King Charles has made a statement on the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
He said: “The death of Her Majesty the Queen, my dear Mother, is a moment of greatest sadness for me and all my family members.
“We deeply mourn the passing of a cherished sovereign and a very dear mother.”
Police have removed barriers blocking the gates of Balmoral Castle to allow the public to plant flowers for the Queen.
The area was cordoned off before the arrival of members of the royal family, including the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.
Hundreds gathered outside Buckingham Palace after news of the Queen’s death broke.
Emotions intensified as the crowd sang God Save the King, for God Save the Queen and her son Charles:
Flags will be flown at half-mast on UK government buildings until the morning after her funeral to pay tribute to the Queen.
All such flags, including the Union flag and any national flag, “are to be flown at half-mast on all UK government buildings as soon as possible today, by 0800 the day after the Queen’s State funeral”, government guidance stated in.
It also advises that any non-official flags, including for example the Rainbow Flag or the Armed Forces Flag, be removed and replaced with a half-masted Union flag.
The Union flag at Buckingham Palace was flown at half-mast on Thursday, while a placard announcing the Queen’s death was placed at the front gate by Royal Family staff.
The Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said “a historic regime and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end.”
“The Government and the people of Australia extend our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – the person who was their greatest inner strength for so long.
“Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost a part of making their country whole.
There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
“It’s a loss we all feel, because few people have known the world without Queen Elizabeth II.”
Here are some more tributes from world leaders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences to Britain following the “irreparable loss” of Queen Elizabeth II.
Irish Republic President Michael D Higgins expressed “deep regret and deeply personal grief” at the Queen’s death.
“Her Majesty served the British people with extraordinary dignity. Her personal commitment to her role and extraordinary sense of duty were hallmarks of her tenure as Queen, which would create a unique place in British history.
The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, said the Netherlands remembers the queen “with deep honour”.
“During her particularly long reign, she was a symbol of calm and stability for her country and the world, even in moments of greatest historical upheaval. Today our thoughts are first and foremost with her children and grandchildren. Huh.”
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin sent “deepest condolences to the people of the Royal Family, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth”.
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed called the Queen “a close friend”.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and to the people of Britain,” he tweeted.
The emperor’s coffin is expected to rest for 24 hours at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, as people will be able to pay their respects to the queen, the PA news agency reports.
It is expected that in about three days’ time members of the public will be allowed to enter the cathedral to be in the coffin.
Following the announcement of the news of the Queen’s death, the cathedral’s minister, the Rev Callum MacLeod, paid tribute to such a “strong and faithful servant”.
In a message on the cathedral’s website, they said: “Together with the entire nation, we, at St Giles’ Cathedral, mourn the death of HM The Queen, a strong and faithful servant to the UK and Commonwealth for so many years.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family.”
Members of the Royal Family will be expected to keep a watch around the Queen’s coffin in St Giles in the coming days.
A service will be held at the cathedral and the Queen’s children are expected to stage a vigil around the Queen’s coffin – known as the Vigil of the Princess – while she is located there.
The Queen’s death means the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is now technically a prince – a title that his mother Meghan claimed was denied to him because of his race.
Her younger sister, Lilibet “Lily” Mountbatten-Windsor, is also entitled to be a princess after the death and accession of her grandfather, the Prince of Wales, to the throne.
Meghan spoke out last year during an interview with US broadcaster Oprah Winfrey after she was told she would not receive police protection because she had no title, and suggested the decision was made because of her mixed race .
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he learned the news “with deep sadness”.
He added: “On behalf of the people, we express our deepest condolences to (the Royal Family), the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth at this irreparable loss. Our best wishes and prayers are with you.”
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our times.
“He provided inspiring leadership to his nation and people.
“He displayed dignity and decency in public life. I am hurt by his death. My condolences to his family and the people of Britain at this time of grief.”
The prime minister’s official spokesperson said Liz Truss was informed of the Queen’s death at 4.30pm.
This news was given to the Prime Minister of Britain by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.
Following his statement in Downing Street, Truss spoke to King Charles III and is also expected to chair the ministers’ meeting at 9 p.m.
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted this tribute:
The Archwell Foundation website for Harry and Meghan is displaying a tribute with the words: “In the loving memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022.”
In Washington, D.C., Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, speaks on the Senate floor following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
He said: “Today we take a solemn and sad break.
“A few minutes ago, we received the sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
“I join with the leader [Mitch] With McConnell, my Senate colleagues, and all Americans, my deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom.
Here are some more tributes from world leaders.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “We mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a role model and an inspiration to millions in Germany as well.
“His commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will remain unforgettable. He will be remembered, not least for his wonderful humour.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, said: “It is with sadness that we learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“His 70-year-long rule has marked British history since the Second World War.
“My heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom.”
The Church of England has said that church bells are likely to ring across England tomorrow.
Following the announcement from Buckingham Palace, parish churches, chapels and cathedrals are being encouraged to ring their bells and open for prayer or special services.
Tolling bells have been recommended for one hour from tomorrow afternoon under the guidance of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.
General guidance for parish churches on the passing of the sovereign, which is available online and shared with parishes through the diocese, also includes advice on raising flags at half-mast and opening mourning books.
Worship will also be made available for official memorial services and special prayers.
Our Scotland editor, Severin Carell, posted these tweets of well-wishers laying out Balmoral flowers.