After news from Balmoral, tributes to the Queen of Gibraltar
The Governor and Gibraltar’s political leaders last night paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and her “incomparable” lifetime legacy of service to her people, including the Gibraltarians.
As the news broke of the monarch’s death following hours of mounting concern as the members of the royal family rushed to Balmoral, bells tolled from the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned and the King’s Chapel, and flags over official buildings were lowered to half mast.
Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, the Governor and representative of the Crown in Gibraltar, read a statement on the death of the monarch, who he had served as Aide de Camp during his naval career.
“Following a lifetime of incomparable service to her people, in the United Kingdom, the Overseas Territories, the Crown Dependencies and the Commonwealth, our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away,” Sir David said.
“Across the world, not just within every nation of the Commonwealth, people will mourn her passing.”
“She has been a beacon of fortitude, hope and kindness.”
“Despite our great sadness, we can reflect on how blessed we have been to live during the time of a monarch who has cared deeply for everyone, collectively and individually, who has shown amazing courage at the darkest of times, and who has instilled in all of us hope for the future.”
“We can gain great comfort in having been part of her amazing reign and her legacy will endure forever.”
“Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Gibraltar.”
“Our sincerest condolences are extended to every member of Her Royal Family.”
“Long live The King.”
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who was in London for meetings on Brexit ahead of the next formal round of UK/EU negotiations later this month, cut short his trip and prepared to fly back to Gibraltar during the afternoon, even before the news had been confirmed.
After meeting the newly appointed Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, and Leo Docherty, the new Minister for Europe, Mr Picardo, together with Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia and Attorney General Michael Llamas, dashed to the airport to catch an evening flight to Malaga and was expected back in Gibraltar at around midnight last night.
“It is with great sadness that the People of Gibraltar and His Majesty's Government of Gibraltar has received the news from Buckingham Palace of the death at Balmoral in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II,” he said.
"The People of Gibraltar will mourn Her Majesty as a monarch who has reigned wisely and with incomparable dedication throughout the period of our post-war emergence as a part of the British family of nations.”
“The People of Gibraltar and the Government proclaim their loyalty to the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to His Majesty The King.”
“I have written to His Majesty the King to offer the deepest condolences of the Government and the People of Gibraltar to all the members of our Royal Family at this sad time.”
“May Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in eternal peace and may the reign of His Majesty The King be long, peaceful and prosperous. Long live the King.”
The GSD also added its voice to the tributes, describing the Queen as symbol of stability, strength and loyalty over the course of her reign, a monarch who embodied the best of British and Commonwealth values.
“Her Majesty will leave her mark throughout the entire Commonwealth and her departure touches the hearts of millions of people,” said Keith Azopardi, the Leader of the Opposition.
“During her reign she saw dozens of Commonwealth countries attain independence and yet wish to retain those links with the Crown as Head of the Commonwealth.”
“In Gibraltar we will fondly remember her visit in 1954 and the fact that over so many decades the Royal family has stood by Gibraltar as a symbol of stability and our constitutional ties with Britain.”
“When she ascended the throne she said she would serve the Commonwealth for all her life and she did just that over seven decades.”
“Many people in Gibraltar will feel a sense of loss and will wish to express that. Our thoughts are with the Royal family and the King.”
Mr Azopardi said the GSD’s thoughts were with the King, the Queen Consort and all the Royal family, adding: “God save the King.”
Together Gibraltar said the Queen had brought stability to the crown for seven decades, generating great public consensus around her figure and rescuing an institution that many had thought doomed.
Queen Elizabeth, the party said, had “an uncanny capacity” to unite the country and elevate the morale of its people in difficult times, with a closeness and ability for empathy that was extremely rare in figures of her stature.
TG acknowledged the monarch’s role as “an indefatigable activist and fundraiser” for hundreds of charities, a person credited with raising an incredible £1.4 billion for the causes she supported
“Queen Elizabeth has carried herself in a manner befitting a monarch for over 70 years, carrying her family through a myriad controversies with dignity and aplomb,” said Marlene Hassan Nahon, the Leader of Together Gibraltar.
“She has remained relevant until the last days of her extraordinarily long life, displaying a remarkable ability to keep up with the changing times and a changing Britain.”
“Always a staunch defender of British Gibraltar, she showed her commitment to our people when she visited Gibraltar in 1954, despite the threats of the Spanish fascist regime.”
“The pictures of HM next to my father [Sir Joshua Hassan] during her visit to Gibraltar still hang proudly in my family home, a testament to her love for and commitment to the Rock and its people.”
In a statement, TG added: “Now that war rears its ugly head again, and a new wave of demagogues and petty fascists threaten global stability, losing the calm, reasonable and empathic presence of our Queen becomes and even greater tragedy for all. May she RIP.”
Dr Joseph Garcia, the Deputy Chief Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party, said the death of Queen Elizabeth was a sad day not just for Gibraltar, the UK and Commonwealth but for the world.
“Her Majesty was a symbol of continuity and calm in increasingly troubled times,” he said.
“There are still Gibraltarians alive who fondly recall her visit to Gibraltar in 1954.”
“My wife and I were deeply touched and humbled when we met Her Majesty in 2014.”
“The positive effect she had on people is clear.”
“The Queen was a shining example of commitment and dedication to public service. May she Rest In Peace.”
Flags at half mast, a gun salute and condolences book as Gibraltar mourns Queen’s death
As soon as the announcement of Her Majesty’s death had been made at Buckingham Palace, Gibraltar lowered the flags on all official buildings.
Together with the United Kingdom and the rest of the Overseas Territories, Gibraltar has entered a period of national mourning.
The traditional National Day events have been cancelled and a further announcement will follow.
Last night the Self-Determination for Gibraltar Group expressed its deepest condolences to all members of the Royal Family on the death of the Queen.
"Her Majesty has been an example of devotion and dedication that will have inspired many and her
passing is a great loss to the People of Gibraltar,” the group said.
“The SDGG is confident that the People of Gibraltar will devote themselves with equal loyalty to King Charles the Third.”
“All National Day events have been cancelled. We know that a lot of hard work has been undertaken by many in the lead up to the day, but we are certain all will understand that it is the right thing to do.”
“May Her Majesty the Queen rest in peace and God Save the King.”
Flags will remain at half-mast until the day of the State Funeral and will be raised only temporarily for the Proclamation of the Accession of the new Sovereign.
Gibraltar will mark its respects to Her Majesty in a gun salute of 96 rounds, fired by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment from His Majesty’s Naval Base.
A condolence book will be available to members of the public in the foyer of The Convent, from Friday September 9 to Friday 16 September, 09:30 – 16:30 each day.
Bishop praises Queen’s ‘remarkable legacy’
Queen Elizabeth II leaves behind “a remarkable legacy”, Bishop Carmel Zammit, the Bishop of Gibraltar, said last night.
The Bishop said the news had been received with great sadness by the Catholic Church in Gibraltar, as he offered condolences to His Majesty the King and to all the Royal family.
“Queen Elizabeth’s long 70-year reign leaves behind a remarkable legacy, which will remain forever in our grateful hearts,” he said.
“We are extremely grateful for the gift to the world that has been the life of Queen Elizabeth II.”
“Her unquestionable, exemplary, sense of service gives faithful witness to her deep Christian values.”
“Her personal religious faith, so often and so eloquently witnessed in her public messages, has been an inspiration to many.”
“In giving thanks to God for her life, the Church in Gibraltar also pray for her soul. May she rest in peace.”