The death of Queen Elizabeth II: September 8, 2022

By Aditi Sangal, Rob Picheta, Adrienne Vogt, Ed Upright, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:27 p.m. ET, October 7, 2022
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4:43 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

French government mourns death of Queen and praises her contribution to Franco-British relationship

From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu in Paris

The French Presidential Palace mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II in a long and emotional statement Thursday, thanking her for the role she played in modern history and Franco-British relationship. 

“She held a special status in France and a special place in the hearts of the French people,” Élysée Palace said in a statement.

The Queen "loved France, which loved her back,” it added.

Queen Elizabeth II held the record for most visits to the Élysée Palace for a foreign sovereign. At various occasions, including the six state visits she made to France, the Queen has met with all eight presidents of the French Fifth Republic, which was established in 1959, according to the statement. 

The Queen was fluent in French and made several public speeches in French while visiting the country.

“She who stood with the giants of the twentieth century on the path of history has now left to join them,” the statement said.

4:32 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

New Zealand PM says Queen defined "notions of service, charity, and consistency"

From CNN’s Philip Wang

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remembered Queen Elizabeth II in a national address after her passing, saying that she had come to define “notions of service, charity, and consistency.”

“Her commitment to her role and to all of us has been without question and unwavering, ” Ardern said. 

Ardern also announced that New Zealand would be moving into a period of official mourning. Flags will be flown at half-staff. Preparations for a state memorial are underway and will be held after the Queen’s official funeral in the UK. 

“There is no doubt that a chapter is closing today. And with that, we share our thanks for an incredible woman who we were lucky enough to call our queen,” Ardern said. 

The Queen was New Zealand’s head of state.

4:33 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Australian prime minister honors Queen's "long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service"

From Angus Watson in Sydney, Australia 

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has offered the country’s sympathy and deepest condolences at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

In a statement, Albanese lauded a “long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service.”

 As head of state, Queen Elizabeth visited Australia 16 times.  

“From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia,” the prime minister wrote. “Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.”

In 1999 Australia held a referendum on whether to remove the Queen as head of state. The referendum was defeated.

Albanese noted a relationship between Australia and the British monarchy which “matured and evolved throughout Her Majesty’s reign.”

“The Queen greeted each and every change with understanding, good grace and an abiding faith in the Australian people’s good judgment," Albanese noted.

Governor-General David Hurley, the British monarch’s representative in Australia, will address the nation later Friday. 

In a statement, Hurley described Queen Elizabeth as “a truly remarkable person” who showed “selflessness and unwavering commitment to the people whom she served. To us.”

4:12 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Police remove barriers blocking access to Balmoral Castle gates to allow public to lay flowers

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

Police have removed barriers blocking access to the gates to Balmoral Castle to allow the public to lay flowers for the Queen, according to PA news agency.  

Others are outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to mourn the death of Queen.

4:10 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Scottish first minister pays tribute to Queen who was "loved and admired" by the people of Scotland 

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who she said was "loved and admired" by the people of Scotland. 

"Like everyone across Scotland, the United Kingdom, indeed the world, I feel a deep sense of sadness on the death of Her Majesty the Queen. On behalf of the people of Scotland, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the King, the Queen Consort and to the entire royal family," Sturgeon said in a televised address on Thursday.  

Sturgeon recounted how the Queen was a "great constant in our national life" for 70 years, speaking of how she "inspired" the Scottish public. 

"And by all accounts, Her Majesty was rarely happier than when she was here in Scotland at her beloved Balmoral. A fact I have been privileged to observe personally," the first minister continued. 

She expressed her hope that members of the royal family will find "comfort" in knowing that the queen "spent her final days in a place that she loved so much."

4:21 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Pope Francis mourns death of Queen and sends blessing to King Charles III

From CNN’s Nicola Ruotolo in Rome and Xiaofei Xu in Paris

Queen Elizabeth meets Pope Francis at the Vatican, on April 3, 2014.
Queen Elizabeth meets Pope Francis at the Vatican, on April 3, 2014. (Stefano Rellandini/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II, praising her “steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ” in a telegram to King Charles III, the new monarch of the United Kingdom.

“Commending her noble soul to the merciful goodness of our Heavenly Father, I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your high responsibilities as King,” the Pope wrote.

“Upon you and all who cherish the memory of your late mother, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings as a pledge of comfort and strength in the Lord,” he added.

4:03 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

UK Prime Minister Truss has spoken to King Charles III 

From CNN's Luke McGee

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has spoken to King Charles III after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, according to a Downing Street spokesperson. 

Truss was informed of the Queen's death at 4.30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET), according to the spokesperson. The prime minister was told the news by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case. 

Truss is expected to chair a meeting of ministers at 9 p.m. local time Thursday (4 p.m. ET).

4:00 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Analysis: Here's what comes next for the British monarchy 

Analysis by Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse,

With the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, every detail of the next fortnight has been planned and rehearsed to the finest detail — and was even signed off by the monarch herself.

There have been regular meetings for decades between the many agencies involved, from central and local government departments to military and religious authorities and representatives of the other 14 countries where she was also head of state.

The Union Flag will be lowered on public buildings across the United Kingdom. The Royal Standard, which is the monarch's personal flag, is never lowered because the monarch never dies.

While many of the specifics are yet to be released, here's what we know right now.

King Charles III

Prince Charles automatically became King upon the death of his mother. He will be known as King Charles III. He is now head of state not just in the UK but in 14 other Commonwealth realms including Australia and Canada. He will also become head of the 56-member Commonwealth, although that is not a hereditary position, after his succession to the role was agreed by Commonwealth leaders at a meeting in London in 2018.

He has become head of the British Armed Forces, the judiciary and the civil service, and he is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. He is the Fount of Honour, which means all honors, such as knighthoods, will now be given in his name.

Gun salutes and title changes

The Accession Council will meet at the 500-year-old St James's Palace in London. The Queen's death will be formally announced, and the new sovereign will be proclaimed.

The Garter King of Arms will read the Proclamation from the palace balcony and gun salutes will echo across the capital.

Prince William is now first in line to the throne.

There will be gun salutes across London — one round for every year of Elizabeth's life — and a broadcast by the new King will be played out.

Funeral arrangements

As monarch, Queen Elizabeth is automatically granted a publicly funded state funeral, and details will be released in the coming days. The Queen died at Balmoral Castle, her residence in Scotland, so over the coming days arrangements will be made for her to be transported back to England.

Read a more detailed rundown of next steps here.

CNN's David Wilkinson, Susannah Cullinane, Peter Wilkinson and Laura Smith-Spark contributed reporting to this post.

3:58 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

In photos: The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Since 1952, there have been seven Popes, 14 US Presidents and 15 British Prime Ministers. But there's only been one British monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for more than 70 years — longer than any British monarch in history.

She was 25 years old when she ascended to the throne.

(PA Images/Getty Images)
(PA Images/Getty Images)

Elizabeth was born April 21, 1926, in London. She is held here by her mother, also named Elizabeth. Her father would later become King George VI.

(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II with her oldest son, Prince Charles, in 1969. Charles, immediately became King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his mother.

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Elizabeth listens to her great-grandson, Prince George, outside a church where George's sister, Charlotte, was being christened in July 2015.

(Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
(Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

The Queen rides a horse in Windsor, England, in May 2020. It was her first public appearance since the first coronavirus lockdown began in the United Kingdom.

(Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
(Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen drives her Range Rover as she attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor, England, in July 2021.

Check out more photos from extraordinary life of Britain’s longest-serving sovereign in our gallery here.