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Buckingham Palace has announced that the longest reigning Monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, passed away peacefully this afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

 

Queen Elizabeth, who had been placed under medical supervision, was surrounded by family at Balmoral which has long been one of her favourite homes.

 

Along with the UK and other Overseas Territories the Cayman Islands has entered a period of 10 days of National Mourning. All flags will be flown at half-mast today until 8am on the day after the State Funeral. One exception will be during the period of the Proclamation of the new Sovereign – at which time they will be raised as King Charles III assumes the throne.

 

Her Majesty The Queen reigned longer than any British monarch, taking the throne in 1952, at the young age of 25. In June of this year, we celebrated the first ever Platinum Jubilee to mark her historic seven-decade reign. People from all walks of life from across all three Cayman Islands joined in to celebrate Her Majesty’s lifetime of achievements.

 

“The death of our much loved, and longest serving monarch, will I know be terribly sad news for people across our three Islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, as well as across the entire world. Her Majesty The Queen served the United Kingdom, Commonwealth, Realms and Overseas Territories with quiet dignity and powerful diplomacy for over 70 years. She has been an inspirational role model and given outstanding service throughout our lives. She is the only Monarch that very many of us have ever known. Her loss will be keenly felt,” said HE the Governor, Martyn Roper, in his statement to the country this afternoon.

 

During her reign The Queen visited the Cayman Islands twice and embraced the people of the Cayman Islands. Memories of those occasions live on within the hearts of the many Caymanians who had the opportunity to meet her during those times.

 

In his heartfelt message to the country, the Premier, Hon G Wayne Panton said, “She was a defender of the faith and a stalwart wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. As our Head of State, our loyalty to the British Crown was strongest and most heartfelt under her reign. We remain loyal to the British Crown, but it has definitely lost one of its most precious jewels.”

 

Condolence books will be opened to the community to sign beginning tomorrow, Friday 9 September and can be found at the Government Administration Building in Grand Cayman and District Administration Building in Cayman Brac. Floral tributes can be left on the steps of the Government Administration Building and the front gates of Government House.

 

The day of Her Majesty The Queen’s State funeral will be declared a public holiday.

 

For official information visit www.gov.ky