Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in Britain died on Thursday at her Scottish Highland retreat at the age of 96 years old.
Charles, Prince of Wales, the eldest of her four children and, at age 73, the oldest heir apparent in British history, ascended to the throne immediately.
Officials confirmed that he is now known as King Charles III, the first king of that name to reign since 1685.
His mother’s death prompted an outpouring of condolences from world leaders around the world, as they paid tribute to a woman whose reign spanned 70 years.
Charles described her death as “a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family” in his first words as monarch.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother,” he added in a statement signed “His Majesty the King”.
“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth and by countless people around the world.”
Buckingham Palace issued a brief statement announcing the queen’s death, triggering ten days of national mourning and a global outpouring of tributes to her long life and record-breaking reign.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” said the statement issued at 6:30 pm (1730 GMT).
“The King (Charles) and The Queen Consort (Camilla) will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss, who learned of the death two hours before it was announced, lamented “the passing of the second Elizabethan age” nearly 500 years after the first.
“Today the Crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III.
“With the King’s family we mourn the loss of his mother and come together.
“We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much to us for so long.”