Queen Elizabeth II has died: Live updates

Prince Charles has been preparing to be king his entire life. Now his moment has arrived.

ROME — Pope Francis told King Charles III in a telegram that he is praying for “eternal rest” for Charles’ late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The pontiff said he was deeply saddened to learn of the queen’s death on Thursday at her Scotland estate, Balmoral Castle. He offered “heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

Francis, who met with the queen in 2014, said, “I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”

Elizabeth, who as queen was head of the Church of England, first visited the Vatican while a princess in 1951. The first pontiff she met at the Vatican as queen was John XXIII, in 1961.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

— Prince Charles became king immediately after his mother’s death

— Will Charles be loved by his subjects, like his mother was?

— Elizabeth has been the only monarch that most people in Britain have ever known

— Fifteen prime ministers served during Elizabeth’s seven decades on the throne

— Here’s the order of succession after Charles became king

— Key milestones in the life of Queen Elizabeth II

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LONDON — Politicians from across the political spectrum in Britain united in sorrow at the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a passing that brought fractious everyday politics in the country to a halt.

Prime Minister Liz Truss said the country was “devasted” by the death of the monarch, calling her “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”

“We are now a modern, thriving, dynamic nation,” Truss said outside 10 Downing St. in London. “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,” ending on words no British leader has said for 70 years: “God save the king.”

Truss was appointed by the queen just two days ago, becoming the 15th prime minister to serve during Elizabeth’s reign.

Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson, said “this is our country’s saddest day.”

He said the death of the only monarch most Britons have ever known would provoke “a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected.”

He said her heir, King Charles III, would “amply do justice to her legacy.”

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer also paid tribute.

“Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon. As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world,” he said. “So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honor the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.”

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LONDON — Royal officials have confirmed that Britain’s new monarch will be known as King Charles III, ending speculation about whether would use another name during his reign.

The former Prince of Wales has been known as Prince Charles since his birth in 1948, but British monarchs have in the past selected new names when they ascent to the throne.

The late Queen Elizabeth II said earlier this year that she hoped Charles’ wife Camilla, would be know as queen consort.

Elizabeth died peacefully Thursday afternoon at at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.All four of her children and other members of her family traveled there to be at her side.

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U.S. presidents past and present expressed their condolences over the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement that Elizabeth was “more than a monarch” and that “she defined an era.”

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

Biden’s predecessor in the White House, Donald Trump, said in a statement that Elizabeth “will always be remembered for her faithfulness to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow countrymen and women.

“Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor. What a grand and beautiful lady she was — there was nobody like her!”

Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, also recalled the queen fondly.

“Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity,” the Obama’s said in a statement. “Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.

Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter also issued statements expressing their condolences.

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LONDON — Prince Charles has been preparing to be king his entire life. Now his moment has arrived.

Following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday, Charles is now the oldest person to take the British throne.

No date has been set for his coronation. And it’s not immediately clear whether the new monarch would call himself Charles III or choose another name, as his grandfather did.

But Charles faces the enormous challenge of building the same sort of affection that characterized the relationship between his mother and the British public.

Will Charles be loved by his subjects, like his mother was? It’s a question that has overshadowed his entire life.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Liz Truss says the country is “devastated” by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, calling her “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”

Truss said the news is “a huge shock to the nation and to the world” but that the queen’s spirit will endure.

Truss was appointed by the queen just two days ago, becoming the 15th prime minister to serve during Elizabeth’s reign.

The Union Jack flag atop the prime minister’s 10 Downing Street residence was lowered to half-staff after the monarch’s death was announced.

Elizabeth died peacefully Thursday afternoon at at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. All four of her children and her grandson Prince William traveled there to be at her side.

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LONDON — Prince Charles says the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, “is a moment of the greatest sadness” for him and his family.

In a statement issued Thursday following the 96-year-old monarch’s death at her Balmoral Castle estate in Scotland, Charles said: “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.”

Charles, who became king upon his mother’s death, said, “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.”

