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Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, dies aged 96

Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, dies aged 96

Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, has died at Balmoral, aged 96.

Buckingham Palace said the monarch had died peacefully. The Palace said the King and the Queen Consort would remain at Balmoral tonight before returning to London tomorrow.

It has been confirmed that the new monarch will take the title King Charles III.

In a statement, the King said: “The death of my mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother.”

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who met with the Queen at Balmoral earlier this week, described her as “the rock on which modern Britain was built”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the monarch had made an “unparalleled contribution” during her 70 years on the throne.

The Royal family had gathered at Balmoral earlier on Thursday after concerns grew about the Queen's health.

Doctors had put the monarch under medical supervision, with news given to the new Prime Minister Liz Truss and other party leaders during a meeting in Westminster.

In a speech in Downing Street, the prime minister said: “Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed.

“She was the very spirit of Great Britain – and that spirit will endure.”

She added: “In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends…across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service. It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy.”

Reacting to the news of the Queen's death, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland was special to her and she was special to Scotland. Throughout her life, she had a particular fondness for Aberdeenshire and her home there at Balmoral, where she spent her final days.

“But her contribution to Scottish public life extended throughout our country and abroad and was deeply felt by thousands.

“In the coming days there will be ample opportunity for people to pay their respects by attending events across the country.

“Today is a day for reflection and remembrance. It is also a day for giving thanks to The Queen for her devotion to duty and the decades of public service she gave to the people of Scotland.”

The Royal family at Balmoral  | Credit: Alamy

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Her Majesty The Queen was a national treasure who represented the very best of our United Kingdom throughout her entire life.

“The dedication and commitment of Her Majesty to this country and her people was unmatched. For 70 years, The Queen led the country through good times and bad, an unwavering presence of strength in each and every national moment of adversity.

“There was nobody else like Her Majesty. This loss will be felt dearly across Scotland, the United Kingdom and around the world. Everyone will remember Her Majesty as a warm, loving and caring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and monarch.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and the entire country at this very difficult time.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said it was a “sad day for the whole country”.

He said: “The entire nation joins them in mourning the death of Her Majesty, the Queen.

“Our longest-serving monarch, Her Majesty was a dedicated public servant, demonstrating strength, leadership and compassion when her country needed it most.

“From the Blitz to the pandemic, she brought our nation together at times of crisis - providing hope and light in our darkest moments.

“That influence was felt beyond the United Kingdom, she was a global figure whose stewardship of the Commonwealth leaves a world better than she found it.

“The Scottish Labour party joins the rest of the UK and the Commonwealth in mourning her loss.”

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