THOUSANDS of Brits have paid tribute to ‘the nations Nan’ , Queen Elizabeth as the nation begins a period of mourning with pomp and ceremony to mark the death of our former monarch.
Gun salutes will ring out in the capital and bells will toll across the country, with churches, chapels and cathedrals encouraged by the Church of England to open for prayers or a special service for mourners.
The Queen’s son and successor King Charles III spoke of his grief soon after Buckingham Palace announced the death of the 96-year-old monarch, who died “peacefully” on Thursday afternoon at Balmoral.
Yesterday, Brits gathered at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral to pay their respects.
Charles will now turn his mind to matters of state as he begins his first full day as the nation’s new monarch having spent much of his 73 years in preparation for the role.
Tributes have flooded in from around the globe, hailing the Queen’s unwavering commitment to serving her country and the Commonwealth.
King Charles III acceded to the throne immediately on the death of Elizabeth II, at the age of 96 in the sanctuary of Balmoral Castle.
One of the first acts of the new monarch – whose chosen title was confirmed by Prime Minister Liz Truss – was to speak of his grief and highlight the “respect and deep affection” in which the Queen was “so widely held”.
World leaders, celebrities and ordinary people – gathered at the gates of Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Windsor Castle – all paid tribute, with US president Joe Biden describing her as “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity”.
Charles, whose wife Camilla is now Queen, said in a written statement: “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.”
Buckingham Palace made the official announcement at 6.30pm on Thursday with a brief 26-word statement saying: “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 new King and Queen – Charles and Camilla – will return to London on Friday, and the new monarch is expected to address the nation on television on Friday evening.