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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2:38 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Charles is now King of the United Kingdom

(Jane Barlow/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
(Jane Barlow/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Charles immediately became King upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

The Royal family referred to Charles as King in announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth. The tweet referred to Camila as the Queen Consort.

As heir apparent since the age of three, he has been the longest serving heir to the throne in British history.

Upon becoming the sovereign, Charles has the option to take any name he chooses for his reign as King. For example, King George VI’s real name was actually Albert. Two previous monarchs have been called Charles.

Charles had already been taking on some of the Queen's engagements this year as her health had become enough of a concern for her to cancel some of her commitments, including the State Opening of Parliament.

Both Charles and Prince William had been prioritizing the Queen's diary over theirs. Both of them had been activated as Counsellors of State, where the Queen delegates her sovereign power for specific purposes, and they were obligated to be even more available for those duties.

2:37 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Sports world honors Queen Elizabeth II

From CNN's David Close

The Premier League, the top level of the men's English football league system, tweeted its condolences in the wake of Queen Elizabeth's death on Thursday, saying in tweet its thoughts are with the royal family and "everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty."

One of the football clubs within the league, Manchester United, also posted on Twitter that it "shares the sorrow of the entire nation."

Chelsea Football Club said on Twitter that it "is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We join those mourning in the UK and across the world."

Formula 1 said in a statement on its website the organization is "mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

“For more than seven decades she dedicated her life to public service with dignity and devotion and inspired so many around the world. Formula 1 sends its deepest condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth," Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said in the statement.

Arsenal acknowledged the passing in a tweet as well, saying it will be "taking time to mourn and reflect on Her Majesty's incredible life and devoted service.

The ongoing professional golf tournament, the BMW PGA Championship being held in Surrey, England, has been suspended for the remainder of the day in honor of Queen Elizabeth's passing. 

2:09 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Rainbow seen at Windsor Castle after Queen's death announced

The Union flag is lowered at Windsor Castle as a rainbow covers the sky on Thursday.
The Union flag is lowered at Windsor Castle as a rainbow covers the sky on Thursday. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

A rainbow could be seen over the sky at Windsor Castle as the British flag was lowered after the announcement of Queen Elizabeth II's death.

2:41 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

The rise of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne

From CNN's Barry Neild

(Alastair Grant/Pool/AP)
(Alastair Grant/Pool/AP)

Queen Elizabeth II, who has died age 96 after the longest reign in British history, will be mourned around the globe as one of the last monarchs born to a classic age of European royalty, when kings and queens wielded genuine political power.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in 1926, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York.

But she didn't become heir presumptive to the throne until 1937, when her father was crowned King George VI after the scandalous abdication of his older brother — events dramatized in the Oscar-winning film "The King's Speech" and hit Netflix show "The Crown."

Wartime freedoms

As World War II erupted, Elizabeth was quietly groomed for statehood.

While living out the Blitz on London in nearby Windsor Castle, she was privately tutored in matters of constitution by Henry Marten, an eccentric yet respected teacher who reputedly kept a pet raven in his study.

She began taking tentative steps into public life in 1940 when, aged 14, she made her first radio broadcast: a speech to children displaced by the conflict. At 16, she was made an honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards, a British army infantry regiment.

Princess Elizabeth is pictured in 1945 standing by an Auxiliary Territorial Service first aid truck wearing an officer's uniform.

Wartime offered her certain freedoms beyond the traditional constraints of royal life.

In 1945 she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service and spent four weeks getting her hands covered in oil and grease as she learned to drive and maintain military vehicles.

When victory was declared in Europe, a uniformed Elizabeth mingled with jubilant crowds outside Buckingham Palace.

Peacetime brought the return of Lieutenant Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, a handsome young naval officer who had, by all accounts, won her heart when she was just 13. The pair married in Westminster Abbey in 1947. Their first son, Charles, was born just over a year later.

Read the full story here.

2:28 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

US Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff after Queen's death

From CNN's Manu Raju

(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff after Queen Elizabeth’s death, according to her spokesperson Drew Hammil.

2:18 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Tearful crowd gathers outside Buckingham Palace as news of Queen Elizabeth II's death spreads

From CNN's Christian Edwards

(Christian Edwards/CNN)
(Christian Edwards/CNN)

Tearful faces could be seen in outside the gates of Buckingham Palace on Thursday as news spread of Queen Elizabeth II's death.

Below, crowds gather along the road leading to the palace gates — where a statement announcing her death was just posted, per tradition.

Quiet singing of “God Save the Queen” has broken out across the gathered crowd. 

An official statement confirming the death of Queen Elizabeth II is displayed in front of Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
An official statement confirming the death of Queen Elizabeth II is displayed in front of Buckingham Palace on Thursday. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

1:43 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

White House reacts to Queen's death: "Our hearts and our thoughts go to the family members of the Queen"

From CNN's Sam Fossum

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reacted Thursday to the news that Queen Elizabeth II has died at 96, saying that "our hearts and our thoughts" go to the family and the people of the United Kingdom. 

"Our hearts and our thoughts go to the family members of the Queen, goes to the people of United Kingdom. I don't want to get ahead of what the President is going to say," Jean-Pierre said at the end of the White House press briefing, reacting live to the news of the Queen's passing. 

2:41 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Queen devoted to her duties until the very end

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse

The Queen is seen in October 2020.
The Queen is seen in October 2020. (Ben Stansall/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"My life will always be devoted to your service."

It was a vow she made repeatedly throughout her record-breaking reign, most recently in a message marking the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

Elizabeth II may not have been born to be monarch, but once fate had intervened, she steadfastly committed her time on earth to duty and service.

Even in the twilight years of her life, as many speculated on whether she might step back or perhaps even abdicate, she remained resolute in her devotion to her role.

As the coronavirus pandemic swept the world in 2020, the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, retreated from London to Windsor Castle. As in other times of crisis, the nation sought reassurance from the monarch, who evoked wartime references before firmly declaring "we will succeed."

Keen to remain a presence in public life amid the lockdowns and social distancing measures, she pivoted like many of us did and began working from home, participating in virtual engagements and undertaking more calls.

Following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in April 2021, she resumed her royal duties with typical steadfastness.

Her first public appearance took place a month after the death of her “strength and stay” with the State Opening of Parliament.

She tested positive for Covid-19 in February 2022, though she continued with some of her light duties despite suffering from mild cold-like symptoms.

In July, she traveled to her private Scottish home of Balmoral for the start of her traditional summer break. On Sept. 6, the Queen received former Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Balmoral Castle as he left office before she greeted Liz Truss to ask her to form a government and become prime minister. The historic audience was the first time the 96-year-old monarch carried out the key duty at her retreat in Aberdeenshire, rather than at London's Buckingham Palace.

News of her death truly marks the end of an era for the United Kingdom, with most of its people having known no other monarch at their head.

1:33 p.m. ET, September 8, 2022

Queen "died peacefully" at Balmoral Castle

The Queen died peacefully this afternoon, the Royal Family announced on its social media accounts.

Her son Charles, who is now King, will return to London on Friday.