switching off their lights following the death of the Queen.

New York’s Empire State Building glowed in regal purple this evening, while the mayor of Paris said lights at the Eiffel Tower would be turned off as a mark of respect.

In the UK, the London Eye said it would be switching off its lights from sunset on Thursday.

In a statement, the landmark’s Twitter account said: “The London Eye will join with mourners around the world during this period of national remembrance.

“In honour of Her Majesty, we will switch off our lights from sunset this evening.

“We give thanks for the extraordinary life and work of Her Majesty the Queen – her decades of devoted service to her country will remain an inspiration to us all.”

King to address the nation tomorrow

21:39 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III, will address the nation on Friday, his spokesman said.

It will be his first speech following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, and his ascension to the throne.

Thousands gather in darkness to honour Queen

21:34 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

A sea of people remains gathered outside Buckingham Palace, to pay respects to the longest reigning monarch in British history.

As rain continues to fall in London, thousands of people keep vigil outside the palace gates, while crowds also gather at royal residences such as Balmoral and Windsor Castle.

Mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace (PA)
Mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace (PA)

Rail and Royal Mail strikes cancelled in wake of Queen’s death

21:27 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Planned strikes by rail and postal workers have been called off as a result of the Queen’s death.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union were due to walk out on September 15 and 17 in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Its general secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth.

“The planned railway strike action on September 15 and 17 is suspended.

“We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country.”

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) also called off planned strikes.

A statement said: “Upon the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has died, TSSA union expresses deepest condolences to her family, friends, the country and those affected by her passing.

“TSSA is cancelling planned industrial action for September and will be respecting the period of public mourning. The union pays respect to Britain’s longest-serving monarch.”

Members of the Communication Workers Union were due to continue a 48-hour walkout on Friday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

General secretary Dave Ward said: “Following the very sad news of the passing of the Queen and out of respect for her service to the country and her family, the union has decided to call off tomorrow’s planned strike action.”

The train drivers union Aslef has also suspended a planned strike.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We welcome the unions’ decision to call off next week’s strikes and we join them and the rest of the railway family in sending our condolences to the royal family.”

Selfridges to stay closed on Friday as mark of respect

21:25 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Department store Selfridges has paid tribute to the Queen, saying it will not open its doors tomorrow.

The company closed early on Thursday and said it would remain closed all day Friday before reopening at the weekend.

“It is with deep sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II,” it said in a statement.

“Queen Elizabeth has been a reassuring constant throughout our lives, ascending to the throne on February 6, 1952, making her the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

“Over the past 70 years, her Majesty has been dedicated to the service of our country and the Commonwealth, demonstrating an enormous sense of duty and commitment.”

Watch: Mourners break into rendition of ‘God save the King’

21:13 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

A video shows the moment emotional crowds outside Buckingham Palace sang a modified rendition of the national anthem this afternoon.

Britain to enter 10 days of national mourning

21:10 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Queen’s death will now trigger a 10-day period of mourning, beginning tomorrow (Friday).

The Palace will set out exact arrangements for this period - and the Queen’s state funeral that will likely come at the end of it - in due course.

The Government is expecting large crowds to continue gathering around the palaces and in central London to pay respects in coming days.

A number of organisations are now making practical preparations to allow this to happen, the Evening Standard understands.

Access to some areas, especially in central London, is likely to be restricted with road closures and diversions in place.

No decision on whether there will be a bank holiday has yet been announced.

National mourning guidance is expected to be published soon.

Liz Truss was told of Queen’s death two hours before announcement

21:06 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Prime Minister was informed of the Queen’s death at 4.30pm, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

Ms Truss was told the news by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, two hours before the news was made public by Buckingham Palace.

Following her statement in Downing Street, Ms Truss spoke to the King and she is also expected to chair a meeting of ministers at 9pm.

Brazil to enter period of mourning

21:04 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro said his country would be holding three days of official mourning in honour of the Queen.

He described the monarch as not just the Queen of England but a “Queen to all of us”, adding that she was an “extraordinary and unique woman, whose example of leadership, humility and love for [her] homeland will continue to inspire us and the whole world until the end of time”.

