Prince Harry has arrived at Balmoral – nearly an hour-and-a-half after the death of his grandmother, the Queen, was announced.
Buckingham Palace declared the passing of Britain’s longest-serving monarch aged 96 at 6.30pm this evening.
But flight data shows the Duke of Sussex’s jet was still in the air at the time, not touching down at the airport until nearly 15 minutes later. He was then seen in the back of a car leaving the site just after 7pm.
He then finally arrived at the Scottish estate at 7.52pm, where he will join other members of the Royal Family in mourning the Queen’s death.
Harry headed to Balmoral alone, without his wife Meghan, having previously been due to attend the WellChild Awards in London this evening.
He was expected to make a speech at tonight’s awards, which honours the brave deeds of seriously ill children, before he cancelled the appearance.
It is understood Meghan has remained in London, but will not attend the WellChild awards. The duchess could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, a source said.
Prince Harry has landed in Aberdeen – shortly after the death of his grandmother, the Queen , was announced
The Duke of Sussex is now en route to join other members of the Royal Family in mourning the Queen’s death
Harry headed to the Scottish estate alone, without his wife Meghan, having previously been due to attend the WellChild Awards in London this evening
Flight data shows the Duke of Sussex ‘s jet was still in the air at the time, not touching down at the airport until nearly 15 minutes later
Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign is unlikely to ever be surpassed by another king or queen of England
King Charles, seen carrying a briefcase, took a royal helicopter to Balmoral from Dumfries House with his wife this morning. Princess Anne was already at Balmoral after an engagement this week.
A flight carrying seven members of the Royal household – including Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex – flew from RAF Northolt in London and landed at Aberdeen at 4pm.
The Duke of Cambridge took to the wheel of his Range Rover with his uncles and aunt on board amid deep concerns about Her Majesty’s health earlier today.
It was confirmed that Her Majesty had died ‘peacefully’ at Balmoral this afternoon, at the age of 96.
Prince Charles boarded a helicopter from Dumfries House as all the Queen’s children gathered at her bedside after a warning from doctors about her health. Hours later he would be king
Prince William drove Prince Andrew, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward into Balmoral
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘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’.
The Queen’s death will see Britain and her Commonwealth realms enter into a ten-day period of mourning as millions of her subjects in the UK and abroad come to terms with her passing.
And as her son accedes to the throne, there will also be a celebration of her historic 70-year reign that saw her reach her Platinum Jubilee this year – a landmark unlikely to be reached again by a British monarch.
Charles, the King, said: ‘The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.
‘We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. 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’s coffin will be moved to London on the royal train via Edinburgh before she lies in state in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament for four days. Hundreds of thousands of people will be able to pay their respects.
The state funeral is expected take place at Westminster Abbey in central London on Monday, September 19, which will be attended by her bereft family as well as 2,000 heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life around the globe.
The death of Queen Elizabeth: A timeline of how today’s sad news was announced
12.35pm: A statement is released by Buckingham Palace, announcing that the Queen is under medical supervision at Balmoral after doctors became ‘concerned for her health’. A Palace spokesperson said: ‘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.’
12.47pm: A statement is released by Clarence House, confirming that Prince Charles and his wife Camilla would travel to Balmoral. It said: ‘The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have travelled to Balmoral’.
12.48pm: A minute later, Kensington Palace announces that Price William will be travelling to Balmoral. The statement read: ‘The Duke of Cambridge is also travelling to Balmoral.’
1.37pm: It is reported that Prince Andrew has travelled to Balmoral Castle in Scotland following news that doctors were concerned for The Queen’s health.
1.38pm: Sources confirm to the Press Association (PA) that The Princess Royal is at Balmoral, and the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex are on their way to the Queen’s Scottish home.
1.55pm: A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirms that the couple will be ‘travelling to Scotland’. While the initial statement mentioned ‘Scotland’, it did not make directly make mention of Balmoral. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were due to attend the WellChild Awards ceremony in London on Thursday evening, but changed their plans to travel to see the Queen.
4.14pm: A news alert by the Press Association (PA) said that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were believed to be travelling to Balmoral ‘separately’ from other royals.
4.39pm: Less than 30 minutes later, PA issue another news alert, quoting an unnamed source, saying that that the Duchess of Sussex would not travel to Balmoral with the Duke of Sussex. The source said that Prince Harry would be making the trip by himself. A source said the Duchess could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, following what PA described as a ‘change of plan’.
