London, Sep 8 (EFE).- King Charles III led the United Kingdom in mourning after the death Thursday of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the new head of state of the UK and 13 Commonwealth nations said from Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where Elizabeth passed away.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother,” Charles, 73, said in a statement.
The king and his wife, Queen consort Camilla, will return to London on Friday, Buckingham Palace said.
Charles and Camilla were already in Scotland when the queen’s health took a turn for the worse and other members of the royal family flew to Edinburgh on Thursday after Elizabeth’s doctors said that they placed her under medical supervision.
Andrew, the late queen’s younger son, and William, the eldest son of Charles and the late Princess Diana, arrived at Balmoral during the course of the day, while Will’s brother, Harry, was reported to be en route.
The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, died last year at the age of 99.
With more than 70 years on the throne, Elizabeth was the longest reigning monarch in British history, and the seven decades Charles spent as next in line was also a record.
William now succeeds his father as Prince of Wales and heir apparent.
“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her,” Prime Minister Liz Truss said outside her official residence at 10 Downing Street.
Truss, who took office two days ago, called Elizabeth’s death “a huge shock to the nation and the world.”
The queen’s last official act was receiving Truss at Balmoral on Tuesday ahead of the new prime minister’s swearing-in. EFE