Heartbroken Prince Harry left Balmoral a day after his grandmother the Queen passed away peacefully at her Scottish estate.
The Duke of Sussex, who was on a UK tour with wife Meghan Markle and rushed to Balmoral as the queen’s health deteriorated, was pictured leaving the castle in a black Range Rover just after 8:00 am local time (5:00 pm AEST).
The rest of the royal family, including Prince William and Prince Andrew, are staying at Balmoral Castle, according to The Telegraph.
King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, return to London from Aberdeen International Airport as the UK enters a period of mourning.
In the coming hours, the King will hold an audience with British Prime Minister Liz Truss and pre-record a televised address to the nation, which will be broadcast at 18:00 local time (3:00 AEST).
Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the date for the Queen’s funeral “will be confirmed in due course.”
“Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, His Majesty the King wishes that a period of royal mourning be observed from today until seven days after the Queen’s funeral,” the statement said.
“Royal mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, royal court personnel and members of the royal court when on duty, and by troops on ceremonial duty.”
As dawn broke in the UK on Friday, the number of flowers outside Buckingham Palace, her home at Windsor Castle and at Balmoral Gate rose, as did the number of people wanting to remember the woman who has always been by their side.
On Thursday, when news of her death first broke, many in suits or business attire went straight from the office to Buckingham Palace to pay their respects.
In contrast to the hysteria surrounding the death of Princess Diana, most of them looked grimly stoic. Some wiped away tears or hugged each other.
Some meditated in silence, others took photographs to remember a significant moment in history, and even the children paid their respects with Her Majesty’s drawings and letters of thanks.
Emotions were kept to a minimum. The 96-year-old queen would have approved. She hated the fuss.
Her death triggered a flood of tributes led by her son King Charles, who spoke of his “greatest sorrow”.
“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the 73-year-old said in a statement.
“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and to countless people around the world.”
Ms Truss, who was the Queen’s 15th British leader during her time on the throne, met the 96-year-old monarch on Tuesday, just two days before her death, following the Conservative Party’s election victory.
She said that “Queen Elizabeth II, against all odds, gave us the stability and strength we needed” and that she was “the rock on which modern Britain is built”.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed the nation as it woke up to the news at 6:30 am on Friday.
He said the queen was a “rare and encouraging constant amid the rapid change” during her reign.
He said that she “embodied and demonstrated eternal decency and enduring calm.”
“Australians’ hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing that they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation united,” the statement said.
“The most comfort can be found in the words of Her Majesty: “Sorrow is the price we pay for love.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was awakened by a police officer who shone a torch into her bedroom at 4:50 am (2:50 am Friday ET) to wake her up.
“She was extraordinary… The last days of the Queen’s life reflect who she was in many ways, working to the very end for the benefit of the people she loved,” Ms Ardern said.
Even further, US President Joe Biden described the Queen as “more than a monarch – she defined an era” and talked about her wit, kindness and wisdom.
And German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recalled the queen’s “wonderful humor”.
In a statement, he said that “her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of the Second World War will not be forgotten.”
Leading up to her death, members of the royal family traveled to Scotland at the last minute to say goodbye.
King Charles, his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort and Princess Anne were at the Queen’s bedside when she died, just hours after her personal physicians issued a public statement about her health.
Her grandson Prince Harry was depicted in the back seat of a car that raced towards Balmoral with his head in his hands, but did not make it.
It is still unknown if Prince William, Andrew, Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex made it to Balmoral before Her Majesty passed away, arriving in Aberdeen by plane at 16:00 and then traveling 115 km/h.
William’s wife Katherine and Harry’s wife Meghan Markle remained in London.
The death of the Queen triggered the launch of Operation Unicorn, the code name for actions in the event of the death of the monarch in Balmoral.
The plan was devised because the Queen spends her summer holidays at Balmoral Castle, and it involved additional ceremonial steps to be followed in Scotland before the Queen’s coffin was transported to London before her funeral.
Once his mother’s body returns to London, King Charles III will begin a four-day tour of his kingdom, visiting Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Queen will spend three days at Westminster Hall, allowing the public to watch her 23 hours a day.
The official period of mourning will end with a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on the 10th day after her death.
Although Charles became king as soon as his mother died, it could still be months before his coronation.
At home, Mr. Albanese said the sails of the Opera House would be lit for two nights from 7:30 pm Friday to midnight and from 6:30 pm Saturday to midnight.
Flags across Australia were at half mast but will be fully flown on Sunday when Governor General David Hurley formally proclaims King Charles as King of Australia.
Flags across Australia will then be flown at half-staff again at dusk on Sunday and will remain at half mast for the remaining 14 days of mourning.
The Australian Mint will start issuing coins with the image of His Majesty instead of the head of the Queen next year.
Our currency is not the only thing that will change. Other aspects of Australian life are being overhauled and all references to Her Majesty have been changed to His Majesty. Lawyers who still use QC in their titles will change it to KC – King’s Counsel.
Originally published as Prince Harry leaves Balmoral as King Charles III addresses the nation