Her Majesty The Queen has passed away, aged 96, a spokesperson for the Royal Family has confirmed.
Queen Elizabeth II had been the longest serving living monarch – and the second longest in history behind King Louis XIV of France – having celebrated her platinum jubilee this year.
The news was confirmed in a brief statement at around 6.30pm on Thursday.
It read: “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.”
King Charles III – as Clarence House has confirmed in title – has since released a statement following the “death of my beloved Mother”, describing her passing as a “moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”.
It continued: “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.”
Earlier today, it has been confirmed that the Monarch had been under “medical supervision”.
Members of the Royal family, including Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie earlier flew into Aberdeen and were driven on to Balmoral. Prince Harry was making his own way to the Royal residence.
Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were already at Balmoral, as was the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, before the Queen’s two other children and grandchildren began to arrive.
Elizabeth, just 25, succeeded her father, King George VI, following his death in 1952.
She had married Philip Mountbatten (Duke of Edinburgh) in 1947 and their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in April 2021.
They had four children together: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Prince Charles will become King and his wife, Camilla, will become Queen Consort.
It is expected there will be a 12-day mourning period following the Queen’s death.
Prince Charles is expected to take on a tour to visit Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
During this time, the Queen’s body will stay at Buckingham Palace. It then will move to the Palace of Westminster on day five so the public can pay their respects.
Her body will lie in state, meaning there will be public access to the coffin, for three days. Her coffin will be on a raised box in the middle of Westminster Hall. The public will be able to visit 23 hours per day.
The Queen will have a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on day 10 of the mourning period and will include a 2-minute silence across the UK at midday.
A committal service will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
After the service, the Queen will be laid to rest in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel. Her coffin will be placed next to her husband Prince Philip and her parents and sister – King George VI, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
Books of Condolence are expected to be confirmed later for people in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to leave messages.