King Charles releases statement following his mother Queen Elizabeth's death
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King Charles has issued his first statement as the sovereign of the United Kingdom following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
In a short statement, he wrote: “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 loss 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.”
Queen Elizabeth died this afternoon at her residence in Balmoral, Scotland.
Announcing the news, Buckingham Palace released a statement that 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."
Other members of the Royal Family, including Prince William, Prince Harry, and Prince Andrew, had travelled to Balmoral earlier today.
As Charles becomes the king, Prince William is now the heir to the throne.
So far, no official details have been announced as to the Queen’s funeral or the coming days, but it is believed that Parliament will be suspended for a period of mourning, and the Queen will receive a full state funeral, as is traditional.
There is also an expectation that her body will lie in state in order to allow members of the public the chance to attend and show their respects.
The Queen was born on 21 April 1926, and came to the throne at the age of 25 in 1952 following the death of her father King George IV.
She became the longest reigning monarch in British history.
In an address to the British public in 1947, she said: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong."
In becoming King, Charles will also inherit several other titles from his mother, including Head of the Commonwealth, commander—in-chief of the British Armed Forces, and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
During the time that she was head of state, Queen Elizabeth saw 15 Prime Ministers in office, including most recently Liz Truss, who she installed officially as Prime Minister at Balmoral earlier this week.