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Queen Elizabeth 1926-2022: A nation mourns, what happens next - from funeral to King Charles's UK tour

It's a time of great change

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Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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There has been at outpouring of grief from around the world following the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96. She was Britain's longest-reigning monarch in history and head of state for 70 years.

GALLERY: Britain pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II - best pictures

The nation has now entered an unprecedented period with much change to follow in the wake of the sad news.

WATCH: Poignant moment the Queen's coffin leaves Balmoral for Edinburgh

On Sunday, the Queen's coffin departed Balmoral to Edinburgh, in a six-hour journey through Scotland so that mourners could pay their respects. The cortege was accompanied by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. 

Saturday saw King Charles III proclaimed at the Accession Council in the state apartments at St James’s Palace in London. The event at 10am, attended by privy counsellors, was divided into two parts. In the first part, the Privy Council proclaimed the King and formally approve various consequential orders, including the arrangements for the Proclamation, without the King present.

READ: King Charles III's emotional speech - fans all say the same thing

MORE: The Queen's sentimental wedding secret from Prince Philip to finally be revealed

The second part was held by the King of His Majesty’s first Privy Council. Charles made his declaration and read and signed an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland and approve orders in the council which facilitate continuity of the Government. The King was accompanied by Camilla, the Queen Consort and William the Prince of Wales as they are both privy counsellors.

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The royal family confirmed news of the Queen's death at 6.30pm on September 8

On Friday, the King gave his first address to the nation since the death of his mother. The 73-year-old renewed his "darling Mama's" promise of lifelong service as he praised her humour, warmth, and ability to see the best in people.

READ: Will there be a bank holiday for the Queen's funeral?

MORE: The Queen's top fashion moment remembered - and it was huge

He also announced that he had made his son William the new Prince of Wales, with his wife Catherine the Princess of Wales – the title last used by William's late mother, Diana. And the father-of-two expressed his "love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas".

king charles speech

King Charles III addressed the nation for the first time on Friday

Charles finished with an emotional sign off to his "darling Mama" when he wished: "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest," a quote from the ending of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

The King will visit Edinburgh, Belfast and Wales in the coming days with Camilla, and the Prime Minister, to hear condolences from politicians and respond to their words of sympathy.

READ: The Queen's mourning period: what you need to know

MORE: The Queen's death: Day-by-day guide to what happens next

News of the Queen's death was announced on September 8 by Buckingham Palace in a statement that 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."

royals arrive balmoral

Members of the royal family rushed to Balmoral on Thursday

A short time before the announcement, family members were pictured arriving at Balmoral.

Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward ;and his wife the Countess of Wessex were seen driving into the estate. The Duchess of Cambridge remained in London to care for her three children with William.

queen death announcement

The announcement was also posted on the railings outside the Palace

The announcement was also officially posted to the railings outside Buckingham Palace by aides dressed in black, while the Union flag was lowered to half-mast.

Elizabeth's eldest son Charles will now be known as King Charles III.

In a deeply personal statement following the death of his mother, the King shared that her passing was "a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family".

prince charles queen

King Charles III has paid tribute to his "darling mama"

"We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother," he continued. "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."

the queen in regalia© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen was 96

Tributes also poured in from her family, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who shared a joint statement, on the home page of their Archewell website which simply read: "IN LOVING MEMORY OF Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022."

The Prince of Wales shared an emotional statement on Saturday, saying: "On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign.

"I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of The Queen's wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade. My wife has had twenty years of her guidance and support. My three children have got to spend holidays with her and create memories that will last their whole lives.

"She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real."

floral tributes windsor© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan, Harry, William and Kate view floral tributes in Windsor on Saturday

He continued: "I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me. And I thank her on behalf of my generation for providing an example of service and dignity in public life that was from a different age, but always relevant to us all.

 "My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen. I will honour her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can."

On Saturday afternoon, William and Kate were joined by Harry and Meghan to view floral tributes to the Queen outside Windsor Castle. 

queen cambridges 1z

William and Kate are the new Prince and Princess of Wales

MORE: The Queen and Meghan Markle's relationship in pictures

The news of the Queen's declining health came on Wednesday 7 September when it was confirmed she would not take part in the Privy Council meeting.

On Thursday, Buckingham Palace released a statement that read: "Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral."

queen duchess camilla

King Charles's wife Camilla is the new Queen Consort

Shortly after 4pm that same day, an aircraft landed in Aberdeen with members of the royal family onboard. Charles was already by the Queen's side, along with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne.

Prince Harry arrived at Balmoral Castle in the hours after her passing to join fellow members of the royal family who were mourning.

the queen and prince charles kissing hand© Photo: Getty Images

Charles with his 'beloved' mother

Elizabeth was just 25 when she became Queen following the death of her father. Since then she has steadfastly led the country, and the Commonwealth, in an ever-changing world, and with a sense of humble commitment and duty.

Hundreds of mourners have gathered to lay flowers outside Buckingham Palace, honouring the memory of a beloved Queen whose unwavering duty and devotion to her country had seen her still at work up until her death.

Thursday 8 September will mark the start of ten days of national mourning, while the royal households will observe 30 days.

READ: 6 books about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign

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Elizabeth with her husband Philip

The sad news comes 517 days after the death of the Queen's beloved late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away at the age of 99 in April 2021.

The pair were married for over 73 years and shared four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Her Majesty also leaves behind eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

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