Britain wakes to its first day without its Queen in more than 70 years as the nation laments.
LONDON (CNN) Britain wakes up on Friday for its first day in more than 70 years without Queen Elizabeth II, as the country and around the world mourn the monarch’s passing.
Tributes have poured in from around the world for Elizabeth, who died at the age of 96 after the longest reign in British history, a period during which she oversaw the final period of the British Empire, a period of global turmoil. and faced domestic scandal, welcomed 15 prime ministers, and dramatically modernized the monarchy.
Charles, the eldest son of the Queen, is now King Charles III.
The coming hours and days will see a program of events to honor his life and guide the transition ahead, but amid a change in political leadership and an imminent economic downturn, his passing poses enormous challenges for the United Kingdom. facing.
Although Britons rarely looked to the monarchy for political leadership, Elizabeth has been a steady presence, highly respected during several decades of significant transformation that saw Britain move from a war-weary royal power to modern multi-party power. transformed into a cultural state.
As the day began on Friday and Britain entered its first full day of mourning, church bells rang in honor of the Queen across the country and people gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London. Some stores, including department store Selfridges, decided to close as a mark of respect.
Despite heavy rain in parts of Britain on Thursday evening, mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace in Balmoral Castle, Scotland – where the Queen was at the time of her death, and other royal residences, commemorated by the Royal Family. after the announcement.
Many brought flowers and lit candles to the palace gates, some looking shaken by the news. There was a quiet rendition of “God Save the Queen” in front of Buckingham Palace, where crowds gathered as night went on.
In keeping with royal tradition, a written statement announcing the death of the queen was displayed at the palace gates. Soon after the declaration was made in public, London’s persistent downpour ended, and the palace was surrounded by a sizable double rainbow.
The royal family announced his passing in a series of social media posts, the first being announced at 6:30 p.m. from Buckingham Palace. UK time in a tweet.
It simply said, “The Queen died away peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” The King and Queen Consort will spend this evening and tomorrow in Balmoral before travelling back to London.
King Charles III is expected to address the nation on television on Friday afternoon.
World leaders around the world have made statements honoring Elizabeth’s life, underscoring the global impact she made during her 70-year reign. Elizabeth was head of state not only in the UK but in 14 other Commonwealth territories, including Australia and Canada, and was the head of the 54-member Commonwealth – most of which are former colonial territories of the British Empire.
There are regular meetings between several agencies, from central and local government departments to military and religious officials and representatives of the other 14 countries, where she was also head of state, to plan and track the details of events following her death. Decades to rehearse.
Cannon salutes will be held in royal parks in his memory, while parliament is expected to remain open to pay tribute to members.
As monarch, Queen Elizabeth is automatically allowed a publicly funded state funeral, and details will be released in the coming days.
In the coming days, arrangements will be made to take him back from Balmoral to London, where he is expected to stay in the state for several days before his funeral.
Other formalities to come include a meeting of the Council of Accession in an ancient ceremony at the 500-year-old St James’s Palace in London. Part of that meeting would include the formal declaration of the sovereign’s death and the formal declaration of King Charles III as the new sovereign.
It is a closed meeting, but is attended by hundreds of dignitaries and members of the Privy Council, a panel of royal advisors, and will be followed by the Garter King of Arms – charged with overseeing royal ceremonial duties – across the Reading capital. There will be proclamation and cannon salute from the balcony of the palace.