POLITICIANS from across the UK have paid tribute to the Queen.

Liz Truss described her as “the rock on which modern Britain was built." 

The Prime Minister - who met with the monarch just two days ago as she was appointed to the post - said the UK had “grown and flourished” under her 70-year reign. 

Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland "loved, respected and admired" the Queen.

The First Minister described her passing as the "end of an era." 

Buckingham Palace confirmed the death of the 96-year-old monarch shortly after 6.30pm on Thursday, lowering the flag above Buckingham Palace to half-mast and posting a notice on the palace gates.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the palace said.

“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

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Speaking in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. 

“Britain is the great country it is today because of her. She ascended the throne just after the Second World War. She championed the development of the Commonwealth from a small group of seven countries to a family of 56 nations, spanning every continent of the world. 

“We are now a modern, thriving dynamic nation. Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. 

“She was the very spirit of Great Britain, and that spirit will endure.” 

Ms Truss also spoke about how the Queen had been a “personal inspiration” to her. 

She said: “Earlier this week, at 96, she remained determined to carry out her duties as she appointed me as her 15th Prime Minister. Throughout her life she has visited more than 100 countries and she has touched the lives of millions around the world.” 

Ms Truss said it was a “day of great loss.” She also urged the nation to come together to support the new King.

“Today the crown passes, as it has done for more than 1,000 years, to our new monarch our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III. 

“With the King's family, we mourn the loss of his mother. And as we mourn, we must come together as a people to support him, to help him bear the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all.

“We offer him our loyalty and devotion. Just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long. 

“And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country, exactly as Her Majesty would have wished, by saying the words ‘God save the King’.”

In a statement in Bute House, the First Minister said she felt a "deep sense of sadness on the death of Her Majesty the Queen."

She continued: "On behalf of the people of Scotland, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the King, the Queen Consort and to the entire Royal Family.

"There will be many opportunities in the coming days to reflect fully on the Queen's extraordinary life and service.

"For more than 70 years, Queen Elizabeth has been the great constant in our national life. She has inspired us, on occasion comforted us, and always personified values we hold dear. 

"Throughout her reign, she performed her duties with exceptional wisdom, dedication and fidelity. 

"Scotland loved, respected and admired her. And by all accounts, Her Majesty was rarely happier than when she was here in Scotland, at her beloved Balmoral.

"A fact I have been privileged to observe personally. 

"I hope it will be a source of comfort to her family that she spent her final days in a place that she loved so much.

"This is a moment of acute loss and profound sadness. It is also a moment of enormous significance.

"The passing of Queen Elizabeth marks the end of an era. Our nation is in mourning.

"My hearts and my thoughts, and I know those of people across Scotland are with the royal family at this deeply sad moment."

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Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the Queen was a “national treasure who represented the very best out of United Kingdom throughout her entire life”

He said: “The dedication and commitment of Her Majesty to this country and her people was unmatched. For 70 years, The Queen led the country through good times and bad, an unwavering presence of strength in each and every national moment of adversity.

“There was nobody else like Her Majesty. This loss will be felt dearly across Scotland, the United Kingdom and around the world. Everyone will remember Her Majesty as a warm, loving and caring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and monarch.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and the entire country at this very difficult time.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “This is a sad day for the whole country, but especially for the Royal Family who have lost a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.

“The entire nation joins them in mourning the death of Her Majesty, the Queen.

“Our longest serving monarch, Her Majesty was a dedicated public servant, demonstrating strength, leadership and compassion when her country needed it most.

“From the Blitz to the pandemic, she brought our nation together at times of crisis - providing hope and light in our darkest moments.

“That influence was felt beyond the United Kingdom, she was a global figure whose stewardship of the Commonwealth leaves a world better than she found it. The Scottish Labour party joins the rest of the UK and the Commonwealth in mourning her loss.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Queen Elizabeth II represented perhaps the greatest life of public service in the history of our country. Our family of nations is in mourning. 

“For seven decades she has been our country’s most recognisable ambassador. 

“She will be remembered not only as the longest reigning monarch these isles have ever seen but as a steadfast and loyal sovereign, devoted to the wellbeing of her people.” 

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “All of us have shared in the pain of losing a loved one in our lives, and at this difficult time for so many, we offer our condolences following the Queen’s passing.

“Since first opening the Scottish Parliament in 1999 she was a frequent visitor to Holyrood, and I am among many here who hold memories of meeting her during her visits to the Chamber over the years. 

“She made her mark on history, and we hope people find solace in each other.”

All parliamentary business at Holyrood has been suspended following the Queen's death.

Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Alison Johnstone said: “On behalf of the Scottish Parliament, I convey our deepest and most sincere condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal Family following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.  This is a day of great sadness for the whole country and a time of deeply personal grief for the Royal Family.   

“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.” 

Former First Minister Alex Salmond said he found the Queen to be "insightful, always well informed and up to date with an open sense of humour and an ever-abiding kindness."

He added: "This truly remarkable lady has transcended public life since the Second World War. Her passing is a great moment of sadness for her family and people around the world.

"My audiences with her were extensive and free­ wheeling, with no subject out of bounds. She had a great love of Scotland and enormous regard for her people.

"The best gift I offered her on behalf of Scots was at the Diamond Jubilee, when I presented her with a complete digitalisation of the 1911 census record of Balmoral Estate, which she pored over excitedly, recognising many of the names from her childhood.

"In turn, I suspect that of all her 15 Prime Ministers and five First Ministers in her record-breaking reign, I was the only one to whom she shared her racing tips - and very successful they were too.

"All that remains is to wish Elizabeth, Queen of Scots in her passing a sunny day with the going good."

