By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Queen Elizabeth 11 Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday.
“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Her eldest son Charles, 73, automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Her family had rushed to be by her side at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle after doctors expressed concern about her health. She had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.
Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.
For Charles now, there will be conflicting emotions. There will be great sadness, that he refers to in his statement, about the loss of his mother.
But also, this is the moment he finally achieves his destiny. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history. He will be the oldest person, at 73, to become King in British history.
Charles III will know this is a challenge – to step into the role successfully occupied by Elizabeth II for so many years.
He has had a long time to think about this, he hasn’t spoken about it because it wouldn’t be appropriate. The only clue he has given is that he fully understands the role of the monarch is very different to that of the Prince of Wales.
He will reign in his own way but within the constraints of the constitutional monarchy.