The Monarch’s reign has only been surpassed once in human history, by Louis XIV, who became king at the age of five. Her life was one of dignity and order, selflessness and grace.
Since 1952, she has been one of the few figures of stability during a turbulent era in our history.
Throughout, our Queen has stood at the head of the nation, providing reassurance and a calming presence for all.
When the news was announced yesterday evening, it was a profound shock.
We will all feel the void left following the passing of a monarch who has helped to bring the country together and who has embodied unity and civility, decency and nobility.
In recent times, the Queen has been a beacon of light.
One of the defining images of Covid-19 was the Queen, sitting solemnly and alone, as she mourned her steadfast and beloved husband, who had died at the age of 99.
Just as Her Majesty was the world’s longest-reigning Queen, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had been the world’s longest-serving royal consort.
Earlier this year, the nation rejoiced at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It was a rare moment of togetherness, following years in which the nation has been riven with rancour and division.
People came together to show their affection for a Queen who dedicated her life to the service of her country.
She enjoyed remarkable personal popularity throughout her life, regardless of the well-publicised personal difficulties that beset some members of her family.
And whatever difficulty her family encountered, the Queen was beyond reproach.
She made numerous historic visits to nations around the world and has seen a scale of change that would once have been considered unimaginable.
Today’s global tributes are a sign of her importance internationally. She remained energetic and committed to her work. Even this week, she met her latest Prime Minister, Liz Truss. Lest we forget, she was Queen when Sir Winston Churchill served until 1955.
Britain will move on with King Charles III. He and the Royal Family will face many challenges.
For now, though, it is time for a nation to mourn and remember our Queen with deep affection and gratitude.