Pope Francis has sent his condolences to King Charles III, the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, praising her “witness of faith” and life of service. Source: Vatican News.
Buckingham Palace released a statement just after 6.30pm on Thursday local time (3.30am Friday AEST), confirming the Queen had died at her Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands.
Her family had gathered with the late Queen as concerns grew about her health earlier in the day.
Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee on June 2, 2022.
The late Queen’s eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, now becomes King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.
Shortly after her death, Pope Francis sent a telegram to offer his condolences to King Charles 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.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster paid tribute to her Christian faith and life of unstinting service, The Tablet reports.
“Even in my sorrow, shared with so many around the world, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II,” Cardinal Nichols said.
“At this time, we pray for the repose of the soul of Her Majesty. We do so with confidence, because the Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity.”
Pope Francis mourns death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (By Devin Watkins, Vatican News)
Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96 (By Ruth Gledhill, The Tablet)
Queen Elizabeth II: A legacy like no other (ABC News)