Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, has died.
She was 96.
The Royal Family said that the Queen died peacefully at Balmoral Castle during the afternoon.
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” said the Royal Family.
Charles, in is capacity as His Majesty the King, issued a statement on Thursday afternoon.
“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 Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
“During this period of mourning and chance, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
Queen Elizabeth II was Canada’s longest serving monarch, having ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952.
The Queen was head of state for Canada, the United Kingdom, and 13 other nations worldwide.
The Queen’s family gathered at Balmoral Castle on September 8, after Buckingham Palace issued a statement saying doctors were concerned for the Queen’s health.
‘Canada is in mourning’
The Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon, issued a statement offering her deepest condolences.
“Canadians across the country will mourn the loss of The Queen. Let us take a moment to honour Her Majesty’s memory in each of our own ways.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to Canadians, and to the Royal Family.
“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.”
“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.”
Prime Minister Trudeau said that he was having trouble believing that his last sit-down with Queen Elizabeth II was his last.
“In a complicated world, her steady grace and resolve brought comfort and strength to us all,” he said.
“She was one of my favourite people in the world, and I will miss her so.
“Canada is in mourning.”
Lieutenant Governor Salama Lakhani said that she and her husband Zaheer were joining with Canadians in mourning the loss of the Queen.
“Her late Majesty was a part of our shared identity as Canadians,” she said.
“through the decades, the Queen’s presence was woven into the very fabric of our society. Her late Majesty reigned with grace, dignity, and compassion. She joined Canadians in our triumphs, shared in our grief and steeled our resolve in times of trial.”
Calgary to mark passing of Queen Elizabeth II
Mayor Jyoti Gondek offered her condolences on behalf of the City of Calgary and City Council.
“Between her first visit to Calgary in 1951 and her final visit in 2005, our city was honoured to host Her Majesty The Queen five times.”
“We are thankful for her extraordinary commitment to the Commonwealth.”
The City of Calgary will be lowering flags to half-mast for a 10-day period of mourning.
The exception, said the city, would be for a full day of full flags raised to mark the ascension of King Charles III to the throne.
The city will also be putting a condolence book for Calgarians to sign in the Municipal Complex atrium starting on September 12.
City Council will be making an official recognition of the Queen’s passing this month during a council session.
The Calgary Tower will be darkened on the evening of September 8 in commemoration of the Queen.
Symbol of stability for the nation
Queen Elizabeth II served as a symbol of stability, and for Canada itself, for many Canadians.
“For a majority of Canadians, let alone the world, this is the only Queen, head of state, that we have known,” said Josh Traptow, Alberta spokesperson for the Monarchist League of Canada.
“Being on the throne for 70 years to see as much change in the world as she has, obviously, is significant.”
Traptow called her passing a total change of era.
“I don’t think it’s entirely hit me yet.”
“It’s going to be a total shift for the world knowing that Elizabeth is no longer the Queen of Canada, Queen of the United Kingdom, etc.”
Prior to her passing, Prime Minister Trudeau said that “my thoughts, and the thoughts of Canadians across the country, are with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at this time.”
“We’re wishing her well, and sending our best to the Royal Family.”
Premier Jason Kenney, during a press conference on Thursday morning, said that his prayers were with with the Queen and her family.
“This of course is the year that we celebrate her 70th year of service to Canada, and the commonwealth as our Head of State.”
The Premier issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, stating that the Queen’s name will live on forever in the province. He referenced her faith in his statement.
“The late Queen was a woman who held a quiet but deep Christian faith. And so I join with countless people here and around the world in praying for the repose of her soul and the consolation of the Royal family.”
“She would have meditated many times on the parable of the talents, so I hope she will finally hear the words: ‘Well done good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.'”
Calgary celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June.
Fond memories of the Queen
Traptow spoke about the fond memories that Canadians had about the Queen.
He said that during her lifetime she visited Calgary six times.
“I think I think Canadians and Calgarians will always have fond memories of the Queen.”
“I never had an opportunity to meet her but I know many people that did and they spoke very, very fondly of her—that she was very warm and caring and very well read, and really could have conversations with anyone.”
The Queen served as honorary Colonel-in-Chief to the Calgary Highlanders, and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment. He cited her love of horses, and attending chuck wagon races at the Calgary Stampede and at horse jumping events at Spruce Meadows.
He said that during her lifetime Queen Elizabeth II had to balance the unique role of being head of a prominent family, and as Head of State for over a dozen nations.
“When you think of that, I think 15 UK Prime Ministers, and she had a number of Canadian Prime Ministers starting with Louis St. Laurier to to our current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.”
“Just a wealth of experience so she would be able to provide to her prime ministers and the counsel that she would able be able to provide—I don’t think we’re ever going to see something like that again, at least in my lifetime.”
Charles now King
Traptow said that Charles, the former Prince of Wales, and now King of the United Kingdom and Canada, has been spending his entire life training to continue to monarchy.
“Charles is now the king, whatever name he decides to go by, will be confirmed I imagine in the next couple of days,” he said.
“I know everyone has their own opinions of Prince Charles, or I guess King Charles now, but he’s the most well educated and well prepared Prince of Wales that we will have seen in generations upon generations.”
The British Broadcasting Corporation confirmed on Thursday that one of the first decisions of the new King would be to be known as King Charles III. England last had a King Charles in the mid-to-late 17th century.
Traptow said that the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, would become the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne.
“The Cambridges still have a very young family, and now with them being the Prince and Princess of Wales, that’s going to mean a change for them, knowing that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer working Royals.”
“The whole social aspect of being a member of the royal family is really going to place increased workload on the brother and sister of King Charles, being the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Princess Royal, and of course now the Prince and Princess of Wales.”
Traptow said that he expected that the new King would be touring Canada and the Commonwealth likely in the near future, once the accessions are complete.
This story will be updated throughout the day.