5.40pm UDPATE: All Anglican church bells in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos will ring 96 times tomorrow in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.
In a statement from the Anglican Diocese, Reverend Laish Boyd offered condolences over the Queen’s death yesterday on behalf of the church.
“The Anglican family in the Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands pauses to thank God for the life of Queen Elizabeth II. . .who died on September 8, the feast of the nativity (birth) of the blessed Virgin Mary,” the statement said.
“We thank God for her long life of 96 years, and her reign of 70 years. She is an enduring symbol of reliability, dependability, stability, longevity, grace, wisdom, hospitality and graciousness.
“We offer condolences to her children, King Charles, Ann, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, their families, and to the entire royal family. We offer condolences to the leaders and people of the United Kingdom. . .and all of our fellow Commonwealth countries.”
The statement said as an “initial mark of respect” all Anglican churches in the Diocese have been asked to toll their church bells 96 times today at noon.
There will be other observances held in the future, the statement added.
4.45pm UPDATE: Statement from Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:
“It is with deep regret and sadness that we learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“On behalf of the Government and People of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, we offer our sincere condolences to the Members of The Royal Family.
“I have ordered that the National Flag be lowered today to half-staff and to be lowered again when the Official Mourning Period comes into effect.”
4.20pm UPDATE: Statement from Governor-General Sir Cornelius A Smith:
“On behalf of the Government and People of The Bahamas, His Excellency The Most Honourable Sir Cornelius Smith, ON. GCMG, expresses deep sadness on learning of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“In expressing his sadness, His Excellency recalls Her Majesty's several visits to The Bahamas at which time she was joyfully received by our people.
“His Excellency invites all Bahamians to join in prayer for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty, and for the bereaved members of the Royal Family.”
3.40pm UPDATE: Leader of the Opposition Michael Pintard has released a statement extending condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“It is with heartfelt regret that we extend sincere condolences to the Royal Family upon the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” he said.
“Queen Elizabeth reigned as Head of the Commonwealth of Nations for 70 years and will be sorely missed. She reigned with grace and dignity.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family, the people of Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations at this time.”
3.20pm UPDATE: King Charles III says the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, “is a moment of the greatest sadness” for him and his family.
In a statement issued Thursday following the 96-year-old monarch’s death at her Balmoral Castle estate in Scotland, he said: “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.”
Charles, who became king upon his mother’s death, said, “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
1.35pm UPDATE: LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
The palace announced she died at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland, where members of the royal family had rushed to her side after her health took a turn for the worse.
A link to the almost-vanished generation that fought World War II, she was the only monarch most Britons have ever known.
Her 73-year-old son Prince Charles automatically becomes king, though the coronation might not take place for months. It was not immediately known whether he will call himself King Charles III or some other name.
The BBC played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” over a portrait of her in full regalia as her death was announced, and the flag over Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-staff as the second Elizabethan age came to a close.
The impact of her loss will be huge and unpredictable, both for the nation and for the monarchy, an institution she helped stabilize and modernize across decades of huge social change and family scandals.
The queen’s life was indelibly marked by the war. As Princess Elizabeth, she made her first public broadcast in 1940 when she was 14, sending a wartime message to children evacuated to the countryside or overseas.
“We children at home are full of cheerfulness and courage,” she said with a blend of stoicism and hope that would echo throughout her reign. “We are trying to do all we can to help out gallant soldiers, sailors and airmen. And we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well.”
Since Feb. 6, 1952, Elizabeth reigned over a Britain that rebuilt from war and lost its empire; joined the European Union and then left it; and transformed from industrial powerhouse to uncertain 21st century society. She endured through 15 prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, becoming an institution and an icon -- a fixed point and a reassuring presence even for those who ignored or loathed the monarchy.
She became less visible in her final years as age and frailty curtailed many public appearances. But she remained firmly in control of the monarchy and at the center of national life as Britain celebrated her Platinum Jubilee with days of parties and pageants in June 2022.
FROM EARLIER: Statements released today on the reports about the Queen’s health:
Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis: “On behalf of The Government and People of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, we extend our good wishes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We keep Her Majesty in our thoughts and prayers.”
Leader of the Opposition Michael Pintard: “We have been watching with the rest of the Commonwealth and the world, reports of Queen Elizabeth’s health. Our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family at this time.”
Governor-General Sir Cornelius A Smith: “I am saddened to learn of the illness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as expressed by the medical advisors to the Palace. All Bahamians join me in prayer for Her Majesty, who, over the many years, has served The Bahamas with great admiration. I also include members of the Royal Family in our thoughts and prayers at this time.”
By DANICA KIRKA, JILL LAWLESS and SYLVIA HUI
LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has been placed under medical supervision because doctors are "concerned for Her Majesty's health," Buckingham Palace said Thursday, as members of the royal family urgently travelled to Scotland to be with the 96-year-old monarch.
The palace declined to provide further details about the seriousness of the queen's condition, but there were other worrying signs as Prime Minister Liz Truss said "the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news" and other politicians expressed their disquiet.
The announcement by the palace came a day after the queen cancelled a virtual meeting of her Privy Council when doctors advised her to rest following a full day of events on Tuesday, when she formally asked Truss to become prime minister.
"Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,'' a palace spokesperson said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with customary policy. "The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral."
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, along with his wife, Camilla, and sister, Princess Anne, are already with the queen at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland. Prince William, Charles' eldest son, is also en route to Balmoral, as is his brother, Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan, Prince Andrew and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
The gathering of the House of Windsor comes just three months after people across Britain paused over a long holiday weekend to celebrate the queen's 70 years on the throne. While crowds of cheering, flag-waving fans filled the streets around Buckingham Palace throughout four days of festivities, the queen herself made only two brief appearances on the palace balcony to wave to her subjects.
Elizabeth has increasingly handed over duties to Charles and other members of the royal family in recent months as she recovered from a bout of COVID-19, began using a cane and struggled to get around.
"The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime," Truss said on Twitter.
"My thoughts — and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom — are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time."
Since assuming the throne after the death of her father on Feb. 6, 1952, Elizabeth has been a symbol of stability as Britain negotiated the end of empire, the dawn of the information age and the mass migration that transformed the country into a multicultural society.
Throughout it all, the queen has built a bond with the nation through a seemingly endless series of public appearance as she opened libraries, dedicated hospitals and bestowed honours on deserving citizens.
She worked steadily into the twilight of her reign. But the death of Prince Philip, her husband of more than 70 years, in April of last year reminded the U.K. that the reign of the queen, the only monarch most of her subjects have ever known, is finite.
That truth was the subtext of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations as newspapers, television news shows and even the walls of the palace were filled with images of Elizabeth as she changed from a glamorous young queen in crown and diamonds to a kind of global grandmother known for her omnipresent handbag and love of horses and corgis.
Charles was front and centre throughout the festivities as he stood in for his mother and demonstrated that he was ready to take on her mantle.
Wearing a ceremonial scarlet tunic and bearskin hat, he reviewed the troops during the Queen's Birthday Parade on the opening day of the jubilee. The next day, he was the last guest to enter St. Paul's Cathedral and took his seat at the front of the church for a service of thanksgiving in honour of the queen. At a star-studded concert in front of Buckingham Palace, he delivered the main tribute to the woman he addressed as, "Your Majesty, mummy."