Australian breakfast television presenters are paying their respects as the country wakes up to the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
Her Majesty died peacefully at her castle in Balmoral, Scotland, with Buckingham Palace issuing a statement from King Charles III at 4.04am on Friday AEST.
Announcing the news of her passing, the hosts of Channel Seven’s Sunrise and Nine’s Today show wore black to honour The Queen and her 70-year reign.
The hosts of Channel Seven’s Sunrise and Nine’s Today show (pictured: Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon) wore black to honour The Queen following her death at the age of 96
Today anchor Allison Langdon wore a short-sleeved black dress while Karl Stefanovic rested his obligatory navy suit and also wore black.
Over on Sunrise, Natalie Barr wore a respectable black dress with a shawl and neatly tied her hair back, while her co-host David Koch donned a black suit.
All of the Sunrise staff in the studio dressed in black, too.
Both Sunrise and the Today show broke the news at 4.30am on Friday, and the ABC interrupted music program Rage to make the announcement.
‘Hello, Australia. You are waking up to the sad news the Queen has died overnight,’ a visibly emotional Koch said.
Natalie Barr (left) wore a respectable black dress with a shawl and neatly tied her hair back, while her co-host David Koch (right) donned a black suit
‘It’s the day we knew was inevitable, but hoped would never come.’
Koch and Barr crossed over live to Buckingham Palace where thousands of mourners braved the heavy rain to lay flowers outside the gates.
Speaking on the Today show, Stefanovic took a moment to reflect on the last time he met the Queen during her visit to Australia in 2011.
‘I had the great privilege of meeting her a long time ago now, about 10, 15 years ago at Kirribilli when John Howard was Prime Minister,’ he said.
‘There were literally hundreds of people there for a special function. Everyone lined up. There was a line-up of about 400m long.
‘She looked fragile. But she was just full of energy.’
Today anchor Allison Langdon (right) wore a short-sleeved black dress while Karl Stefanovic (left) rested his obligatory navy suit and also wore black
Stefanovic reflected on the last time he met the Queen during her visit to Australia in 2011
Stefanovic said he ‘completely went to water’ after shaking her hand as he became overwhelmed by her presence.
‘Just the energy of this woman, and at the time she was well into her eighties,’ he said.
The TV hosts paid their respects as tributes poured in for the Queen from around the country.
Governor-General David Hurley described her as a ‘remarkable’ person who served with ‘distinction’ for more than 70 years.
‘Up when I reflect on my own memories, and she was my queen for my entire life, I think of Her Majesty’s dignity and her compassion, her dedication and her compassion, her dedication and her work ethic,’ he said.
‘And her selfless and unwavering commitment to those to whom she served. To us. Her death will sadden all Australians and be felt around the world.
‘As we mourn, we should also take inspiration and give thanks to the remarkable contribution Her Majesty has made. May she rest in peace. God save the king.’
Prime minister Anthony Albanese described it as a day of ‘profound sadness’.
Prime minister Anthony Albanese described it as a day of ‘profound sadness’
‘Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole,’ he said.
‘It is a time of mourning for the people in Britain, across the Commonwealth and, indeed, around the world.
‘There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: Grief is the price we pay for love. This is a loss we feel deeply in Australia.’
Queen Elizabeth II died today aged 96.
Her son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, is now King Charles III, as the world grieves his mother, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
The Queen’s place in the hearts of millions of Australians was as abiding as her lifelong relationship with the one-time colony. She is pictured receiving flowers from waiting school children waving flags after a Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006
All Her Majesty’s children had rushed to Balmoral today after doctors became ‘concerned’ for her health. Hours later she died, surrounded by her family.
At 6.30pm, UK time, her death was confirmed. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘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 Queen’s death will see Britain and her Commonwealth realms enter into a ten-day period of mourning as millions of her subjects in the UK and abroad come to terms with her passing. Her coffin will be moved to London on the royal train via Edinburgh before she lies in state in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament for four days. Hundreds of thousands of people will be able to pay their respects.
The state funeral is expected take place at Westminster Abbey in central London on Monday, September 19, which will be attended by her bereft family as well as 2,000 heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life around the globe.
Her Majesty the Queen – Britain’s longest-reigning monarch – has died peacefully at Balmoral aged 96. Her son Charles, is now king. He will remain at Balmoral tonight before returning to London with the Queen Consort, Camilla
King Charles III released this poignant statement reacting to the death of his ‘beloved mother’ as he took the throne today
And as her son accedes to the throne, there will also be a celebration of her historic 70-year reign that saw her reach her Platinum Jubilee this year – a landmark unlikely to be reached again by a British monarch.
Charles, who will reign as King Charles III, said today: ‘The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.
‘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.
‘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.’
All Her Majesty’s children had rushed to Balmoral today after doctors became ‘concerned’ for her health. Hours later she died, surrounded by her family. Pictured: The death of The Queen was announced via the Royal Family’s official Twitter account