Pictured: Prince Harry arrives at Balmoral

20:58 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Photographs show the moment Prince Harry arrived at Balmoral Castle, where the Queen died earlier today.

The Duke of Sussex did not travel there with his brother, Prince William, and other senior royals this afternoon, instead arriving alone this evening.

Prince Harry arrives at Balmoral (PA)
Prince Harry arrives at Balmoral (PA)

‘We owe a deep debt of gratitude’, says MI6 chief

20:38 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

MI6 chief Richard Moore has paid tribute to the Queen’s “candour, wit and burning sense of duty”, describing her as “the longest-running reader of intelligence reports”.

“Her Majesty The Queen’s long record of public service is unparalleled in our nation’s history,” he said in a statement.

“She was a source of stability, good judgment and wisdom to the United Kingdom for almost seven decades, and shepherded us through the profoundest of global changes and challenges over that period. We owe a deep debt of gratitude for her unwavering devotion to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

Cheers ring out for Queen and King Charles III

20:37 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Cheers of “long live the king” are ringing out among crowds outside Buckingham Palace, where rain is lashing down.

The cheers follow cries of “three cheers for the life of Queen Elizabeth”.

Queen’s death will kickstart ‘biggest security operation the UK has ever seen’

20:26 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The security operation in the wake of the Queen’s death and surrounding her funeral is likely to be the biggest the UK has ever seen, says a former counter-terror chief.

Security operation after Queen’s death will be ‘biggest the UK has ever seen’

Bill and Hillary Clinton give thanks for Queen’s ‘extraordinary life'

20:23 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband former US President Bill Clinton said the Queen was “a source of stability, serenity and strength” who deepened the special relationship between their nation and the UK.

“We join with people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and all around the world, in giving thanks for her extraordinary life,” their statement reads.

“Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity and genuine care for the welfare of all its people. In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity and strength.

“We will always be grateful for the kindness she showed us through the years, particularly during our visits to Buckingham Palace in 1995 and 2000, and for all she did to deepen the special relationship.”

In a separate tweet, Ms Clinton said: “Few individuals in the history of humanity have led their people with such steadiness and grace as Queen Elizabeth.

“My condolences to everyone mourning her passing today, and the end of an era.”

Queen’s contributions to peace remembered by Sinn Fein leader

20:17 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald praised the Queen’s contribution to change, peace and reconciliation in Ireland.

“I wish to extend deepest sympathy to the British royal family on the death of Queen Elizabeth II,” she said. “Her passing marks the end of an era.

“Relationships between our two countries for so long marked by conflict and suffering have been recast and reimagined through the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Queen proved a powerful advocate and ally of those who believe in peace and reconciliation.

“I salute her contribution to the huge change that has evolved in recent years. Her death is a moment of heartbreak and pride for the British people. To them, and especially to Irish unionists, I extend on behalf of Sinn Fein and Irish Republicans sincere condolences.”

Sir Keir makes moving video tribute

20:12 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told how the Queen “created a special, personal relationship with us all” based on “service and devotion to her country”.

“Nobody under the age of 70 has known anything other than Queen Elizabeth II on the throne,” he said in a video broadcast.

“For the vast majority of us, the late Queen has been simply the Queen.”

The Rolling Stones pay their respects

20:10 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Rolling Stones have offered their “deepest sympathy” to the royal family following the death of the Queen.

The British rock band shared a photo of the monarch in her youth as well as in her later days as they paid tribute on Twitter.

They wrote: “The Rolling Stones extend their deepest sympathy to the royal family on the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who was a constant presence in their lives as in countless others.”

Huge numbers gather outside palace

20:07 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Huge crowds of people are gathering outside Buckingham Palace.

As night falls, throngs of people paying their respects to the late Queen are filling The Mall and the area outside the palace.

Black Cabs line up The Mall

19:59 , Sarah Harvey

A moving tribute as London black cabs line up across The Mall, leading to Buckingham Palace:

Prince Harry has arrived at Balmoral

19:58 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The Duke of Sussex has arrived at Balmoral Estate to be with his family.

