Thousands of Canadians are mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, who died peacefully on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96.
Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96.
She is the longest-serving monarch in British history, after serving for 70 years.
Her son Charles Philip Arthur George is now King Charles III.
The new king made his first speech on Friday, saying he feels "profound sorrow" at the death of his mother, the queen.
Scheduled to return to session Sept. 19, the House of Commons will be recalled Thursday to pay tributes to the queen after King Charles III was formally proclaimed Canada's new monarch Sept. 10.
Prime minister Justin Trudeau said the official opening session will be delayed until Sept. 20 out of respect for the Queen's funeral on Sept. 19. It will be held at Westminster Abbey in London, where she was crowned June 2, 1953.
Trudeau also announced Tuesday that Canadians would see a new national holiday marking the date of Queen Elizabeth's funeral.
"We have ... chosen to move forward with a federal holiday on Monday (Sept. 19)," Trudeau said. The prime minister added the government will be working on the details but said “declaring an opportunity for Canadians to mourn on Monday is going to be important."
The Prime Minister's Office said that unless the provinces come on board with the plan, only federal government employees will get that day off. About 85 to 90 per cent of workers are regulated by provincial governments.
Elizabeth acceded to the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of her father George VI February 6, 1952.
The Royal Canadian Legion will be hosting a ceremony for the Queen at the cenotaph in Jubilee Park in Grande Prairie on Monday at 10:30 a.m.
The Legion asks that people dress formally if they plan to attend.
The province has set up a condolence book at the Grande Prairie Provincial Building so locals can send messages of sympathy and support to the Royal Family.
“We kindly ask that you do not bring flowers to leave at public buildings, as they will be removed to ensure safe access to the buildings and perimeter,” said the province.
Though the King inherited the role immediately after the death of his mother, a formal ceremony was performed on Saturday.
The royal family travelled to Scotland to be with the monarch earlier in the day, said the Royal Family.
Certainly, few South Peace residents can recall a world without Queen Elizabeth. Some had more personal contact with her over the years.
“Albertans were privileged to welcome Her late Majesty to our beautiful province on numerous occasions over the years. We will treasure The Queen’s legacy in Alberta and will strive to honour the principles of service and citizenship that were hallmarks of Her late Majesty’s long and glorious reign,” said Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
Premier Jason Kenney also shared his sympathies.
“For almost all of us, she is the only Canadian monarch we have ever known. In an ever-changing world, she was for us a bedrock of stability and continuity, a ceaselessly gracious and dignified presence in our lives,” he said.
“Her late Majesty gave her whole life in service to her people and to the institutions that are the safeguards of our parliamentary democracy and liberties. Continuing her public duties into the seventh decade of her reign and her 96th year, it seemed like she was an eternal presence in our lives.
“And so today’s sad news is for me and for many a terrible shock, as something permanent in our lives has given way.”
The City of Grande Prairie said it will be “moving all flags to half mast, which will be back upright for the King’s announcement, and then moved back down to half-mast until after the funeral.”
The city says portraits of the late Queen will be draped in black in city buildings.
“The City of Grande Prairie expresses their loyalty and sympathy to the new head of state, King Charles.”
The County of Grande Prairie will be flying flags at half-mast for 10 days, it said in a social media post and draping portraits of the late Queen in black.
“Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, Canadians and all members of the Commonwealth as we come together in our shared grief upon the passing of Canada’s longest reigning sovereign,” says Reeve Beaupre. “During this period of great mourning, may we be comforted as we reflect on her extensive legacy of service to Canada and the world.”
Memorial services are expected to be announced at alberta.ca/queen-elizabeth-memorial.cfm.
No date for the Kings coronation has yet been set (as of press time).
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News