UK PM Truss’s statement at the moment of the Queen’s death

British Prime Minister Liz Truss paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth following the monarch’s death aged 96 on Thursday.

Truss in her statement in Downing Street said:

“We are all devastated by the news we have just heard from Balmoral. The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world. 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. She ascended the throne just after the Second World War. She championed the development of the Commonwealth – from a small group of seven countries to a family of 56 nations spanning every continent of the world. We are now a modern, thriving, dynamic nation.

“Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain – and that spirit will endure. She has been our longest-ever reigning monarch.

“It is an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years. Her life of service stretched beyond most of our living memories. In return, she was loved and admired by the people in the United Kingdom and all around the world.

“She has been a personal inspiration to me and to many Britons. Her devotion to duty is an example to us all. Earlier this week, at 96, she remained determined to carry out her duties as she appointed me as her 15th prime minister.

“Throughout her life she has visited more than 100 countries and she has touched the lives of millions around the world.

“In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service.

“It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy.

“Today the Crown passes – as it is has done for more than a thousand years – to our new monarch, our new head of state: His Majesty King Charles III.

“With the King’s family, we mourn the loss of his mother.

And as we mourn, we must come together as a people to support him. To help him bear the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all.

“We offer him our loyalty and devotion just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long. And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country – exactly as Her Majesty would have wished – by saying the words God save the King.”

Breaking News: Queen Elizabeth dies peacefully at Scottish home aged 96

Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the nation’s most treasured image for seven decades, has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” it said in a statement.

“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The Queen’s eldest son Charles, 73, automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His wife Camilla becomes Queen Consort.

Her family had rushed to be by her side at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, after doctors expressed concern about her health. She had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.

She was crowned in June the following year. The first televised coronation was a foretaste of a new world in which the lives of the royals were to become increasingly scrutinised by the media.

“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust,” she said in a speech to her subjects on her coronation day.

Queen Elizabeth became monarch at a time when Britain still retained much of its old empire. It was emerging from the ravages of World War Two, with food rationing still in force and class and privilege still dominant in society.

Winston Churchill was Britain’s prime minister at the time, Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union and the Korean War was raging.

In the decades that followed, Queen Elizabeth witnessed massive political change and social upheaval at home and abroad. Her own family’s tribulations, most notably the divorce of Charles and his late first wife Diana, were played out in full public glare.

While remaining an enduring symbol of stability and continuity for Britons at a time of relative national economic decline, Queen Elizabeth also tried to adapt the ancient institution of monarchy to the demands of the modern era.

“She has managed to modernise and evolve the monarchy like no other,” her grandson Prince William, who is now heir to the throne, said in a 2012 documentary.