Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch and one of the world’s most recognizable and most portrayed figures in modern times, died on Thursday at age 96.
After 70 years of rule, Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the Royal Family announced. She will be succeeded by firstborn son Charles.
Earlier, the Palace said that Elizabeth was under medical supervision, as doctors were “concerned for Her Majesty’s health.” The announcement came after the monarch canceled a meeting of her Privy Council the day prior and was told to rest.
Charles made a statement following the announcement of his mother’s death, noting it was “a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family.”
His statement continued, “I know the loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” adding that the Royal Family takes comfort knowing Elizabeth was “so widely held.”
Outpourings of respect and statements paying tribute came flooding in on Thursday.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty The Queen, whose close association with the Academy spanned 50 years,” read a statement from BAFTA highlighting her support for the U.K.’s creative industries through her various patronages, including through the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Royal Variety Charity and the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. “Over the years, The Queen has visited countless film and television organizations, supporting their efforts by highlighting the work they do. The official opening of BAFTA’s new headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, in March 1976, was conducted by The Queen and attended by past Presidents of the organiation, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl Mountbatten of Burma and HRH Princess Anne, who was President at the time. On the occasion of the official opening, the Society of Film and Television Arts was renamed the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Five decades on, 195 Piccadilly remains BAFTA’s iconic London home and is at the heart of the Academy’s charitable activity.”
The statement continues, “The Queen played a significant role in one of the most ambitious overseas initiatives the Academy has ever undertaken, when in 1990, the Library of Congress in Washington invited BAFTA to organize a joint Festival of British Film and Television. The Academy organized a major British cultural program in 1991 for the first state visit to Washington by The Queen and The Duke since 1976. The Queen supported numerous events within the festival, including the Great British Picture Show at the Library of Congress, at which over 100 feature films were screened within a week. The Queen also attended a BAFTA lunch at The Jefferson Building, together with The Duke, which included a presentation of a British Academy Special Award to actress Angela Lansbury by Sir Richard Attenborough.
“In 1996, when the Academy celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special event at 195 Piccadilly, The Queen and The Duke attended this milestone in the organization’s history and to mark the occasion there were presentations of a Lifetime Achievement Award to cinematographer Freddie Young and the BAFTA Fellowship to Dame Maggie Smith.
“The Queen received her own BAFTA on 4 April 2013, the occasion of a reception for the British film industry hosted by Her Majesty at Windsor Castle. An honorary British Academy Special Award was presented by Sir Kenneth Branagh in recognition of The Queen’s outstanding patronage of the film and television industries. The Queen occupies a unique place in the Academy’s history and will be missed enormously.”
Read on to see what else Hollywood stars and public figures are saying about Queen Elizabeth II.