Queen Elizabeth II died while close family were en route to Balmoral, death certificate confirms

The late Queen’s death at Balmoral was registered in Aberdeenshire on Sept 16 - Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The late Queen’s death at Balmoral was registered in Aberdeenshire on Sept 16 - Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth II died while her close family were still en route to Balmoral, her death certificate has confirmed.

The entry in the Scottish registry, released as a public document on Thursday, said the late Queen died of old age at 3.10pm on Sept 8.

At the time, the then Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York and Earl and Countess of Wessex were on an RAF plane to Aberdeen to be at her bedside after being made aware that she was gravely ill.

The then-Prince of Wales, Charles, was at Balmoral accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, with the Princess Royal able to be with her mother in her final 24 hours.

The late Queen’s death was registered in Aberdeenshire on Sep 16 and is now a matter of public record released by the National Records of Scotland.

The late Queen's death certificate
The late Queen's death certificate

Using her full name, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, the certificate lists the late Queen as widowed following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April last year.

Her occupation was simply: “Her Majesty the Queen.” Her “usual address” was listed as Windsor Castle, to which she moved during the Covid pandemic and which she considered home in the last few years of her reign.

The document is signed by Anne, the Princess Royal, who is named as the “informant” on the document and would have notified the local registrar of her mother’s death.

The Princess, who accompanied her mother’s coffin as it travelled from Balmoral to London via Edinburgh, has said: “I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours of my dearest mother’s life.”

The document records the certified registered medical practitioner as Dr Douglas James Allan Glass, a local GP who held the title of Apothecary to the Queen.

Dr Glass, who had looked after the late Queen when she was at her Scottish estate for 34 years, said her death had been “upsetting” but, because of her age, “not unexpected”.

“We have been concerned about the Queen’s health for several months," he told The Times. “It was expected and we were quite aware of what was going to happen.”

The certificate sheds further light on the events of the day of the late Queen’s death, which saw Buckingham Palace confirm at 12.34pm that doctors were concerned for her health and that she was “comfortable” under their supervision.

Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie flew by RAF plane from Northolt at 2.39pm and landed in Aberdeen at 3.50pm.

Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie arrive at Balmoral on Sept 8 - Getty Images Europe/Jeff J Mitchell
Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie arrive at Balmoral on Sept 8 - Getty Images Europe/Jeff J Mitchell

At 4pm Prince William drove the family to Balmoral, arriving at around 5pm. Prince Harry, who made his own way to Scotland in the late afternoon, travelled from Luton at 5.35pm and landed at 6.46pm.

He learned of his grandmother’s death around the time that news was made public, said to have read a breaking news alert as his mobile phone came into signal shortly after 6.30pm after his father’s attempts to speak to him personally had failed.

A spokesman for King Charles III has said the announcement of the Queen’s death “was not made until all family members had been informed”.

Liz Truss, the Prime Minister, was told of the death at 4.30pm.

Old age is a commonly listed cause of death for those over 80 when the doctor certifying death had cared for the patient for a long time, was not aware of any disease or injury that contributed to death and had observed a gradual decline in the person’s general health and functioning.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s cause of death was also listed as old age.

The late Queen had been experiencing sporadic mobility problems during the final period of her life and used a walking stick regularly in public.

Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Liz Truss to Balmoral on Sept 6 - Jane Barlow/Reuters
Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Liz Truss to Balmoral on Sept 6 - Jane Barlow/Reuters

She had performed one of her major duties of state two days before she died, when she asked Ms Truss to form a government to become her 15th prime minister.

It is thought to be the first time a monarch’s death certificate has been released in such a way since the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1836. The Act provides for the death “of His Majesty’s subjects in England”, meaning the sovereign is exempt.

In Scotland under the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act of 1965, all deaths must be registered.