Prince Harry arrives (BBC)
Prince Harry arrives (BBC)

Flag at half mast on the Capitol building in Washington

19:56 , Sarah Harvey

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Keir Starmer: The nation shares in the grief of the Royal Family

19:53 , Sarah Harvey

Flowers at Sandringham

19:46 , Sarah Harvey

A steady stream of people laid floral tributes at the Norwich Gates to Sandringham House on the Queen's Norfolk estate.

Some appeared tearful as they approached the iron gates and placed their items at the foot of them.

Security workers closed the road beside the gates to traffic, with metal fencing across the junction of Sandringham Road with Scotch Belt and a police officer manning it.

The crowds continued to grow as the light faded at Sandringham on Thursday, with a mix of members of the public and journalists.

Joe Biden: the Queen ‘defined an era'

19:45 , Sarah Harvey

US President Joe Biden has made a statement.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era.

“In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.

The Queen with Jill and Joe Biden in 2021 (PA)
The Queen with Jill and Joe Biden in 2021 (PA)

“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special.

“In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort. Today, the thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief. We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are not only mourning their Queen, but their dear mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.”

Buckingham Palace

19:43 , Sarah Harvey

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (AP)
(AP)

The Queen and Paddington Bear - an unlikely friendship

19:41 , Sarah Harvey

Paddington Bear has paid tribute to the Queen:

Nancy Pelosi: ‘Queen Elizabeth embodied the highest spirit of civic duty'

19:39 , Sarah Harvey

The US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said Americans are mourning the "sad passing" of the Queen, describing her as "a pillar of leadership in the global arena and a devoted friend of freedom".

"On behalf of the United States Congress, I extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the royal family during this sad time," Ms Pelosi said in a statement.

"Queen Elizabeth embodied the highest spirit of civic duty: earning the reverence of her people and the respect of the world.

"Her Majesty capably shepherded the United Kingdom through great turbulence and transition.

"Under history's brightest spotlight, Queen Elizabeth offered a masterclass in grace and strength, power and poise. Her extraordinary life and leadership will continue to inspire young women and girls in public service, now and for generations to come.

"Personally, it was an honour to be on the Floor of the House during her historic address to the Congress in 1991 and to welcome her as Speaker on her important visit to the United States in 2007, which deepened the special relationship between our nations.

"May it be a comfort to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the entire royal family that Americans join them in prayer at this sad time."

Sadiq Khan: the Queen served with ‘unrivalled dignity, grace and purpose'

19:37 , Sarah Harvey

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has tweeted a statement:

Friday’s play in the England Test match v South Africa has been cancelled

19:33 , Sarah Harvey

Boris Johnson: Charles will do ‘justice her legacy'

19:30 , Sarah Harvey

Former prime minister Boris Johnson said the Queen had "modernised the constitutional monarchy" and "produced an heir to the throne who will amply do justice to her legacy".

"Though our voices may still be choked with sadness, we can say with confidence the words not heard in this country for more than seven decades: God save the King."

Clarence House confirms Charles to be known as King Charles III

19:29 , Sarah Harvey

Clarence House confirmed Charles will be known as King Charles III.

 (AP)
(AP)

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins: Queen ‘will be deeply missed'

19:25 , Sarah Harvey

“It is with profound regret and a deep personal sadness that I have learnt of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Michael D. Higgins said.

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I express my heartfelt sympathy to His Majesty the King and to the Royal Family on their very great personal loss. May I offer my deepest condolences to the British people and to the members of the Commonwealth on the loss of a unique, committed and deeply respected Head of State.

“Her Majesty served the British people with exceptional dignity. Her personal commitment to her role and extraordinary sense of duty were the hallmarks of her period as Queen, which will hold a unique place in British history.

“Her reign of 70 years encompassed periods of enormous change, during which she represented a remarkable source of reassurance to the British people. This was a reassurance based on a realism of the significance of present events, rather than any narrow conception of history. This was so well reflected by a remarkable generosity of spirit which helped to foster a more inclusive relationship both with the British people themselves and with those with whom her country has experienced a complex, and often difficult, history.

“As we offer our condolences to all our neighbours in the United Kingdom, following the loss of a remarkable friend of Ireland, we remember the role Queen Elizabeth played in celebrating the warm and enduring friendship, and her great impact on the bonds of mutual understanding, between our two peoples. She will be deeply missed.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.”

