King Charles addresses a nation shaken by the death of Queen Elizabeth II

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Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by Bitfinsider

Britain’s King Charles III addressed a bereaved nation on Friday (Sep 9) following his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death after seven decades on the throne, as a period of national mourning begins for the only monarch most Britons ever knew.

Charles was returning to London with his wife Camilla, now queen consort, after racing to be by the queen’s side at her Scottish home on Thursday, before meeting the prime minister and making a televised statement at around 5pm GMT.

The death of the queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a towering presence on the world stage for 70 years, has elicited worldwide condolences.

Thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to lay flowers and take photos of the growing memorials on the first day without a woman once described by her grandson Harry as “the nation’s grandmother.”

Condolence messages were displayed on billboards throughout the city, and front-page photo tributes to the queen were published in newspapers.

The government has declared a national day of mourning that will last until the state funeral, and an online book of condolences has been opened.

People flocked to the remote Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she died on Thursday and where her family had gathered, to pay their respects.

“She was amazing. She was like everyone’s granny. She always managed to capture the mood with her words,” said Kay McClement, 55, who came to the castle with a friend to leave flowers.

Some people sobbed as they placed flowers outside the black railings of Buckingham Palace, the queen’s residence in central London.

Since the end of last year, the queen had been suffering from “episodic mobility problems,” forcing her to cancel nearly all of her public engagements, according to Buckingham Palace. Her 73-year-old husband, Prince Philip, died in April of last year.

Leaders from all over the world expressed their condolences. Flags were flown at half-mast from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the European Commission in Brussels.

Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and French President Emmanuel Macron were among those who signed condolence books.

Elizabeth, the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, ascended to the throne at the age of 25 following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, and oversaw a seismic shift in her country’s social, political, and economic structures.

Despite intense media scrutiny and her family’s frequently public travails, she received praise for guiding the monarchy into the twenty-first century and modernizing it.

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