Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday September 8 in her Scottish castle of Balmoral after what appears to be a deterioration in her state of health, so rapid that two of her sons and her grandson William were probably unable to arrive in time. his bedside. It is 12:32 p.m. in London (1:32 p.m. in Paris) when the first press release from Buckingham Palace, brief but alarming, informs the world of the concern of the Queen's doctors, "concerned" about her state of health. The detention clearly indicated the seriousness of the situation, as our correspondent in London wrote shortly after the publication of this press release.
In private, however, those closest to the queen have been expecting the worst for several hours already, reports this Friday, September 9, the British press. The sovereign had to cancel a meeting by videoconference the previous evening and, from 9 o'clock, "the doctors knew that she had only a few hours left to live", assures the Sun, when the Daily Mail evokes "a turning point towards worst early Thursday morning."
Those closest to him organize themselves urgently to go 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 find 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 September 6, is informed around 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. in France) 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. Arrived in Scotland in a jet of the Royal Air Force, they do not pass the gates of the castle, faces closed, until after 5 p.m. Prince Harry, at odds with the royal family, arrives later still, alone, when the news has already gone around the world. He is also leaving separately this Friday morning, on a scheduled 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 have not been revealed. As The Queen of Our Times author and royal family scholar Robert Hardman recalled: "The Palace never communicates about the Queen's health unless of course it is of age."
The state of health of the 96-year-old sovereign had been visibly declining 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 including nature has never been communicated. The palace, since, evoked "problems of mobility". In the latest photos of Elizabeth II at Balmoral, taken on Tuesday, the appearance of her right hand, bluish, had raised questions. She appeared there smiling, upright but more frail than ever.