The Queen’s coffin to lie in state - as per tradition

19:23 , Sarah Harvey

The Queen’s coffin is set to lie in state to allow the public to pay their last respects.

Lying in state is usually reserved for sovereigns, current or past queen consorts, and sometimes former prime ministers.

Read the full piece, below:

Queen’s coffin to lie in state in keeping with historic tradition

Death of the Queen in Scotland triggers plans known as Operation Unicorn

19:22 , Sarah Harvey

How Queen’s death in Scotland has activated Operation Unicorn

Charles to be known as King Charles III, Truss confirms

19:18 , Sarah Harvey

Prime Minister Liz Truss referred to Charles, the new King, as King Charles III, saying: “Today the Crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, his majesty King Charles III.”

Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy'

19:17 , Sarah Harvey

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said his "prayers are with the King and the royal family" as he mourns the death of the Queen, whose "steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are".

"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," Justin Welby said in a statement.

"As we sustain one another in the face of this challenge, our shared grieving will also be a work of shared re-imagining. I pray that we commence this journey with a sense of Her late Majesty's faith and confidence in the future.

File photo dated 26/02/2013 of the Queenreceiving the Archbishop of Canterbury at Buckingham Palace (PA)
File photo dated 26/02/2013 of the Queenreceiving the Archbishop of Canterbury at Buckingham Palace (PA)

"In the late Queen's life, we saw what it means to receive the gift of life we have been given by God and - through patient, humble, selfless service - share it as a gift to others.

"The late Queen leaves behind a truly extraordinary legacy: one that is found in almost every corner of our national life, as well as the lives of so many nations around the world, and especially in the Commonwealth.

"It was my great privilege to meet her late Majesty on many occasions. Her clarity of thinking, capacity for careful listening, inquiring mind, humour, remarkable memory and extraordinary kindness invariably left me conscious of the blessing that she has been to us all."

Truss: ‘We are all devastated by the news'

19:12 , Sarah Harvey

Liz Truss speaking outside Downing St: “We are all devastated by the news we have just heard from Balmoral - the death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and throughout the world. Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built.

“Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks outside Downing St

19:11 , Sarah Harvey

Prime Minister Liz Truss stepped out of No 10 and to the podium on Downing Street at 7.07pm, dressed in black, to address the nation following the Queen's death.

Dozens of reporters have gathered outside, facing the door of No 10.

Ms Truss was appointed as Prime Minister by the Queen at Balmoral only two days ago.

Charles has spoken about the death of his mother

19:08 , Sarah Harvey

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: the loss of a ‘constant presence in our lives'

19:05 , Sarah Harvey

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: an ‘irreparable loss’

19:03 , Sarah Harvey

Crowds at Buckingham Palace sing national anthem

19:02 , Sarah Harvey

Crowds broke out into the national anthem outside Buckingham Palace with many weeping after the flag was lowered to half mast.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Flags at half mast above Downing Street

18:59 , Sarah Harvey

 (PA)
(PA)

Train strikes off out of respect for Her Majesty

18:56 , Sarah Harvey

The RMT has announced it is suspending its planned national rail strikes next week…

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth.

“The planned railway strike action on 15 and 17 September is suspended.

“We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country.”

Tony Blair: ‘She was not only respected but loved'

18:55 , Sarah Harvey

“The Queen has been part of my life for all of my life. From the moment I waved my little flag as I watched her, as a child, be driven through the streets of Durham, to the honour of being her Prime Minister, to my last meeting with her and then lunching with her at Windsor Castle for the Garter ceremony just a few months ago, she has been an enduring presence of strength and stability. At that lunch, we sat next to each other and she was on sparkling form as we talked - warm, gracious, humorous and spirited.

“She was not only respected but loved. Respected because of the qualities of duty, decency, integrity and fidelity which she embodied. And loved because of the love and affection she bestowed on us. And far beyond our shores for countless people in lands of every continent, in cities towns and even remote villages Queen Elizabeth was known and held in the highest regard. When people would talk about the Queen, they rarely added the name Elizabeth. They didn’t need to. She was never a Queen. But The Queen, faithful to her values, her nation, the Commonwealth and to God.