4.44pm: Minutes later, Omid Scobie, a journalist considered to be ‘friendly’ towards the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and who often quotes unnamed sources close to the couple, writes a post on social media network, Twitter about the situation. He write: A source has shared an update stating that only Prince Harry has made the trip up to Balmoral. Like the Duchess of Cambridge (who is in Windsor with their three children), the Duchess of Sussex is staying back in England (but still not attending tonight’s WellChild Awards).’ The post mentions Kate, who earlier in the day it was revealed would not travel to Balmoral.
6.30pm: The Royal Family announces via social media site Twitter that Queen has died ‘peacefully’ at Balmoral at the age of 96.
After 6.30pm: Prince Harry is believed to have arrived at Balmoral following the public announcement
Flags will fly at half mast on UK Government buildings in tribute to the Queen from now until the morning after her funeral.
Guidance was issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the flying of official flags.
All such flags, which include Union Flags and any national flag, are to be “half masted on all UK government buildings as soon as possible today until 0800 the day following the Queen’s state funeral”, the department said.
It advises that any non-official flags, which include for example the rainbow flag or Armed Forces flag, should be taken down and replaced with a Union Flag flying at half mast.
The Union flag on Buckingham Palace was at half mast on Thursday while a framed plaque announcing the Queen’s death was placed on the front gates by royal household staff.
Similarly, flags at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh were lowered to half mast, along with those at the Scottish Parliament and at Scottish Government buildings.
Half mast means that flags are flown a third of the way down the flagpole, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the pole.
The Royal Standard is never flown at half mast, even after the Queen’s death, as there is always a monarch on the throne – with the role passing to her son the King.
Liz Truss stepped out of No 10 and to the podium on Downing Street at 7.07pm, dressed in black, to address the nation following the Queen’s death.
Ms Truss was appointed as Prime Minister by the Queen at Balmoral only two days ago.
Liz Truss hailed the Queen, who appointed her as the 15th Prime Minister of her reign on Tuesday, said: ‘Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.’
The Queen posed for a photograph in the drawing room at Balmoral shortly before her meeting with Ms Truss, whom she appointed as her Prime Minister this week
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in an official wedding photograph taken on their wedding day in 1947
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip with their two children Prince Charles and Princess Anne in 1951
The Queen with Prince Edward pictured in 1995 during a visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh walk at Broadlands in this picture released on November 18, 2007
The Queen and Prince Philip wave as they leave Westminster Abbey after Prince William and Kate’s wedding in April 2011
April 17, 2021: Queen Elizabeth II during the funeral of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel in Windsor
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said the Queen was ‘more than a monarch’ and that she ‘defined an era’. A White House statement said: ‘In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. She, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service’.
The Queen’s passing came more than a year after that of her beloved husband Philip, her ‘strength and guide’, who died aged 99 in April 2021.
Since his funeral, where she poignantly sat alone because of lockdown restrictions, her own health faltered, and she was forced to miss an increasing number of events mainly due to ‘mobility problems’ and tiredness.
The official announcement of the death of the Queen placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace
King Charles III released this poignant statement reacting to the death of his ‘beloved mother’ as he took the throne today
A statement about the Queen’s health is exceptionally rare and raises major concerns. She died hours later
Thousands of mourners have gathered outside Buckingham Palace evening to pay respect to The Queen, following her death at the age of 96
Prince William, 40, is now heir to the throne of the United Kingdom after Prince Charles’s accession and is expected to become the new Prince of Wales, with his wife Kate Middleton taking on the new title of the Princess of Wales.
William is the oldest royals among the top eight in line, and is followed by his three children Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four.
Following the Cambridges are Prince Harry, his children Archie and Lilibet, and then Prince Andrew and his two daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.
William has become a hugely popular member of the Royal Family in recent years, with his wedding to Kate in April 2011 watched by an estimated two billion people.
Technically, Charles’s wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has been the Princess of Wales until now, but she has used the feminine equivalent of Charles’s Duke of Cornwall title, the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Duchess of Cornwall is thought to not use the Princess of Wales title out of respect for Charles’s ex-wife Princess Diana, who died in Paris in August 1997.
Camilla will now become Queen Consort after the Queen gave this approval.
Following the Queen’s death, Charles also becomes head of the Commonwealth – and it has been claimed Harry will take a more active role in this.