Queen Elizabeth II, the 96-year-old head of the British monarchy, passed away on Thursday (September 8) after ruling for more than seven decades.
Royal family officials announced that the Queen “died peacefully” at Balmoral Castle, her Scottish Highlands estate. Charles, her son, was by her side and officially will fulfill the role of King with his mother’s passing.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the Royal Family stated via social media. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who notably had a friendly relationship with the Queen, reacted to the news via an official statement on Thursday.
“From the day of her coronation 70 years ago–the first one ever televised–to this very moment, as countless tributes are being posted online in her honor, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has captivated the world,” the statement reads, in part. “Today, Michelle and I join so many others who are celebrating her life and mourning her passing.
Zimbabwe, where Elizabeth once held the title Queen of Rhodesia, was the first African nation to react to her death. "My deepest condolences to the Royal family, the people of the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth as they mourn the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II." said President Emmerson Mnangagwa, according to The (UK) Telegraph. "May she rest in peace."
Andrew Holness, Jamaica's Prime Minister, reacted, writing via Twitter: "It was with great and profound sadness, that I learnt of the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest- reigning British monarch, whose reign spanned seven decades.
He added: "We join our brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth in mourning her passing, and pray for the comfort of the members of her family, and the people of the United Kingdom, as they grieve the loss of their beloved Queen and matriarch."
Over the past year, the Caribbean nation moved to remove the Queen as its head of state. The move made Jamaica a republic as it marks 60 years of independence from the United Kingdom.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo released a statement, also via Twitter, expressing similar sentiments: "On behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, I extend deepest condolences to the new British monarch, King Charles III, the @RoyalFamily, the Prime Minister, and the Government and people of Great Britain on the death, today, of HM Queen Elizabeth II."
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also released an official statement on Thursday.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” the statement read, in part. “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. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth.”
Earlier on Thursday, officials said the queen had been placed under medical supervision. "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 palace said in a statement.
British media had been reporting that members of the royal family, including Prince Harry and Prince William, had traveled to Balmoral to be by her side due to her deteriorating condition. In recent years, Queen Elizabeth had been taking on fewer public duties and occasionally canceling appearances in which her attendance was once tradition.
In recent months, mobility issues had troubled the Queen as she had spent much of her time at Windsor Castle, the family’s country estate near London, and Scotland’s Balmoral.
In June, Elizabeth appeared at her Platinum Jubilee celebrating her 70 years on the throne, watching the parade from a balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Charles, 73, is now Britain's king, officially receiving the distinction upon Elizabeth’s death and recognized as King Charles III, also released a statement shortly after the news was announced: