Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland died on Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle, her residence in Scotland.
Her family had gathered with the late Queen as concerns grew about her health earlier in the day.
Queen Elizabeth II reigned for over 70 years, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee on 2 June 2022.
The late Queen’s eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, now becomes King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
Service, devotion, witness
Shortly after her death, Pope Francis sent a telegramme to offer his condolences to King Charles III for the death of his mother, the UK’s longest-serving monarch.
“Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I offer heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”
The Pope said he joins everyone who mourns her loss “in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”
Pope Francis also commended “her noble soul” to the mercy of God the Father.
“I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your high responsibilities as King. Upon you and all who cherish the memory of your late mother, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings as a pledge of comfort and strength in the Lord.”
With thanks to Devin Watkins and Vatican News.