“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” King Charles said.
Britain’s new head of state, King Charles III, will address the nation Friday as it mourns the passing, and celebrates the life, of Queen Elizabeth II, its longest-reigning monarch.
The Queen, who died peacefully in her sleep at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday at the age of 96, will be transported to London over the coming day and lie in state at Westminster Hall.
Flags at Royal residents, as well as around the country, will fly at half-mast, while a gun salute, consisting of 96 rounds, will be fired by the 104 Regiment Royal Artillery at Cardiff Castle at 1 pm London time.
King Charles, 73, will meet with Prime Minister Liz Truss on Friday, and address the nation later today, while a meeting of the Accession Council, which manages changes in the monarch, is expected to convene Saturday at St. James’s Palace.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother, King Charles said in a statement. “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
A state funeral, slated for Westminster Abbey, is likely to take place on the tenth and final day of mourning, with attendance expected from Commonwealth Heads of State, most members of the Royal Family and senior members of the British government.
Big Ben will ring its chimes at 9am on the day of the funeral, with a two-minute national silence scheduled for noon.
“Following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, it is His Majesty the King’s wish that a period of royal mourning be observed from now until seven days after the Queen’s funeral,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “The date of the funeral will be confirmed in due course.”
“Royal mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, royal household staff and representatives of the royal household on official duties, together with troops committed to ceremonial duties,” the statement added.
The London Stock Exchange, as well as banks, shops, businesses and restaurants will remain closed on the Day of Mourning, assuming it falls on a weekday, with union leaders noting the cancellation of any planned strike action over the ten-day period.
Her Majesty is expected to be buried near St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, next to her father, King George VI, her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, her sister, Princess Margaret and her late husband, Prince Philip.
Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in London on April 21, 1926, Queen Elizabeth married her husband, Prince Philip — then known as Philip Mountbatten, the Prince of Greece and Denmark — in 1947. She assumed the throne five years later, in 1952, following the death of her father King George VI.
She has served as both the Head of State for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as 14 other sovereign nations, for more than 70 years, serving with fifteen Prime Ministers – beginning with Sir Winston Churchill in 1952.
“When I was 21, I pledged my life to the service of our people, and asked for God’s help to make that vow,” Her Majesty said during her Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. “Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgment, I do not regret nor retract one word of it.”