While Great Britain and the rest of the world mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth at the age of 96, no one will miss her more than her beloved family. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, led the tributes to his mother, as well as the sovereign’s grandchild and now first-in-line to the throne, Prince William.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the royal family’s official Twitter account announced on Thursday, September 8. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Charles released a statement praising his mother’s 70 years of service and devotion to Britain and its Commonwealth as its sovereign. He celebrated 50 years since his investiture as the Prince of Wales in 2020, and has waited the longest of any heir to take the throne. Queen Elizabeth served the longest reign of any British monarch, assuming the crown at the age of 25 in 1952 upon the death of her father, King George VI.
His son, Prince William, now ascends to first-in-line to the throne behind Charles and assumes his father’s former title of the Prince of Wales, with William’s wife, Catherine, becoming the Princess of Wales. In a statement, the queen’s grandson had words of love and respect toward the woman who was his grandmother, as well as his mentor for when he assumes the British crown one day.
The queen died and the United Kingdom is now in a 10-day period of mourning the woman who was the nation’s figurehead for 70 years. She would have celebrated her platinum jubilee in 2022.
After Charles, her other three children, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward all released statements on their mother’s passing. The queen’s beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, died in April 2021 at the age of 99, leaving her broken hearted, though she carried on with royal duties after a period of mourning. In addition to her own children, the queen leaves behind eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Concerns about the monarch’s health were raised when the queen “reluctantly” agreed to cancel a two-day trip to Northern Ireland scheduled for October 20 and 21. It was later revealed that Her Majesty had been hospitalized in London overnight on the 20th for “preliminary investigations.”
“Following medical advice to rest for a few days, The queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, adding that, “[She] remains in good spirits.” The palace said that by the following afternoon, the monarch was back at her desk at Windsor Castle, “undertaking light duties.”
The queen had been scheduled to attend the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in early November 2021. The evening prior to her hospitalization, she had hosted a reception for world business leaders, including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, where Her Majesty appeared to be in good spirits.
In June 2022, the queen was able to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee in honor of her 70 years on the throne but missed several events after she experienced “discomfort” during the Trooping the Colour parade.
The queen maintained a hectic work schedule, especially for someone of her age, until the very end.