Commonwealth Games England is saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace confirmed today, 8th September, that Her Majesty The Queen passed away at the age of 96.

Team England’s thoughts are with all members of The Royal Family at this time of mourning for the nation, and The Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II became Head of the Commonwealth in February 1952, succeeding her father, King George VI, following his death.

In her role, The Queen worked tirelessly to unite the Commonwealth and engage the Commonwealth nations across the world, largely through Commonwealth visits and events.

Queen Elizabeth II’s reign as Head of the Commonwealth has seen the Commonwealth grow from eight nations to 53 members representing two billion people.

As Head of the Commonwealth, it has been Her Majesty’s responsibility to officially open the Commonwealth Games by reading out The Queen’s customary message to call upon athletes to unite in the spirit of the ‘friendly games’, following the message’s tour of all Commonwealth nations and territories as part of The Queen’s Baton Relay.

On occasions, The Queen has asked other members of The Royal Family to officially open the Commonwealth Games, with HRH The Prince of Wales representing her at the opening of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at home this summer.

HRH The Prince of Wales, who will now succeed Her Majesty to become King has been confirmed as the new Head of the Commonwealth.

We welcome His Royal Highness The King as our new monarch and Head of the Commonwealth.