Prince Charles, 73, who had been heir to the crown for 70 years — the longest in the country’s history — has ascended the British throne.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family,” the new king shared in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.
“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,” Charles wrote.
Queen Elizabeth II, 96, passed away after being monarch since 1952 – which surpassed Queen Victoria’s 63-year reign. Victoria ruled up to 1901.
Elizabeth was also Queen of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among other territories.
Elizabeth breathed her last at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, one of her four ‘royal’ residences and possibly her favourite. Her family from near and afar had gathered there to be at her side in her final moments.
Apart from Charles, his elder son William, now next in succession, Charles’ sister Anne, brothers Andrew and Edward and his wife Camilla were present.
William’s younger brother Harry, who now lives in the US, was to attend a function in London, but cancelled his appearance to join the rest of the family at Balmoral.
Elizabeth was extraordinarily popular among her people and therefore widely accepted and respected by them. This rendered the British monarchy conceptually popular as well as opposed to republicanism.
The same cannot arguably be said of Charles, although he will now have an opportunity to prove himself and gain greater confidence of British citizens.
A ‘YouGov’ poll put Charles’ popularity with the British people at 42 per cent, with 24 per cent disliking him and 30 per cent being neutral. He has been a tireless campaigner for the environment for decades, from much before it became fashionable to talk about it. He also values organic food and classical architecture.