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What date did the Queen die? A timeline of how the day of Elizabeth II’s death unfolded one year on

Today marks a year since Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle, and is the anniversary of the King’s accession to the throne.

Prince Harry paid tribute to his late grandmother last night, while King Charles released an unseen portrait of the late monarch, alongside the statement:

“In marking the first anniversary of her late majesty’s death and my accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.

“I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.”

– King Charles III

Here is how the Queen’s death unfolded on the world stage a year ago today…

What happened on the day the Queen died?

On Thursday 8 September, 2022 rumours began to swirl in newsrooms early on that the Queen has been taken ill at Balmoral Castle, and possibly had a fall.

Two days before, the Queen was happily hosting guests on the Aberdeenshire estate, and carrying out official duties by bidding farewell to Boris Johnson and appointing Liz Truss as the new prime minister.

But she looked frail in photographs and postponed a Privy Council meeting on the Wednesday after being ordered by doctors to rest.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8 File photo dated 6/9/2022 of Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Queen Elizabeth II told former prime minister Liz Truss they would be "meeting again soon" at her final official engagement before her death. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday September 8, 2023. See PA story ANNIVERSARY Queen. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland two days before her death (Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

By 10.30am on the Thursday, the then-Prince of Wales secretly made a 120-mile dash by helicopter from Dumfries House to Balmoral after being alerted to the Queen’s worsening condition.

The Duchess of Cornwall cancelled a not-yet publicly announced official visit to a cancer centre in Lanarkshire and travelled by road from Birkhall.

The Princess Royal, who was staying in Scotland at the time, was already at the Queen’s bedside.

Charles visited his mother and later went foraging for mushrooms on the estate as he contemplated his accession and imminent duty as king, before he returned to the Queen’s side.

By 12.12pm, there were initial indications that something was afoot in the House of Commons.

Then then-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Nadhim Zahawi, sat down next to Ms Truss and began whispering to her while she listened to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s response to her energy statement.

Labour MP Chris Bryant tweets: “Something odd is going on in the Commons. Zahawi briefing pm urgently.”

Sir Keir, too, was passed a note by his deputy Angela Rayner, with Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle also being handed a piece of paper updating him about the developing situation.

Ms Rayner later revealed the note read: “The Queen is unwell and Keir needs to leave the Chamber as soon as possible to be briefed.”

Buckingham Palace then issued a concerning statement, confirming the Queen was under medical supervision.

It read: “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

A portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is displayed inside St Davids Cathedral, ahead of the arrival of Britain's Prince William, and Kate, Princess of Wales, on the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's death, in St. Davids, Wales, Britain, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)
A portrait of Queen Elizabeth inside St Davids Cathedral on 8 September, 2022 (Photo: Toby Melville/AP)

BBC One interrupted Bargain Hunt at 12.39pm to deliver a statement and suspend its regular programming.

Clarence House confirmed that Charles and Camilla had travelled to Balmoral, and a minute later Kensington Palace said William, then-the Duke of Cambridge, was headed north.

The Duchess of Cambridge remained in Windsor where their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were starting at a new school.

By 1.38pm Palace sources said the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex were also on their way to the Queen’s Scottish home.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then announced they are going to Balmoral. Charles had phoned Harry earlier to tell him of the Queen’s worsening health.

Harry is believed to have texted William to ask whether he and Kate were flying up, but allegedly received no reply.

Behind the scenes, Charles called Harry again to ask him not to bring Meghan – stating that only immediate family will be there, and not Kate.

The duke says in his memoir that he told his father “Don’t ever speak about my wife that way”. And at 2.39pm a Royal Air Force flight took off from RAF Northolt in South Ruislip, west London, carrying William, Andrew, Edward and Sophie.

At 3.10pm, Elizabeth II – the nation’s longest reigning monarch – died at the age of 96 in her bedroom in the castle, surrounded by Charles, who immediately acceded to the throne as the new King, Camilla and Anne. Also there was the Queen’s doctor, GP Douglas Glass.

Her death – the cause of which is listed on her death certificate as old age – brings an end to the Second Elizabethan age which has spanned 70 years.

The other royals on the RAF plane, a Dassault Falcon, landed at Aberdeen airport, too late to say their final farewells.

Ms Truss was informed of the Queen’s death by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case at 4.30pm, and at around the same time sources close to Harry and Meghan say Harry was travelling alone after chartering a private flight from Luton.

Just after 5pm a fleet of cars, including a Range Rover driven by William, arrived at Balmoral. A double rainbow appeared over Buckingham Palace after a heavy downpour as members of the public gathered outside.

News of the Queen’s death was announced to the world at 6.30pm.

A Buckingham Palace statement read: “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 union flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half mast and newsreader Huw Edwards read out the news on the BBC. Tributes flooded in from around the globe.

Charles then issued his first statement as King, and described his mother’s death as “a moment of the greatest sadness”.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother,” the new sovereign said.

“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

Ms Truss, dressed in black, addressed the nation outside No 10.

“Today the crown passes, as it has done for more than 1,000 years, to our new monarch, to our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III,” she said announcing the monarch’s choice of regnal title for the first time.

Harry arrived at Balmoral at 8pm. He was in the air when the announcement of the Queen’s death was made.

When he landed at Aberdeen airport, he received a text from Meghan telling him to call, but learnt the news after checking the BBC’s website on his phone.

The duke was greeted at the castle by Anne. Charles, William and Camilla – the new Queen – have already left for Birkhall.

Harry visited the late Queen’s body to pay his respects, whispering that he hoped she would be happy and “with Grandpa”.

A grieving Charles and Camilla have dinner with William at Birkhall, and prepare to return to London the next day, Friday, with the King due to address the nation on television.

The King’s historic Accession Council is set for Saturday September 10.

Can you visit the Queen’s grave?

St George’s Chapel is open to the public.

Entrance to the chapel is included with a visitor ticket to Windsor Castle.

A Royal Collection Trust spokesperson told i: “St George’s Chapel will continue to be included as part of a ticketed visit to Windsor Castle”

St George’s Chapel opens for visitors on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4.15pm. Tickets for adult visitors to Windsor Castle cost £26.50 from Sunday to Friday, and £28.50 on Saturday.

St George’s Chapel is a place of worship for the Queen and the Royal Family, as well as a church serving the local community.

Worshippers can attend three services a day. On Sundays it is closed to visitors, but worshippers are again welcome.

Additional reporting from PA

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