What we know of the last hours of Elizabeth II

What we know about the last hours of Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth II died at her Scottish castle of Balmoral on Thursday after what appears to be a deterioration in her health, so rapid that two of her sons and her grandson William are thought to have able to arrive in time at his bedside. 

It was 12:32 p.m. in London when the brief but alarming first statement from Buckingham Palace told the world of the concern of the Queen's doctors, who were “concerned” about her state of health.

In private, however, those closest to the queen have been expecting the worst for several hours already, the British press reported on Friday. The sovereign had to cancel a meeting by videoconference the previous evening and, from 9 a.m., “the doctors knew that she had only a few hours left to live”, assures the Sun, when the < em>Daily Mail speaks of “a turn for the worse early Thursday morning”.

His relatives are urgently organizing to travel to the Scottish highlands. First, the heir Charles and his wife Camilla who, according to the press, left Dumfries House in the south of Scotland at the end of the morning aboard the royal helicopter. At Balmoral, they reunite with Charles' sister, Anne.

We do not know the precise time of the death of the queen, which occurred in the “afternoon” according to Buckingham. Prime Minister Liz Truss, officially appointed by the sovereign at Balmoral on Tuesday, is informed around 4:30 p.m. local time, according to her services, two hours before the official announcement.

If it is therefore likely that Charles and Anne were able to attend the last moments of the sovereign, this is probably not the case for her two other sons, Andrew and Edward, and Prince William. Arriving in Scotland in a Royal Air Force jet, they did not pass the gates of the castle, faces closed, until after 5 p.m.

Prince Harry, at odds with the royal family, arrived later late again, alone, when the news has already gone around the world. He is also leaving separately on Friday morning, on a regular British Airways flight.

Barely six hours separated the first press release from the palace from the official announcement of the death of Elizabeth II, the causes of which are not yet known. have not been revealed.

The state of health of the 96-year-old sovereign had been declining visibly for months, in particular since the death of her husband, Philip, in April 2021. She had spent a night in the hospital last October for examinations, the nature of which has never been communicated. The palace, since, evoked “problems of mobility”.

In the last photos of Elizabeth II at Balmoral, taken on Tuesday, the appearance of her right hand, bluish, had raised questions. She appeared there smiling, standing, but more frail than ever.