Civic leaders across Oxfordshire have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96.
It was announced at 6.30pm on Thursday, 08 August, that the Queen had died peacefully at Balmoral just hours after medics had publicised concern for her health. The country started 10 days of mourning on Friday until the morning of 20 September.
Councillor Julian Cooper, chair of the West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Her Majesty the Queen.
“Our thoughts go to the royal family during this challenging time. On behalf of West Oxfordshire District Council and all our residents, we would like to offer our deepest sympathies.
“Her dedication to our country and the crown will go down in the history books, and her commitment to a life of service is an example to us all. She will be long remembered, and we are thankful for all she has done as our longest-serving monarch.
“As a mark of respect, the council will be flying the union flag at half-mast and over the coming days, we will be following the national protocol to mourn Her Majesty.
“For anyone who wishes to leave their condolences, flowers or a tribute, we will be publishing details as we receive them from the royal household.”
A statement on behalf of the chief executive, leaders and chairs of South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council expressed “sincerest condolences and sympathies to all members of the royal family and everybody touched by the loss of our sovereign”.
It continued: “Her Majesty ruled for longer than any other monarch in British history and served as our head of state with great dignity, composure and compassion.
“Throughout her reign, she was a strong and reassuring figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during enormous social change and demonstrated unwavering support to many through challenging times.
“She was truly loved, valued and respected by people across the world, and her presence will be greatly missed by many in the South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse community.
“It is with great pride that we have been able to serve the British public during her reign.”
Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive of Cherwell District Council, said: “As Chief Executive of Cherwell District Council, I would like to express my great sadness and that of everyone at the council on hearing of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“Our sadness at this time, I am sure, is shared by many of you who will want to remember and recognise the service of the longest-reigning monarch.
In Oxford, Councillor James Fry, the Lord Mayor of Oxford, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“My thoughts, and those of the people of Oxford, are with the Royal Family at this time, and we join with people from around the world as we remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by our longest-reigning monarch, whose Platinum Jubilee we celebrated so recently.”
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of the Oxford City Council, said: “While our thoughts are particularly with Her Majesty’s immediate family over their loss, people across our city and across the world will also feel this loss as The Queen has been part of all of our lives for so many years.”
The Oxford Society of Change Ringers rang the bells of Carfax Tower at midday today (09 September) for one hour. This coincided with other tolling from towers across Oxford city centre.
There will be a national two-minute silence at 11.00am on the day of Her Majesty’s funeral. The Lord Mayor of Oxford will lead the silence on behalf of the city at Oxford Town Hall.
The national proclamation of the accession of King Charles III will take place tomorrow (10 Saturday). The proclamation will then take place in cities across the country. It will take place in Oxford City under Carfax Tower at 1.00pm on Sunday (11 September).