The loss was felt throughout the country. The UK is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, and the entire nation is coming together to pay their respects.
Church bells rang at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral in the early hours of Friday, September 9, as the official period of mourning began. In the meantime, a special session of Parliament was opened in honor of the Queen, but ordinary business in the government branch was put on hold. A 96-shot salute was also planned for Friday, one for each year of the late monarch’s life.
Sporting events – from cricket to Premier League football – were suspended after the news of Elizabeth’s death on Thursday, September 8. The English Football League has also canceled games scheduled for the coming weekend.
Tickets to royal residences including Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle are currently on hold. Popular tourist destinations closed on Friday. Flags were flown at half mast in Elizabeth’s honor, and signs commemorating the legacy of the late royal family were put up at airports and metro stations.
Elizabeth died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on Thursday after Buckingham Palace said she was under medical observation due to deteriorating health. The longest-reigning British monarch has been experiencing mobility and other health problems for months, and was even forced to miss some of June’s platinum jubilee celebrations due to discomfort.
Before the death of Elizabeth was confirmed in the palace, King Charles III and his wife, Queen consort Camilla, went to Scotland to be close to the queen. The couple joined Prince Williamas well as Prince Harry was seen arriving in Scotland shortly thereafter – without Meghan Markle.
The co-founders of Archewell released a brief tribute to Elizabeth via their foundation’s website as mourners gathered in front of Buckingham Palace to pay their respects. As crowds of people flocked to the gates of the palace, a rainbow appeared in the London sky.
Charles, 73, was immediately named king after his mother’s death, though no coronation date has yet been confirmed. The new monarch broke his silence on the heartbreaking loss in a statement signed by His Majesty the King.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” he wrote on Thursday. “We deeply mourn the death of our beloved Sovereign and beloved Mother. I know that her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and to countless people around the world.”
Charles continued: “In this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection that the Queen so widely nourished.”