Update: Additional comments from public offices in the Peace region have been added since first publication.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.– Queen Elizabeth the II, longest-reigning monarch in British history, passed away in Balmoral Castle on Thursday morning.
The announcement came shortly after the palace announced her majesty had been placed under medical supervision out of concern for her health.
Peace River North MLA Dan Davies, who calls himself a “bit of a monarchist” said he was “blessed” to meet the queen at several occasions. Her legacy, he said, would be in part the endurance and steady hand with which she held the throne.
“This is the only queen most everyone who is alive today has ever known,” Davies said. “She is someone who has brought a lot of stability–if you think about the Royal Family and the ups and downs…to see her legacy end is sad.”
“But it’s also, let’s be honest, very impressive.”
Queen Elizabeth the II reigned for 70 years. She was crowned at age 25 and her seven decades on the throne represent 45 per cent of Canada’s history.
The Queen’s son, Prince Charles, will automatically succeed her head of state for the UK and commonwealth nations–including Canada.
“The monarchy plays a significant role in Canadian culture, Canadian identity,” Davies said.
“It is important and I’m sure that the monarchy will be strong into the future,” he continued.
Bob Zimmer, MP for the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies region, said that he was saddened to hear of the Queen’s death in a statement.
“On behalf of the residents of Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, I offer my deepest condolences to the Royal Family for their great loss.
“Her Majesty lived a life of dedicated service to God and the Commonwealth with true grace and dignity. As our longest-serving monarch, she provided a constant, reassuring presence that will surely be missed,” he said.
“As we mourn the loss of Her Majesty, may we also reflect on her love of Canada and her profound sense of duty in serving our country throughout the decades. “
City of Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman echoed Davies with the realization that many have not known a commonwealth without the Queen at it’s helm.
“The hearts and minds of the community are with the Royal Family as they grieve,” she said in a statement. “For many of us, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been our sovereign for our entire lives. Her calm demeanour and smile will be missed.”