Death of Queen Elizabeth II – latest: King Charles returns to London to address a nation in mourning

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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’s partner, 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 meeting.

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

They will also announce that the day of the funeral will be a public holiday in the form of a national day of mourning.

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

Live updates

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Flight to King Charles tanks in Aberdeen

The plane that will carry King Charles to London is refueled at Aberdeen International Airport.

Britain’s new head of state will travel to the capital on Friday after spending the night at Balmoral Castle when his mother died.

He is expected to meet Prime Minister Liz Truss and address the nation in a televised address.

Reuters
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Members of Parliament to gather in tribute

Parliament will be filled with memories of the Queen as MPs and peers gather to pay tribute in a special condolence session.

Both houses must sit at 12pm on Friday to allow members to pay their respects, with normal politics on hold during a period of mourning.

The tribute, led by Prime Minister Liz Truss, is due to last until 10pm on Friday.

There will also be a rare Saturday meeting where senior MPs will take an oath of allegiance to the King from 5pm.

Liz Truss gave a speech on Thursday evening

/ ON

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Prince Harry leaves Balmoral

Prince Harry has been spotted leaving Balmoral Castle.

The Queen’s grandson was sitting alone in the back of a car as it left the main gate on Friday morning.

The Duke of Sussex arrived in Scotland later than other members of the royal family on Thursday evening and after the Queen had passed away.

His wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, did not attend Balmoral with him.

Reuters
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‘The part of our lives that is taken for granted is no longer there’

For many people, it feels as if “a part of our lives that we have taken for granted … is no longer there”, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said in the wake of the Queen’s death.

Justin Welby told BBC Breakfast: “The Queen constantly showed us the meaning of life – she was happy, she was humorous, her life was full.

“But she never lost hope, even in bad moments.

“I obviously spoke to her after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death and spent some time with her and there was just a solid hope in her life.”

He added: “It feels like for so many people around the world, especially in the UK, that a part of our lives that we have taken for granted as permanent is no longer there.

“I think a lot of people will experience that feeling of not just sadness, but also uncertainty and to some extent a wonder about what is permanent.”

ON
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The world reacts

An image of the Queen has been displayed in New York’s Times Square, flying the EU flag at half-mast as a double rainbow formed over the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium.

In Nairobi, Kenya, many newspapers were seen on Friday morning after the Queen’s death.

Getty Images
AP
AFP via Getty Images
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Sir Nicholas Soames feels ‘desperate sadness’

Sir Nicholas Soames, the former Conservative MP and grandson of Winston Churchill, said he felt “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 maintained, evidently by a deep faith.

“So my feeling is one of desperate sadness. I’m really so sorry for her family, and I think it’s also worth remembering that the King has only very recently lost his father and is now losing his mother. And for the whole royal family, this is by all accounts a very, very bad day.

Sir Nicholas Soames

/ PA line

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Commonwealth pays homage to Queen as Britain slept

Overnight, Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore 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 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wrote in a condolence book in 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 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern writes this in a condolence book

/ AFP via Getty Images

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What’s happening today?

King Charles and Camilla, now the Queen’s consort, return to London from Balmoral and King Charles meets Prime Minister Liz Truss.

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

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

Union flags on royal buildings fly at half mast. Bells will ring at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Windsor Castle.

Churches are encouraged to ring their bells across England at noon.

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

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Pictured: Floral tribute along 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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