Tributes have been paid to Queen Elizabeth II, after she died aged 96, passing away peacefully at Balmoral Castle on Thursday afternoon.
The flag was lowered to half mast and a formal notice was placed on the railings of Buckingham Palace, reading, ‘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.’
The Queen, who was a keen motorist and first took an interest in vehicles when she served (as Princess Elizabeth) as an honorary ‘second subaltern’ in the Auxiliary Territorial Army, and worked as a truck driver and mechanic in 1945, aged just 18.
The Queen never had to hold a passport or driving licence, yet enjoyed driving and was known for being prudent with cars in the royal household, keeping them on the road for as long as possible before changing for a newer model.
Motor sport organisations, Formula One teams, car companies, actors, television presenters black cab drivers and former members of the royal household have paid tribute to the Queen, whose death ends the longest reign in the history of the United Kingdom.
Daniel Craig, the actor best known for his roles as James Bond and who starred alongside Her Majesty in a sketch for the 2012 London Olympics (which she kept secret from her family), said the Queen “leaves an incomparable legacy and will be profoundly missed.”
King Charles III will be the oldest person to take on the crown at age 73. His Majesty The King released a statement through Buckingham Palace, saying: ‘The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of great sadness for me and all members of my family. 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.’
Prime Minister Liz Truss said, ‘Today the Crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III. With the King’s family we mourn the loss of his mother and come together. We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much to us for so long.’
Jeremy Clarkson reflected on the momentous occasion, and the change ahead.
Tomorrow is always a new day. But tomorrow will be so much more than that.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) September 8, 2022
Tomorrow morning, Charles will be formally proclaimed King, which will be followed by a trumpet fanfare announcing the reading of the proclamation. During the reading, a 41-gun salute will be fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, in Hyde Park.
Books of condolence will be opened at St James’s Palace, the Queen’s Gallery (next to Buckingham Palace), Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Balmoral, and Sandringham in Norfolk. Over the following days, the coffin will be taken to the Palace of Westminster, for the lying in state, a five day period during which time the public will have an opportunity to pay their respects.
The Queen’s funeral is expected to take place on the tenth day, at Westminster Abbey, before the coffin is taken to Windsor to be placed in the royal vault.
Jaguar Land Rover, manufacturer of some of the British cars of choice of Queen Elizabeth II, said: ‘The passing of Her Majesty the Queen has left everybody at Jaguar Land Rover deeply saddened, and our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family at this time.’
In London, black cab drivers lined up in a processional arrangement on the Mall, switching off their engines and reflecting on the end of an era.
Incredibly moving tribute as black cabs line up silently on the mall to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth. pic.twitter.com/cQQoajyhyH— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) September 8, 2022
Further afield, Scuderia Ferrari paid tribute, saying the Queen was ‘a groundbreaking woman’, while Norfolk-based Lotus described her as ‘an extraordinary role model for people around the world.’
Many have reshared this story, told by Richard Griffin, a former Royal protection officer, during the Platinum Jubilee, about the time the Queen was driving in Balmoral when she encountered an American couple, asking whether they’d ever seen the Queen…
Former Royal protection officer Richard Griffin reminisces about a picnic he went on with the Queen at Balmoral and an encounter they had with two American tourists who did not realise they were in the company of the monarch.#PlatinumJubilee: https://t.co/orTd7551d3 pic.twitter.com/snTOgEoGu1— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 3, 2022