File photo dated 1/1/2001 of the Queen and Blair at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich (PA)
File photo dated 1/1/2001 of the Queen and Blair at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich (PA)

“We will mourn her. We will miss her. But our overwhelming sentiment will be of gratitude, profound, heartfelt and sincere thanks for what she did, what she stood for, for the life she lived and for what she gave us, her grateful subjects. Her reign was indeed glorious. And it was our great good fortune to have had her reign over us.

“Together with my wife Cherie, I send my deepest condolences to King Charles and all the Royal Family.”

UN Chief Antonio Guterres: the Queen was ‘admired worldwide for her leadership & devotion'

18:53 , Sarah Harvey

Emmanuel Macron: 'a kind-hearted Queen who has left a lasting impression’

18:52 , Sarah Harvey

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘a profoundly sad moment for the UK'

18:51 , Sarah Harvey

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi: Queen ‘personified dignity and decency'

18:49 , Sarah Harvey

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle: ‘A terrible loss for us all'

18:44 , Sarah Harvey

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “For all of us, the Queen has been a constant presence in our lives – as familiar as a member of the family, yet one who has exercised a calm and steadying influence over our country.

“Most of us have never known a time when she was not there. Her death is not only a tragedy for the Royal family, but a terrible loss for us all.

“During her 70 years on the throne – and even before that, as a teenager, reassuring and engaging with children and families disrupted by the Second World War – she has given our lives a sense of equilibrium. While her reign has been marked by dramatic changes in the world, Her Majesty has maintained her unwavering devotion to the UK, the British Overseas’ Territories and the Commonwealth of Nations - and her gentle authority and sound reason have been felt throughout.

“She has travelled the world extensively, modernised the Royal family, and is credited with inventing the royal ‘walkabout’, which enabled her to meet people from all walks of life during her visits. As Head of State, she has provided advice and the benefit of long experience to 15 prime ministers during her reign – and met more than a quarter of all the American presidents in the history of the US.

“The Queen has been involved in everything that is important to us and which makes us who we are - from state occasions to Royal weddings, and especially at Christmas, with her wise words and reflective annual message.

“She has been a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother - but she has been our Queen, and we will miss her beyond measure.”

John Major: 'A moment of deep sadness’

18:42 , Sarah Harvey

Former Prime Minster Sir John Major said: “For 70 years Her Majesty The Queen devoted her life to the service of our nation and its wellbeing.

“In her public duties she was selfless and wise, with a wonderful generosity of spirit. That is how she lived – and how she led.

“For millions of people – across the Commonwealth and the wider world – she embodied the heart and soul of our nation, and was admired and respected around the globe.

“At this moment of deep sadness, I believe we all stand hand in hand with the Royal Family as they grieve the loss of one so loved.

“For we have all lost someone very precious to us and, as we mourn, we should be grateful that we were blessed with such an example of duty and leadership for so very many years.”

Heartbreak outside Buckingham Palace

18:40 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half mast at 6.30pm.

People among the crowd gathered outside the gates began crying and taking pictures as a single helicopter circled the skies above.

A group of armed police assembled with Palace staff in the grounds.

Buckingham Palace announces death of the Queen

18:35 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon, Buckingham Palace has announced.

In a short statement, it 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.”

Joe Biden tells Truss his thoughts are with the Queen

18:13 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Joe Biden has told Liz Truss he and wife Jill “are keeping the Queen and her family in their thoughts”, says the White House.

The US president and new Prime Minister of the UK were taking part in a video conference about the war in Ukraine.

“President Biden conveyed to Prime Minister Truss that he was following reports about Queen Elizabeth’s health and that he and the First Lady are keeping the Queen and her family in their thoughts,” a White House statement said.

Rainbow appears in stormy sky outside Buckingham Palace

17:59 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

A rainbow has appeared in the grey sky outside Buckingham Palace.

People among the hundreds gathered outside the palace gates turned to take photograph it as it formed following a heavy downpour.

A rainbow appeared outside Buckingham Palace (PA)
A rainbow appeared outside Buckingham Palace (PA)

Hundreds gather outside Buckingham Palace

17:34 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The crowd outside Buckingham Palace has swelled to a few hundred.

