Chairman of North Kesteven expresses sadness at death HM the Queen

The chairman of North Kesteven District Council, Coun Lucille Hagues has commented on behalf of the authority following the sad news of the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II and has detailed known arrangements for paying tributes and the mourning period.

"Much sadness" - Coun Lucille Hagues, chairman of NKDC.
"Much sadness" - Coun Lucille Hagues, chairman of NKDC.

Coun Hagues said: “It is with much sadness that we have learned of the passing of our Sovereign Lady, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“My sadness at this time is shared with members and officers of the council and, I am sure, all residents across the whole of North Kesteven District, as we remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by our longest-reigning Monarch of more than 70 years.

“In recent months the fortitude, resilience and grace exemplified by Her Majesty and the great affection and regard in which she is held have been borne out through the enthusiastic Platinum Jubilee celebrations in every community.

“Throughout her reign she has enjoyed a close association with the district of North Kesteven, not least in her capacity as Commandant in Chief of the Royal Air Force, attending graduations at RAF College Cranwell on many occasions, and we have all greatly valued her leadership, longevity, dignity and dutiful constancy over the decades.

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“We recall her own words in respect of her late husband and consort HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as her ‘strength and stay’ over their 73 years of marriage and reflect on the stability and surety she herself represented in our country, the Commonwealth and the countless causes, charities and institutions she was associated with.

“As Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning Monarch, her steadfast reign has been the backdrop to the overwhelming majority of all our lives; a permanence and an anchor in ever-changing times whose death will be felt deeply.

“Her vision, her sense of duty, her loyalty and her steadfastness have been unwavering throughout the entirety of her 70-year reign, right up until these very last days.”

As a mark of respect the Union Flag will be flown at half-mast on the council flagstaff until the morning following the funeral.

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There is a protocol for when the flag should be raised and lowered and the council will ensure that this is duly observed, as well as other considerations for the period of mourning.

Today (Friday, September 9) books of condolence have been placed in St. Denys’ Church, Market Place, Sleaford, NG34 7SH for residents to express their sadness at this time. These will be available from noon today and then daily from 9am until 5pm daily – Monday to Sunday – and until 5pm on the day after the funeral for all wishing to pay their respects. It may be that access needs to be temporarily suspended during church services.

Further books are available in other major towns locally and in Lincoln. Furthermore a link to the Buckingham Palace e-Book of Condolence can be found at www.royal.gov.uk.

Arrangements are in place for the laying of flowers in Sleaford Market Place and as a mark of respect some of the council chairman’s engagements and those of other members and officers of the council may need to be postponed at this time.

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Coun Hagues added: “We await confirmation of arrangements for the local Proclamation of the King’s Accession which will undoubtedly be an historic occasion of some interest. This will be held in Sleaford at the Lafford Terrace aspect of the council building, off Eastgate and members of the public will be welcome to attend. Arrangements will be posted on our website as soon as they are known.

“On behalf of the residents of North Kesteven, I shall be writing to His Majesty the King to express the sincere condolences and deepest regrets of our community at the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

“In all other respects, while the council maintains its daily delivery of services, it will work with local and national organisations and agencies to ensure appropriate, proportionate and dignified arrangements are in place at this time of national mourning.”