‘We have lost not just our monarch but the matriarch of our nation’ Tributes paid to Queen Elizabeth II following her death

Tributes have been paid to Queen Elizabeth II following the death of the 96-year-old monarch.

The usual functions of the royal family’s website have become temporarily unavailable following the announcement of the death of the Queen.

A holding page has been put in place on the official web page, www.royal.uk.

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The page has a black background and features a white royal crest.

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon, Buckingham Palace has announced. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth is a profoundly sad moment for the UK, the Commonwealth and the world.

“Her life was one of extraordinary dedication and service. On behalf of the people of Scotland, I convey my deepest condolences to The King and the Royal Family.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted: “It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“On behalf of the people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair said: “We have lost not just our monarch but the matriarch of our nation, the figure who more than any other brought our country together, kept us in touch with our better nature, personified everything which makes us proud to be British. “

Former prime minister Sir John Major said: “For 70 years Her Majesty The Queen devoted her life to the service of our nation and its wellbeing.

“In her public duties she was selfless and wise, with a wonderful generosity of spirit. That is how she lived – and how she led.

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“For millions of people – across the Commonwealth and the wider world – she embodied the heart and soul of our nation, and was admired and respected around the globe.

“At this moment of deep sadness, I believe we all stand hand in hand with the royal family as they grieve the loss of one so loved.

“For we have all lost someone very precious to us and, as we mourn, we should be grateful that we were blessed with such an example of duty and leadership for so very many years.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “We are all deeply mourning the profound loss of a great monarch, who served our country so faithfully all her life and who was loved the world over.

“For many people, including myself, the Queen was an ever-fixed mark in our lives. As the world changed around us and politicians came and went, the Queen was our nation’s constant.

“The Queen represented duty and courage, as well as warmth and compassion. She was a living reminder of our collective past, of the greatest generation and their sacrifices for our freedom.”

French president Emmaunel Macron paid tribute to the Queen, saying she was “kind-hearted” and “a friend of France”.

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He tweeted: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years.

“I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the Queen’s death is a “terrible loss for us all”, adding: “We will miss her beyond measure.”

He said: “For all of us, the Queen has been a constant presence in our lives – as familiar as a member of the family, yet one who has exercised a calm and steadying influence over our country. Most of us have never known a time when she was not there. Her death is not only a tragedy for the royal family, but a terrible loss for us all.

“During her 70 years on the throne – and even before that, as a teenager, reassuring and engaging with children and families disrupted by the Second World War – she has given our lives a sense of equilibrium.

“While her reign has been marked by dramatic changes in the world, Her Majesty has maintained her unwavering devotion to the UK, the British Overseas’ Territories and the Commonwealth of Nations – and her gentle authority and sound reason have been felt throughout.

“She has travelled the world extensively, modernised the royal family and is credited with inventing the royal ‘walkabout’, which enabled her to meet people from all walks of life during her visits.

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“As head of state, she has provided advice and the benefit of long experience to 15 prime ministers during her reign – and met more than a quarter of all the American presidents in the history of the US.

“The Queen has been involved in everything that is important to us and which makes us who we are – from state occasions to royal weddings, and especially at Christmas, with her wise words and reflective annual message. She has been a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – but she has been our Queen, and we will miss her beyond measure.”

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: “Our thoughts are with the royal family and all those who mourn Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and worldwide.

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“Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment.”

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted that he was “incredibly sad to hear of the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II”.

He added: “As our longest reigning monarch, she firmly upheld the values and traditions of the British Monarchy.

“On behalf of the people of Wales I offer our deepest condolences to Her Majesty’s family during this sad time.”

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“She was a constant presence in our lives – and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.

“He added: “As we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion, and warmth. Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time.”

The official account of Paddington Bear also tweeted its respects to the Queen.

“Thank you Ma’am, for everything,” the account wrote.

The pair recently appeared in a comical sketch together as part of celebrations for the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The video showed them sharing tea and marmalade sandwiches in Buckingham Palace.

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Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotlandsaid: “The faith, service and dedication of Her Majesty the Queen have been the hallmark of her long reign. She has been the steady constant in the life of our nation for over seven decades and most of us will have grown up knowing only her as our monarch.

“Her thoughtful and pertinent Christmas Day broadcasts gave an insight not only into her personal faith, but also reflected the changing concerns and attitudes of our country. They were always marked with quiet perception and a great deal of affection.

“Tireless in her duty, the Queen has demonstrated a life of selfless dedication. Her love for her family was mirrored in her love for our nation and the wider Commonwealth.”