PEOPLE across the Forest of Dean shared their deepest condolences with the Royal Family yesterday (September 8) following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The announcement from Buckingham Palace at around 6.30pm triggered an outpouring of tributes as people across the nation paid their respects to the extraordinary life and legacy of Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Councils in the Forest and Gloucestershire are now following national protocol as the UK enters a 10-day period of mourning.

Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper, who was part of a Commons’ debate when news of the Queen’s ill health broke yesterday afternoon, tweeted last night: “A life of duty and service has come to an end.

“The thoughts and prayers of people across the Forest of Dean will be with the Royal Family.

“May Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Rest in Peace.

“God Save The King.”

Councillor Julia Gooch, Chair of Forest of Dean District Council, said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Her Majesty the Queen.

“Our thoughts go to The Royal Family during this challenging time and on behalf of the Forest of Dean District Council and all our residents we would like to offer our deepest sympathies.

“Her Majesty’s dedication to our Country and the Crown will go down in the history books and her commitment to a life of service is an example to us all.

“She will be long remembered by all across the district and we are thankful for all she has done as our longest serving monarch.”

Gloucestershire County Council Chair Alan Preest, who is also a Lydney Town and Forest of Dean district councillor, expressed his “great sadness” following the announcement.

“On behalf of all councillors and staff of Gloucestershire County Council, I should like to express how very sad we all are at the news of Her Majesty The Queen’s death”, Cllr Preest said.

“We send our sincere condolences to the Royal Family.

”Gloucestershire has a very special connection to the Royal Family, and Her Majesty visited the county a number of times during her reign, and on each occasion the warmth of feeling the people of Gloucestershire had for her, and vice versa, was abundantly clear. 

“Her Majesty’s commitment to her role and to the people of the Commonwealth will not be seen again in our lifetime.

“She was a wonderful ambassador for Britain and an example to us all.”

On Friday (September 9), all local councils said they would fly the Union Flag at half mast in the days that followed and would be following national protocol during the period of mourning for Her Majesty.

Actions and events include providing a book of condolences for the public, the ringing of church bells, the officlal laying of flowers by local communities, services of thanksgiving and the proclamation of the new King.

Cllr Mrs Christine Howley, Mayor of Newent, said on behalf of the town council: “It is with great sadness that we have today learnt of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

“The Council extends its heartfelt condolence to the Royal Family at this sad time.

“We remember with gratitude the lifetime of service Her Majesty had devoted to our Nation and to the Commonwealth.”

Cllr Nick Penny BEM, Mayor of Coleford, said: “Coleford Town Council would like to express our heartfelt condolences on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“Her devotion and unstinting service to this country and the Commonwealth for over 70 years has been truly remarkable.

“May she rest in peace, and our sincere thoughts are with her entire family at this time.”

Lydney Mayor Cllr Natasha Saunders said: “Heartbroken to have recieved the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen this evening.”

She added: “Rest in peace Your Majesty.”

Cllr Chris Witham, Chair of Cinderford Town Council, said: “It has sadly been announced by Buckingham Palace that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.

“The Town Council and the residents of Cinderford are deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

“On behalf of the people of Cinderford, I wish to convey our deepest sympathy and thoughts to the Royal Family at this terribly sad time.”

More information about the events and actions taking place across the Forest during the 10 days’ mourning can be found on local councils’ Facebook pages.