The Latest: Queen Elizabeth II, Canada's longest reigning monarch, dead at 96

·2 min read

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch and Canadian head of state, has died at age 96. The latest:

2:05 p.m. ET

Charles says the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II "is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all the members of my family."

The queen's eldest son describes the late monarch as "a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother."

The online message appears on Buckingham Palace letterhead, with the preface: "A statement from His Majesty the King at the time of the queen's death."

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2 p.m. ET

Flags have been lowered to half-mast at Ontario's legislature, which is named Queen's Park.

The move came just minutes after the announcement of Queen Elizabeth II's death.

Ontario's legislature is set to resume shortly and the government is expected to make a statement.

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1:54 p.m. ET

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon offered her “deepest condolences” to the Royal Family in a statement on Twitter following the Queen's death, saying Canadians across the country will mourn her loss.

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1:53 p.m. ET

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles is set to take over as Canada's new head of state.

But a royal expert says the new King nevertheless faces a daunting challenge in establishing himself in a country that has become skeptical of the monarchy, and in a role that has been so inextricably linked to his mother in many Canadians' minds.

Charles' relationship with Canada stretches back to his first official visit in 1970, which included touring Manitoba and the Northwest Territories with other members of the Royal Family.

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1:40 p.m. ET

The monarch remains the constitutional head of state in this country, no matter who is filling the role at any given time, says Philippe Lagasse, an associate professor of international affairs at Carleton University and an expert on the role of the Crown in the Westminster system of government.

Hence, the succession from the Queen to her eldest son Charles is automatic, without any disruption to governing bodies that sit in her name or to legislation, oaths and other legal documents issued in her name, Lagasse says.

In common law, Lagasse says, the Queen and King are “the same legal person.” That's because the Crown is what is known as a “corporation sole.”

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1:30 p.m. ET

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch and Canadian head of state, has died.

She was 96.

Buckingham Palace announced her death in a statement.

The announcement came hours after the palace said the monarch had been placed under medical supervision because doctors were concerned for her health.

The Canadian Press