Just as the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death was announced, rainbows appeared over different locations, including the Windsor Castle, where the Union flag was lowered, and outside the Buckingham Palace where crowds were gathered. Britain’s longest-ruling monarch died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday. Born on April 21, 1926, in London as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, she was the oldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Elizabeth formally acceded to the throne in 1952.
The vivid rainbows temporarily lifted spirits, but the mood turned mournful as the seismic news was announced on Thursday. Tearful crowds outside the Buckingham Palace sang a “God Save the Queen”.
Some wept as the flag on the Queen’s London residence was lowered, before a numbed silence fell over the crowd.
Hundreds of people had gathered outside the Buckingham Palace braving torrential rain after it was announced that doctors had placed the monarch under medical supervision at Balmoral, her Scottish estate.
The royal family posted a statement on their official site Thursday saying: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
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Tributes poured in from around the world. Leaders and politicians took to Twitter to mourn the death of the British Queen.
“I had memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during my UK visits in 2015 and 2018. I will never forget her warmth and kindness. “During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
US President Joe Biden with First Lady Jill Biden visited the British Embassy in Washington to sign a condolence book after the death of the Queen.
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it the country’s saddest day.
“In the hearts of every one of us there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected,” he said.
After Queen Elizabeth’s death, her eldest son Charles has become the new monarch. A 10-day mourning has been declared over the death of Elizabeth II, who was a formal head of state in 15 countries.