End is in beginning; And in beginning end: Death is not loss, nor life winning; But each and to each is friend. The hands which give are taking; And the hands which take bestow: Always the bough is breaking Heavy with fruit or snow. William Soutar
Queen Elizabeth (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022), was queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations from 1952 until her death in 2022. Her reign included being monarch of 32 different independent sovereign countries. At the time of her death those numbered 15.
She was the longest serving monarch in the UK and as a female Head of State, was the longest serving in that capacity in the world.
This is the end of an Era, as we now enter the reign of King Charles III.
The late Queen opened the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The current Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Alison Johnstone MSP, said:
“The Queen was an extraordinary woman, who led an extraordinary life of service. From the day that this Parliament was established in 1999, Her Majesty showed her unwavering support for the institution and the time and importance she gave to that relationship is hugely appreciated.
“The Parliament will have an opportunity to consider a Motion of Condolence and reflect on the life of this much loved and much respected Monarch whose enduring bond with Scotland and the Scottish people will long be remembered.”
The flags at the Scottish Parliament have been lowered as a mark of respect. All parliamentary business at Holyrood has been suspended as a mark of respect.
Orkney Islands Council has cancelled and postponed all non-essential meetings of Council business until after the funeral.
Flags have been lowered to half-mast at the Council Offices in Kirkwall, at Kirkwall Town Hall and Community Centre and at the Harbour Authority Building. A book of condolence has been opened at St Magnus Cathedral with others to follow in locations across Orkney. These will remain open until 5pm on the day after the funeral.
An e-book of condolence is available on The Royal website
The late Queen will lie in State and the funeral date will be announced soon, perhaps Monday 19th of September.
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