Union flags are being flown at half mast in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge following the news that Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96.

The UK and the rest of the Commonwealth have entered into a period of official mourning which is set to last for 10 days.

Buckingham Palace announced the news at 6.30pm this evening and, according to protocol, flags should be flown at half mast.

Flags were lowered on the flag poles in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge – including the flags at Marine Cove, Apex Park, Market Street, in Old Station Approach, the RNLI station and the Royal Clarence Hotel.

The Queen’s son, now King Charles III, said the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world.

Senior royals had gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

King Charles said: “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.”

He will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms. Camilla, his wife, becomes Queen Consort.

During the coming period, he said he and his family would be “comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held”.

In a statement on Thursday, Buckingham Palace 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.”

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