Royals arrive at Balmoral Castle as Queen Elizabeth II dies

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A fleet of cars carrying Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, arrived at Balmoral Castle, hours before the palace announced Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday afternoon.

The plane carrying the royal party arrived at Aberdeen Airport just before 4 p.m. Thursday, local time, and arrived at the queen’s estate about an hour later. 

They flocked to the estate after the palace said the queen was under medical supervision because doctors were concerned about her health. Her death was announced around 6:30 p.m. local time.

Prince Harry, who was due to appear at a charity awards ceremony in London later Thursday, canceled that appearance and was making his way to Scotland separately.

Police officers guard Balmoral Castle
Britain’s Prince Edward and Prince Andrew arrive to Balmoral Castle, amid concerns over Queen Elizabeth’s health, in Balmoral, Scotland, September 8, 2022.

RUSSELL CHEYNE / REUTERS


Meanwhile, crowds of people began to gather outside Buckingham Palace in London. More than 100 people, many holding umbrellas amid sometimes heavy downpours, have congregated on stone steps outside the royal residence, and dozens more were standing beside the gates, with many people peering through them. A rainbow could be seen in the sky.

Rainbow over Buckingham Palace
People gather as a rainbow is seen outside of Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022 in London, England. Buckingham Palace issued a statement earlier in the day saying that Queen Elizabeth was under medical supervision due to concerns about her health.

Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images


“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” the palace said in a statement.

The 96-year-old monarch pulled out of a virtual event on Wednesday and was advised to rest by doctors.

A day before that, she met the U.K.’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral. A photo released by the palace of their meeting showed the monarch looking frail, but alert and smiling.

The queen had been experiencing health problems since the end of last year, which the palace had said primarily affects her mobility, and has cut back on public appearances and engagements.

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