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack said the Queen's long reign "was defined by hard work and dedicated public service, earning her the respect and devotion of her citizens the length and breadth of the UK, and throughout the Commonwealth. "

He added: “Her Majesty had a genuine love of Scotland, and a very special relationship with us Scots. Her Majesty was held dear by people in Scotland, and she will be very much missed.

“It was in Scotland we saw the Queen at her most relaxed and happy, particularly on her regular visits to her much-loved Balmoral.

"I know it would have been a comfort to her and her family that she was able to spend her last days in the place she loved so much.

“We will come together in the coming days to mourn The Queen’s passing.  But as we reflect on her long life and her unstinting service, we will also remember fondly her compassion, humour and warmth.

“I offer my wholehearted support and loyalty to the new King, as I know will people across the country. God save the King.”

Former prime minister Gordon Brown said: “The United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the entire world are joined together in mourning this evening.

“HM Queen Elizabeth II served this country to the last. I offer my sincere condolences to the Royal Family. May she rest in peace.”

His predecessor, Sir Tony Blair said: “We have lost not just our monarch but the matriarch of our nation, the figure who more than any other brought our country together, kept us in touch with our better nature, personified everything which makes us proud to be British.“

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Fellow former Prime Minister, Sir John Major said: “At this moment of deep sadness, I believe we all stand hand in hand with the royal family as they grieve the loss of one so loved.

“For we have all lost someone very precious to us and, as we mourn, we should be grateful that we were blessed with such an example of duty and leadership for so very many years.”

Britain is enduring its “saddest day” following the death of “Elizabeth the Great”, Boris Johnson has said.

The Conservative MP was among the six living former prime ministers of Elizabeth’s reign to pay tribute, only two days after he met the monarch at Balmoral to resign from office.

He insisted the Queen, 96, spread “magic around her kingdom” for an “unrivalled” 70 years and she possessed a “simple power to make us happy”.

Mr Johnson said: “This is our country’s saddest day. In the hearts of every one of us there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss – far more intense, perhaps, than we expected.

“In these first grim moments since the news, I know that millions and millions of people have been pausing whatever they have been doing, to think about Queen Elizabeth, about the bright and shining light that has finally gone out.

“She seemed so timeless and so wonderful that I am afraid we had come to believe, like children, that she would just go on and on.

“Wave after wave of grief is rolling across the world, from Balmoral – where our thoughts are with all the Royal Family – and breaking far beyond this country and throughout that great Commonwealth of nations that she so cherished and which cherished her in return.

“As is so natural with human beings, it is only when we face the reality of our loss that we truly understand what has gone. It is only really now that we grasp how much she meant for us, how much she did for us, how much she loved us.

“As we think of the void she leaves, we understand the vital role she played, selflessly and calmly embodying the continuity and unity of our country.”

Mr Johnson praised the Queen’s “deep wisdom” and her “seemingly inexhaustible but understated sense of duty”.

He added: “This is our country’s saddest day because she had a unique and simple power to make us happy. That is why we loved her. That is why we grieve for Elizabeth the Great, the longest-serving and in many ways the finest monarch in our history.”

Mr Johnson said he believes the new King will “amply do justice to her legacy”.

Theresa May, the Conservative prime minister between 2016 and 2019, said: “Her Majesty devoted herself unreservedly to a life of service.

“She was respected and admired not only by her own people but far beyond our family of nations.”

The Conservative MP added: “On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Her Majesty reminded us to ‘never give up, never despair’. It was an address that captured not just the national spirit, but Queen Elizabeth’s spirit.

“A sense of quiet determination, of courage, of faith, and of hope in the future.”

Former US President Barack Obama said he and wife Michelle had been “awed” by the Queen’s “legacy of tireless, dignified public service”.

In a statement posted on Twitter, he said her Majesty had “captivated the world”, adding: “Her Majesty was just 25 years old when she took on the enormous task of helming one of the world’s great democracies.

“In the decades that followed, she would go on to make the role of Queen her own – with a reign defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic, defying the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation.”

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Mr Obama added that the Queen had been “responsible for considerable diplomatic achievements”, but also paid tribute to her willingness to take part in a comedy sketch at the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012.

“Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us,” he said.

“Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity.

“Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humour and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the Queen’s death is a “terrible loss for us all”, adding: “We will miss her beyond measure.”

He said: “For all of us, the Queen has been a constant presence in our lives – as familiar as a member of the family, yet one who has exercised a calm and steadying influence over our country. Most of us have never known a time when she was not there. 

“Her death is not only a tragedy for the royal family, but a terrible loss for us all.

“During her 70 years on the throne – and even before that, as a teenager, reassuring and engaging with children and families disrupted by the Second World War – she has given our lives a sense of equilibrium.

“While her reign has been marked by dramatic changes in the world, Her Majesty has maintained her unwavering devotion to the UK, the British Overseas’ Territories and the Commonwealth of Nations – and her gentle authority and sound reason have been felt throughout.

“As head of state, she has provided advice and the benefit of long experience to 15 prime ministers during her reign – and met more than a quarter of all the American presidents in the history of the US. We will miss her beyond measure.”

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted that he was “incredibly sad to hear of the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II”.

He added: “As our longest reigning monarch, she firmly upheld the values and traditions of the British Monarchy. On behalf of the people of Wales I offer our deepest condolences to Her Majesty’s family during this sad time.”

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: “Our thoughts are with the royal family and all those who mourn Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and worldwide.

“Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment.”

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, tweeted: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our times.

“She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise.

“My thoughts are with her family and the people of the UK in this sad hour.”