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Queen Elizabeth II dies – world pays tribute

APIA, SAMOA – 09 SEPTEMBER 2022: There has been an outpouring of grief and tributes already from world leaders as Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “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.”

The moment she died was the moment her eldest son Charles became King, but it could be some weeks or months away before his official Coronation. The Coronation ceremony has remained largely unchanged over the past 1000 years, so it is unlikely any major changes will be made. Traditionally, the Archbishop of Canterbury performs the Coronation, with the monarch being anointed with holy oil, given the orb and sceptre and crowned with St Edward’s Crown.

The Queen has headed the 54 nations of the Commonwealth that Samoa is a member and will host the Heads of the Commonwealth Leaders in 2024.

Go here for a livestream of the scenes from outside Buckingham Palace: