West Sussex County Council joins the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The flags on public buildings around the county have been lowered to half-mast.
The Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard, and The Chairman of West Sussex County Council, Cllr Pete Bradbury have released statements speaking of their sadness following the announcement that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, died peacefully yesterday at Balmoral.
Details for where to find Books of Condolence are also provided below.
Statement from the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard
“This solemn day is one of profound sadness, as news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second goes out across the world. It is a milestone in our history, and it marks the gentle and dignified close of the longest reign of any monarch this country has ever known.
“She was part of us all, held fast in the hearts of millions of people with the deepest respect, admiration and, above all, love. I know that I speak for so many when I express my heartfelt gratitude for her, for her selfless and steadfast service to her people, for all she did for us and for the world, and for the extraordinary example she set. Her memory will endure. May she rest in peace.
“My thoughts and my prayers are with all the members of the Royal Family, as well as with Her late Majesty’s staff and household. I have sent a private message of condolence to the Royal Family on behalf of the people of West Sussex.
“In particular, my thoughts and prayers are with The King, as he prepares for his Coronation and for the days to come. I hope and believe that he and his family will be sustained in their grief by the deep affection that will be shown for his mother as she is laid to rest, and that he will be strengthened by this as he takes his place as our Monarch and a new chapter of our history is born.
“God save the King.”
Statement from the Chairman of West Sussex County Council, Councillor Pete Bradbury
“This is a terribly sad day for the nation and the people of West Sussex. Her Majesty has a long association with our county. She was dignified and gracious and held in great affection by the public – this was clear to all when the country joined in celebrating her reign through the multitude of Platinum Jubilee events.
“Her Majesty’s passing represents the end of an era for our nation and I know many people will want to pay their respects in the coming days.”
Memories of our Queen
Her Majesty The Queen visited West Sussex on many occasions.
The first was when she was almost three, staying with her grandfather King George V, who was convalescing in Bognor. The young Princess delighted in making sand pies with her grandmother, Queen Mary, and watching her have fun on the beach provided a tonic for her grandfather who later bestowed a royal suffix to the town, making it Bognor Regis.
The most recent visit by Her Majesty was in November 2017, when she visited the Canine Partners charity in Midhurst. The charity trains dogs to assist people with physical disabilities. In the afternoon The Queen was at Chichester Festival Theatre where she watched a production by the Youth Theatre.
Other places she has visited included Crawley, Goodwood, Felpham, Gatwick, Durrington, Burgess Hill and Christ’s Hospital.
Pictures from some of these visits can be seen online.
If you would like to view other historic photos of the late Queen please visit West Sussex Pictures and search for ‘Queen Elizabeth II’.
Books of condolence
An online book of condolence has been opened on Buckingham Palace’s website: www.royal.uk
Residents who do not have online access can post a message of condolence to the Chairman’s Office, Room 102, West Sussex County Council, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ.
Our 36 libraries across West Sussex can support anyone who would like to use a public computer to access the online book of condolence.
If you would prefer to record a written message then we are able to collect these in our libraries and they will be collated with other written messages received by the Chairman of the County Council.