A downpour which drenched those waiting at the gates has abated, leaving a hushed silence among those gathered.

Biden sends his well wishes to the Royal Family

17:14 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Joe Biden has sent his well wishes to the Royal Family.

A White House spokesman says the US President’s thoughts are with Queen and her family.

Prince William and senior royals arrive at Balmoral

17:12 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Prince William has arrived at Balmoral to be at his grandmother’s bedside.

The Duke of Cambridge was seen driving a Range Rover through the castle gates shortly before 5.10pm, after travelling by plane to Aberdeen Airport this evening.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The car was also carrying the Queen’s sons Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; and her daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who bore solemn expressions as they approached the Queen’s Scottish estate.

The car was accompanied by another Range Rover, also thought to be containing senior members of the Royal Family.

Well-wishers lay flowers outside Buckingham Palace

17:05 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Well-wishers are laying flowers for the Queen outside Buckingham Palace.

Young well-wishers bring flowers (AFP via Getty Images)
Young well-wishers bring flowers (AFP via Getty Images)

As torrential rain lashes down in London, members of the public deeply concerned by the monarch’s ill health are gathering beneath umbrellas, awaiting news.

Duchess of Sussex ‘not travelling to Balmoral’

16:50 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

It is understood the Duchess of Sussex will now remain in London while Prince Harry travels to Balmoral to be with his grandmother the Queen.

This is contrary to previous reports, that suggested the couple were travelling to Balmoral together.

The duchess will not attend the WellChild Awards, which she and the Duke of Sussex were due to attend in the capital this evening.

She could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, a source told the PA news agency, following the change of plan.

RAF plane carrying up to seven royals

16:02 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

The RAF plane that landed in Aberdeen was carrying the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Prince William arrives at Aberdeen airport with other senior royals (BBC)
Prince William arrives at Aberdeen airport with other senior royals (BBC)

The BBC reported that it was carrying up to seven royals.

The family members will now travel by road to Balmoral Castle - a journey that is expected to last around an hour.

Royal Family arrive at Aberdeen airport

15:56 , Daniel Keane

A flight containing members of the royal family has landed at Aberdeen airport ahead of their anticipated arrival at Balmoral.

Royal Air Force flight KRF23R took off from RAF Northolt in South Ruislip, west London, at 2.39pm, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24.com.

The Dassault Falcon landed at the Scottish airport at 3.50pm.

Pictured: Crowds gather at Buckingham Palace

15:50 , Daniel Keane

 (AP)
(AP)

Bishop of Durham expresses concern

15:31 , Daniel Keane

Speaking in the House of Lords during a debate on education, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, expressed his concerns for the Queen's health.

He said: "I begin by expressing on behalf of the benches our concern for Her Majesty and the assurance of our thoughts and prayers for her and the royal family."

Welsh First Minister says Queen’s health will prompt ‘afternoon of sober reflection'

15:20 , Daniel Keane

Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford has said news about the Queen's deteriorating health will have prompted "an afternoon of sober reflection and anxiety for households across Wales".

At a press conference held in Cardiff in response to the Prime Minister's energy plan announcement, Mr Drakeford said: "I should begin by just reflecting on the news published through Buckingham Palace earlier today - an afternoon of sober reflection and anxiety for households across Wales.

"Of course, we will be wishing all sympathy and understanding with members of the royal family who are gathering at Balmoral."

Who is the Queen’s top doctor?

15:12 , Daniel Keane

The man in charge of looking after the Queen's health is Professor Sir Huw Thomas, Head of the Medical Household and Physician to the Queen.

Sir Huw has been Head of the Medical Household since 2014 and was knighted last year after being invested with the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

It is likely the Queen wanted to thank Sir Huw personally for his care of her and the royal family.

Sir Huw, who is also professor of gastrointestinal genetics at Imperial College London's department of surgery and cancer, has previously spoken of how grateful he was to be recognised for his service.

Speaking at Imperial at the time of his knighthood, he said: "It's been a busy couple of years in this role, so I feel very grateful to have been recognised for my service to date."

