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UK: Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96

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The monarch with record longevity and immense popularity died at the age of 96 on Thursday at her castle in Balmoral, Scotland, accompanied by her children and grandchildren.

Doctors “recommended that she be placed under medical supervision,” according to a statement from Buckingham Palace released early Thursday afternoon. Several members of the royal family went there, including princes Charles and William but also princess Anne and prince Andrew as well as Harry.

The longest-lived and immensely popular monarch, whose 70th-year reign the UK celebrated in June, has seen her health deteriorate since a night in hospital nearly a year ago, for reasons never specified. She now appeared only rarely in public, her services evoking episodic mobility problems, and increasingly delegated duties to her direct heirs, Princes Charles and William.

The first words of the new King Charles III

King Charles III described Thursday, in his first speech as sovereign, the death of his mother Elizabeth II as a “moment of very great sadness” which will be felt “around the world”.

“The passing of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a very sad moment for me and all my family members. We deeply mourn the loss of a beloved sovereign and a beloved mother. I know his loss will be deeply felt across the country, kingdoms and commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” the 73-year-old king said in a statement.

reactions flowing in

The White House expressed “its thoughts” for the family of Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday at 96, as well as for the “people of the United Kingdom”, said spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. “Our hearts and thoughts are with the Queen’s family (and) and the people of the United Kingdom,” President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman told reporters.

For his part, the head of the United Nations salutes “the grace, dignity and dedication” of Elizabeth II, in a press release.

Emmanuel Macron keeps the memory of “a friend of France”.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of the sovereign.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins expressed his condolences on Thursday after the announcement of the death of Elizabeth II, hailing “a remarkable friend of Ireland”, the presidency said in a statement.

“As we offer our condolences to all of our neighbors in the UK on the death of a remarkable friend of Ireland, we are reminded of the role played by Queen Elizabeth in the long friendship” between the two countries with a tormented history, said the president.

Across the Atlantic, Justin Trudeau pays tribute to the monarch. “It is with heavy hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest serving sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a constant presence in our lives – and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history. »

“A Beacon of Stability”

“Belgium offers its condolences to the British Royal Family and to the British people. May HRH Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace. For more than 70 years it has been a beacon of stability and dignity for the British people,” said Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

“The United Kingdom is losing an exceptional monarch who has profoundly marked history”, reacted Thursday evening King Philippe and Queen Mathilde to the announcement of the death, at the age of 96 and after 70 years of reign, of Queen Elizabeth II, calling her “a personality out of the ordinary”.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He was an extraordinary personality. We will always keep fond memories of this great Lady who throughout her reign showed dignity, courage and devotion, ”said the royal couple, according to a communication sent by the Palace.

“Each of our meetings will remain forever etched in our memories. The United Kingdom is losing an exceptional monarch who has had a profound impact on history,” continue Philippe and Mathilde, who offer their most sincere condolences to the royal family and the British people.