Queen Elizabeth passed away in her sleep on Wednesday afternoon after becoming “increasingly frail in recent weeks following a recurrence of a bad chest infection,” according to a Buckingham Palace source.
Prince Charles and Princess Anne were at Buckingham Palace with the Queen at the time of her passing, according to the source, who also confirmed Prince Charles will ascend to the throne:
“There will be a meeting of the Accession Council this evening or maybe tomorrow to proclaim the accession of Prince Charles as the King. His coronation will be held late in the year after a suitable mourning period.”
The Buckingham Palace source explained that Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s private secretary, summoned the entire royal household, including servants from across the country, for an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
The meeting was clearly “well planned” and “went like clockwork” according to the source, with Geidt performing the duties for which he has been preparing since being given a second knighthood in 2014, in part for planning the Queen’s succession.
Geidt then contacted British Prime Minister Theresa May, who in turn alerted key civil servants including the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
From the Foreign Office’s Global Response Centre, Johnson relayed the news to the 15 governments outside the UK where the Queen is also the head of state.
At the time of publishing, the only people made aware of the Queen’s death outside of the royal household are the aforementioned British senior civil servants, the Ambassadors of Commonwealth nations and their Governors General.
Describing the mood in the Palace as “eerie”, the royal staffer said “She spent most of the day with her dogs, lacking energy but otherwise in good spirits. She spoke to me briefly and said that one must always keep oneself busy with work, as one has an eternity after in which one can reflect. In hindsight, those words seem rather prophetic now.”
“I saw the Queen moments before her passing. She had fire in her eyes as if she were battling some kind of invisible entity. I was ushered out by other family members. The strong rumor in the Palace is that she insisted on ending her life before it was taken from her.“
“This is a secret royal protocol. They like to remain in total control until the very end.”