After his mother, Queen Elizabeth, the only queen that the majority of Britons ever knew, passed away on Thursday, Britain’s King Charles will address a nation in grief on Friday.
Following his hasty arrival to the queen’s side at her home in Scotland on Thursday, Charles was scheduled to fly back to London with his wife Camilla, who is now Queen Consort, before meeting with the prime minister and making a televised statement.
Condolences have been expressed from all around the world in response to the queen’s passing. She was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades.
The people gathered once more outside Buckingham Palace to drop flowers and take pictures of the growing memorial there as they awoke to their first day without a woman once referred to by her grandson Harry as “the nation’s grandmother.”
Condolence messages were put on billboards around the city, and front-page photo tributes to the queen were published in newspapers.
Others showed up to pay their condolences at the isolated Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she passed away on Thursday and where her family is gathered.
“She was more than just a British icon, she was a global icon,” said Toni Guffrey, a 55-year-old government employee from Tennessee, who was on holiday nearby. She and her daughters brought flowers to the castle gates.
“All Americans loved the queen. She will be remembered for a life of selfless public service and her dedication to this country.”
In addition to the United Kingdom, Elizabeth served as the head of state for 14 other realms including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
Charles, who automatically succeeded her, said he and his family were saddened by her death.
The 73-year-old made a statement in which she stated, “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
On Friday, he is anticipated to have a meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss before addressing the country. Gun salutes will also be made.
Parliament’s regular work has been suspended in favor of a special session that will begin at 1100 GMT and honor the monarch. An official expression of condolence to the king will be approved by Parliament, which will meet on Saturday.
Soon after midday on Thursday, the queen’s physicians released a statement indicating that she was under medical observation, which prompted her family to fly to Scotland with the news that the monarch’s condition was deteriorating.
Since the end of last year, the queen had been experiencing what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility issues,” which had forced her to cancel almost all of her public appearances. Prince Philip, her spouse of 73 years, recently died in 2021.