Queen Elizabeth II was an inspirational presence in all our lives, the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent said after the sad news of her death.

Lady Colgrain paid tribute to Her Majesty, saying she was one of the most exceptional women in British and world history.

“As the longest serving British monarch, she has been a constant, and much loved presence in all our lives.

“She honoured her declaration on April 21, 1947 – her 21st birthday – that ‘my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.’ She did her duty to the very end.

“Throughout her long reign, whatever the uncertainty in the wider world, whatever personal sadness she was facing, Her Majesty has been a rock of stability. She inspired the nation in the happiest of times and the darkest of days, a symbol of all that’s best about Britain.

“We remember her devoted service to the people of the Commonwealth, and the numerous ways her worldwide endeavours enhanced the reputation of the United Kingdom.

“The Queen encouraged us, supported us, guided us, led us across the decades. We listened to her Christmas broadcasts and who can forget her reassuring words in her “We’ll Meet Again” broadcast at the height of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“We remember her visits to Kent and Medway, often accompanied by her late husband His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh; the cheering crowds and happy children waving Union flags in Medway, Margate, Dover, Gillingham, Canterbury, Aylesford and wherever they went in the county. Her Majesty had the innate ability to make everyone feel special.

“It has been my honour and privilege to serve Her Majesty since my appointment in April 2020. On behalf of the people of Kent and Medway, I have conveyed our condolences to the Royal Family. All our thoughts and prayers are with them in these saddest of days, sharing with them a deep sense of grief and loss.

“Our hearts go out to His Majesty, assuring him of the support of our county in his new demanding role. As we mourn the loss of our Queen, the county pledges loyalty to our King. Long may he reign.