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Death of Queen Elizabeth II: King Charles to address nation in mourning - latest news

Death of Queen Elizabeth II: King Charles to address nation in mourning – latest news

The nation will hear from its new head of state, King Charles III, the day after the passing of the longest reigning monarch in British history.

The King and Camilla, now the Queen Consort, remained at Balmoral on Thursday night and will return to London on Friday where he is expected to meet with new Prime Minister Liz Truss and address the nation.

MPs will pay tribute to the Queen in a day-long House of Commons sitting.

The Government will confirm the length of national mourning, which is likely to be around 12 to 13 days, from now up to the day after the Queen’s funeral.

They will also announce that the funeral day will be a public holiday in the form of a Day of National Mourning.

King Charles described Queen Elizabeth’s death as “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”.

Live updates

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Sir Nicholas Soames feels ‘desperate sadness’

Sir Nicholas Soames, the former Conservative MP and grandson of Winston Churchill, said he feels “desperate sadness” at the Queen’s death.

He told Times Radio: “As the sort of absolute guarantor, in my view, of our stability – through hard times, through bad times, through thick and thin, the Queen was always there, wonderfully reassuring, calm, I think, sage figure, fortified and sustained, obviously by a profound faith.

“So my feeling is one of desperate sadness. I really am so sad for her family, and I think it’s also worth remembering that the King has lost his father only quite recently, and now loses his mother. And for all the royal family, this is on every account, a very, very bad day indeed.”

Sir Nicholas Soames

/ PA Wire

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Commonwealth pays tribute to Queen as Britain slept

Overnight, Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth.

Floral tributes were placed outside the British High Commission in Singapore while flags flew at half staff at The Shrine in Melbourne, Australia.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wrote in a condolence book at Parliament.

Flowers outside the British High Commission in Singapore

/ AFP via Getty Images

Flags fly at half mast in Melbourne, Australia

/ Getty Images

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern writes in a condolence book

/ AFP via Getty Images

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What happens today?

King Charles and Camilla, now the Queen Consort, return to London from Balmoral and King Charles meets with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

He will also make a televised address to the nation which he is due to pre-record, in the early evening, following his mother’s death.

The Government will confirm the length of national mourning, which is likely to be around 12 days, from now up to the day after the Queen’s funeral. They will also announce that the funeral day will be a public holiday in the form of a Day of National Mourning.

Union flags on royal buildings are flying at half-mast. Bells will toll at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Windsor Castle.

Churches are being urged to toll their bells across England at noon.

Gun salutes – one round for every year of the Queen’s life – will be fired in Hyde Park and at other stations.

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Pictured: Floral tributes line Buckingham Palace

Jeremy Selwyn
Jeremy Selwyn
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Mourners visit Buckingham Palace

Mourners have lit candles and left flowers outside Buckingham Palace on Friday morning. Young and old, members of the public continue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth.

Jeremy Selwyn
Jeremy Selwyn
Jeremy Selwyn
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Nation’s papers react to Queen’s death

The Independent lets the Queen’s coronation image speak for itself, though an editorial carries the Queen’s own words from her tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales: “(We now have) a chance to show to the whole world the British nation united in grief and respect.

“Thank God for someone who made many, many people happy.”

The Daily Telegraph strips the colour from its front, juxtaposing a picture of the Queen in her later years with the poignant message she gave to New York after the September 11 attacks: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

The Daily Mail mourns the Queen’s death with the headline: “Our hearts are broken.” Sarah Vine, a columnist for the paper, writes: “How to find the words?

“Our grief is a hundred different emotions, all of them hard to grasp.”

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The nation’s papers react to Queen’s passing

The Times carries a striking image of the Queen at her coronation on June 2, 1953 – a picture which several papers deemed the perfect background to their tributes.

In its obituary, The Times described the the Queen as “the woman who saved the monarchy in this country”.

The Guardian opts to let the Queen’s coronation image stand alone, bar some simple text on the left-hand side which reads: “Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022”.

Inside the paper, columnist Jonathan Freedland writes her death heralds not just the end of the Elizabethan age, but the start of “a new future”.

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