Peers wish Queen well

15:03 , Daniel Keane

Peers from Labour and the crossbench have added to the well-wishers, including crossbench peer Lord Patel, who said during a debate in the House of Lords that he "wishes Her Majesty the Queen well".

Labour peer Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top said: "I too associate myself with the wishes and prayers that people are making for the royal family."

BBC One suspends regular programming

14:54 , Daniel Keane

BBC One has suspended its regular programming schedule following the announcement that the Queen is under medical supervision at Balmoral.

The broadcaster is currently airing a BBC News Special with the next planned programme being the BBC News at Six.

Presenter Huw Edwards is dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and black tie, in line with the BBC's dress code for when a member of the royal family dies as a mark of respect.

BBC One interrupted Bargain Hunt at 12.39 to deliver the statement from Buckingham Palace which said royal doctors were concerned for health.

The statement said the head of state was comfortable and her royal physicians recommended she remain under medical supervision.

Rees-Mogg: Queen’s ill health ‘a matter of grave concern'

14:43 , Daniel Keane

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said "it is a matter of the gravest concern to all of us when our sovereign is unwell".

Mr Rees-Mogg was speaking for the first time in the House of Commons since his appointment to the role, and as he began his closing speech in the debate on energy costs.

He said: "Can I begin by adding my voice to those of honourable and right honourable members about Her Majesty the Queen and wish her well from this House.

"It is a matter of the gravest concern to all of us when our sovereign is unwell. "

Blair ‘deeply concerned’ by news from palace

14:35 , Daniel Keane

Former Labour prime minister Sir Tony Blair said he is "deeply concerned" by the news about the Queen's health.

"It is deeply concerning to hear today's news from Buckingham Palace," Sir Tony said in a statement posted to Twitter.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this worrying time."

Well-wishers gather outside Buckingham Palace

14:31 , Daniel Keane

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Pictured: No changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace today

14:23 , Daniel Keane

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sturgeon expresses ‘concern’ over Queen’s health

14:17 , Daniel Keane

Scotland's First Minister has said she is "profoundly concerned" by news of the Queen's health.

Nicola Sturgeon sent her support to the royal family as Buckingham Palace said the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge are making their way to Balmoral, where the Queen is under medical supervision.

The First Minister said on Twitter: "All of us are feeling profoundly concerned at reports of Her Majesty's health.

"My thoughts and wishes are with the Queen and all of the royal family at this time."

Starmer ‘deeply worried’ by news of Queen’s health

14:11 , Daniel Keane

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he is "deeply worried" by the news from Buckingham Palace and he is hoping for the Queen's recovery.

He tweeted: "Along with the rest of the country, I am deeply worried by the news from Buckingham Palace this afternoon.

"My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this time, and I join everyone across the United Kingdom in hoping for her recovery."

Watch: Queen ‘under medical supervision’ at Balmoral with doctors concerned for health

14:04 , Daniel Keane

Harry and Meghan on their way to Balmoral

13:57 , Daniel Keane

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were due to attend the WellChild Awards ceremony in London on Thursday evening, but have changed their plans to travel to see the Queen.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be travelling to Scotland", a spokesperson for the couple said.

Duchess of Cambridge remains in Windsor

13:50 , Daniel Keane

The Duchess of Cambridge has remained in Windsor as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are on their first full day at their new school, Kensington Palace said.

Princess Anne at Balmoral

13:45 , Daniel Keane

The Princess Royal is at Balmoral, and the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex are on their way to the Queen's Scottish home, sources told the PA news agency.

‘Prayers of the nation are with the Queen’, says Archbishop

13:42 , Daniel Keane

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the "prayers of the nation" are with the Queen.

"My prayers, and the prayers of people across the (Church of England) and the nation, are with Her Majesty The Queen today," Justin Welby tweeted.

"May God's presence strengthen and comfort Her Majesty, her family, and those who are caring for her at Balmoral."

Former PM ‘deeply concerned’ by news about Queen’s health

13:41 , Daniel Keane

Former Conservative prime minister David Cameron said he was "deeply concerned" by the news about the Queen's health.

"Deeply concerned by the news this afternoon from Buckingham Palace," he tweeted.

"I send my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this worrying time."