Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on November 30, 2017. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)
Leading political and cultural figures have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after she died at the age of 96 after 70 years on the British throne.
Buckingham Palace confirmed that the monarch died peacefully at her Balmoral residence in Scotland on Thursday afternoon (8 September). She died just two days after she met prime minister Liz Truss and asked her to form a government.
In a statement issued shortly after the news broke, the new monarch King Charles III said: “The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.”
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. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
Prime minister Liz Truss said the queen’s death was “a day of great loss”, adding that the British people are “devastated”.
She called on the public to support King Charles III “to help him bear the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all”.
Elton John, Stonewall and politicians sent their condolences after Queen Elizabeth II passed away
Cultural figures, charities and politicians also paid tribute to the late monarch in the moments after her death was confirmed.
Writing on Instagram, Elton John said: “Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing.
“She was an inspiring presence to be around, and lead the country through some of our greatest, and darkest, moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth.
“Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall sent its “deepest condolences” to the Royal Family.
“At this sad time we reflect on the end of a very significant era for the UK.”
Conservative MP Jamie Wallis, who is openly trans, said the queen “served our country and the Commonwealth” for her whole life.
“She will be an inspiration for all of us as we mourn her loss,” Wallis tweeted.
The queen brought ‘message of compassion’ to the world
Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Our thoughts are with the Queen’s children, grandchildren and the wider Royal Family as they – and the country – reflect on a life lived in dedicated service.
“Her immense support for charities and good causes has been a hallmark of her reign. She has worked to tackle HIV stigma and support HIV care through her domestic and Commonwealth duties.
Today, we join with those around the globe mourning her passing and add our tributes to an unparalleled public servant.
“Whether it is meeting a London-based patient with an AIDS-related illness in 1989, opening the Mildmay HIV Centre in Kampala, Uganda in 2007, or visiting an AIDS memorial garden in 2015, she has taken her message of compassion to a global audience time and again.”
He added: “Today, we join with those around the globe mourning her passing and add our tributes to an unparalleled public servant.”
Jack Monroe, a food writer and anti-poverty campaigner, thanked Queen Elizabeth II for her service.
“After eight decades of tirelessly working for your country – a job you never asked nor applied for but did with humility, humanity and brio – you’ve more than earned a rest. It’s been a real pleasure.”
Monroe continued: “Whatever your thoughts on hereditary monarchy, it’s not the time. A family have lost a mother, grandmother, beloved matriarch. Let folks grieve in peace without petty point scoring and crass remarks. No fan of the institution but have the greatest of respect for the woman herself.”
(Whatever your thoughts on hereditary monarchy, it’s not the time. A family have lost a mother, grandmother, beloved matriarch. Let folks grieve in peace without petty pointscoring + crass remarks. No fan of the institution but have the greatest of respect for the woman herself.)
— Jack Monroe 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@BootstrapCook) September 8, 2022
Other LGBTQ+ figures who expressed their condolences and sadness at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II included Drag Race stars, actors and political figures.
Rest in peace and thank you for your service. pic.twitter.com/amOwVplkwo
— TheVivienne (@THEVIVIENNEUK) September 8, 2022
God bless you your Majesty. The mother of our Nation and our hearts. May you rest in glory, peace and the loving hands of God. May you and Prince Philip smile together forever. @RoyalFamily @GylesB1 pic.twitter.com/XzwPvVzXaH
— Sue Pascoe (She/Her) (@suepascoe001) September 8, 2022
A 70-year reign comes to an end. Queen Elizabeth was a leader of strength and dedicated her life to the British people. Sincerest condolences to her family and country. 🇬🇧 https://t.co/GzDKLJkplx
— Maria Walsh MEP (@MariaWalshEU) September 8, 2022
RIP Your Majesty – we learnt of your passing during Evensong at Christ Church, Oxford and gave thanks for your extraordinary life of service. pic.twitter.com/35dewNeIrn
— Jayne Ozanne 🇺🇦 (@JayneOzanne) September 8, 2022
I don’t know why I’m sobbing. Silly really. Oh dear.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) September 8, 2022