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LONDON — Condolences are pouring in from around the world following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted Thursday that the queen “embodied continuity and the unity of the British nation over 70 years. I retain the memory of a friend of France, a queen of hearts who marked as never before her country and her century.”

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, expressed sadness at the news, tweeting: “Germany remains forever grateful that she stretched out her hand to us in reconciliation after the terror of World War II.”

Italian Premier Mario Draghi in a condolence message hailed the queen as having been “the absolute protagonist of world history of the last 70 years.” Draghi, who is now acting in a caretaker role ahead of Italian parliamentary elections later this month, said Elizabeth had represented the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth “with equilibrium, wisdom, respect for institutions and for democracy.”

Elizabeth died peacefully Thursday afternoon at at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. All four of her children and her grandson Prince William traveled to Balmoral to be at her side.

The Royal Family’s Twitter feed posted a black and white photograph of the queen smiling as they announced her death.

Outside Buckingham Palace, the news was posted on the railings as crowds gathered.

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LONDON — Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II has died.

The 96-year-old queen died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. All four of her children and her grandson Prince William traveled to Balmoral to be at her side.

The palace says her son Charles, who is now king, and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, will stay at Balmoral overnight and travel to London on Friday.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, she marked 70 years on the throne this year.

The BBC played the national anthem over a portrait of the queen in full regalia as the queen’s death was announced.

The flag over Buckingham Palace was lowered to half staff.

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LONDON — Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, has died. She was 96.

Elizabeth spent more than seven decades on the throne as the U.K. rebuilt from war, lost an empire, transformed its economy and both entered and left the European Union.

She was a constant presence, the only monarch most Britons have ever known, and she guided the institution of the monarchy through choppy waters.

She likely met more people than anyone in history, and her image, which adorned stamps, coins and bank notes, was among the most reproduced in the world. But her inner life and opinions remained largely an enigma.

The impact of her loss will be huge, and unpredictable.

With Elizabeth’s death, her son Charles becomes Britain’s new king.

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BALMORAL CASTLE, Scotland — A fleet of cars carrying Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, have arrived at Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision.

The plane carrying the royal party arrived at Aberdeen Airport just before 4 p.m. Thursday, local time, and arrived at the queen’s estate about an hour later. Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, along with his wife, Camilla, and sister, Princess Anne, who were already in Scotland, arrived at Balmoral Castle earlier Thursday.

Prince Harry, who was due to appear at a charity awards ceremony in London later Thursday, cancelled that appearance and is making his way to Scotland separately.

The 96-year-old monarch was placed under medical supervision because doctors are concerned about her health.

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LONDON — Crowds of people have begun to gather outside London’s Buckingham Palace as news spreads that Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.

More than 100 people, many holding umbrellas amid sometimes heavy downpours, have congregated on stone steps outside the royal residence, and dozens more are standing beside the gates, with many people peering through them.

Members of the royal family traveled to Scotland to be with the 96-year-old monarch.

The announcement about the queen’s health on Thursday comes a day after she canceled a virtual meeting of her Privy Council when doctors advised her to rest following a full day of events on Tuesday, when she formally asked Liz Truss to become prime minister.

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Foreign leaders are sending their well wishes to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II well, after the 96-year-old monarch was placed under medical supervision because doctors are concerned about her health.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his on Thursday, writing: “My thoughts, and the thoughts of Canadians across the country, are with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at this time. We’re wishing her well, and sending our best to the Royal Family.”

The queen is the head of state of Canada and has been so for 45% of the country’s existence. She has visited Canada 22 times as head of state.

President Joe Biden conveyed to Prime Minister Truss on Thursday that his and first lady Jill Biden’s thoughts were with the Queen, her family and the people of the United Kingdom.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Biden spoke to Truss during a video call with allies on support for Ukraine.

And EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a news conference in the Netherlands that her prayers were also with the queen.

“She represents the whole history of the Europe that is our common home with our British friends,” von der Leyen said. “She has given to all of us in all these years, always, stability, confidence. She’s shown an immense amount of courage. She is a legend in my eyes, and therefore my prayers are with her.”

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For more AP coverage of Queen Elizabeth II: https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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