Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Queen has sadly died at the age of 96

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Get)

Buckingham Palace has announced the tragic news today that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has died, aged 96.

As the longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty ruled as Queen of the United Kingdom for 70 years.

Announcing the news this morning, a statement from the palace read: 'The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

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'The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.'

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The tragic news comes after speculation around Her Majesty's health. Earlier today her family, including Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne, travelled to join her in Balmoral.

Prince Charles, the next in line to the throne, is expected to make a speech to the nation, followed by a message from the Prime Minister.

From here, Britain is officially in a period of mourning and this will reportedly last for 10 days.

It is thought that the Queen's coffin will 'lie in state' for four days before she is buried, and the funeral will take place 12 days after her death.

Her Majesty is expected to be buried at Windsor Castle with her late husband.

Our thoughts are with the royal family at this tragic time.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.