Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history and Canada’s head of state, has died at the age of 96.
The Queen died on Thursday at her Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle, along with several members of the Royal Family, including her eldest son Charles, now King Charles III. The Royal family made the announcement in a Twitter post on Thursday.
Death is being felt around the world, including in Saskatchewan.
“The world has lost a remarkable individual,” Russ Mirasty, lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan, said in a press release. “Through a life dedicated to duty, Queen Elizabeth II of the Queen of England has demonstrated integrity, humility, inner strength and grace.”
Mirasty said the queen is a constant presence in an ever-changing world.
Queen Elizabeth II, longest reigning monarch in British history, dies aged 96
“She respects tradition but accepts change. As Head of the Commonwealth, she encourages solidarity. As Queen of Canada, she frequently comments on our civic service, our commitment to multiculturalism, and our potential to influence the world,” Mirasty said. .
Queen Elizabeth II made several trips to Saskatchewan throughout the years, including once as Princess Elizabeth in 1951, and then five times as queen in 1959, 1973 , 1978, 1987 and 2005.
“His Majesty loves Canada and Canadians and considers our country her home,” Mirasty said. “She is committed to Reconciliation and acknowledges the traumatic history that Indigenous peoples endure in residential schools in Canada, as well as the work that remains to heal and continue to build an inclusive society. .
“While we mourn her loss, we can also thank her for her extraordinary contributions to Canada and the world.”
Saskatchewan was also on the queen’s mind during her final moments, as her last public statement was to offer condolences to those who have lost loved ones as a result of the James Smith mass stabbing attack. Cree Nation.
In a recent interview with Global News, former Saskatchewan governor Vaughn Schofield recalled a time she visited the queen in 2013.
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“My first impression of her was that she was very charming,” Schofield said. “She had a big smile on her face and was exceptionally friendly. It may sound strange, but she is quite a small woman and indeed as time goes on she reminds me of my mother with kindness in her heart.”
“She’s like one of us”
When Schofield and her husband met the queen, she was amazed at the knowledge she had about Saskatchewan.
“Oh my gosh, we were totally surprised,” when asked how much the Queen knows about Saskatchewan.
“It was the year the Drivers competed for the Gray Cup, so she knew all about it and said she hoped we would make it into the Gray Cup,” Schofield said. “And it’s also been a particularly good crop year for Saskatchewan, so we’ve talked quite a bit about that and she’s well aware of that.”
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe released a statement on Thursday afternoon, saying he was deeply saddened to learn of the Queen’s death.
“Today, we express our condolences and allegiance to our new Crown and King, His Majesty the King,” said Moe. “I know he will shoulder his responsibility with the same honor, dignity and grace as his late mother set the example every day during her 70 years of reign.”
Moe said the flags at the Regina Legislative Building, and the provincial buildings were half hoisted in memory of the victims of the recent attacks at the James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon. They will remain half-mast until King Charles III ascends the throne, where they will be raised and then lowered again until the day of the queen’s funeral.
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark announced the City of Saskatoon flags would operate within the same manor.
“Most people only know a Queen as a constant throughout their life,” says Clark. “She provided stability during many turbulent times and oversaw many dramatic changes for humanity.”
As the world mourns the queen’s loss, Schofield hopes she will be remembered for the work she did to bring people together.
“She wasn’t pretentious in any way and she was very welcoming,” she said. “She conducted herself very well and I think she will always be remembered as a very special person. I admire her immensely.”
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