U.K.'s New Prime Minister Liz Truss Remembers Queen Elizabeth as the 'Very Spirit of Great Britain'

·3 min read
U.K.'s New Prime Minister Liz Truss Remembers Queen Elizabeth as the 'Very Spirit of Great Britain'

Liz Truss is mourning a great loss for the British Monarchy.

Following Queen Elizabeth II's death at age 96 on Thursday, the United Kingdom's newly-appointed prime minister, 47, paid tribute to the late royal while helping usher in a new era with King Charles III's pending succession.

"We are all devastated by the news we have just heard from Balmoral. The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world," Truss said in a statement. "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."

RELATED: Queen Elizabeth, the Longest-Reigning British Monarch, Dies at 96

Truss, who was appointed as Queen Elizabeth's 15th and final monarch earlier this week, reflected on her legacy with the throne, to which she ascended shortly after World War II. Truss also acknowledged the Queen's work with the Commonwealth, which expanded from seven countries to 56, spanning every continent, during the Queen's reign.

Liz Truss, Queen Elizabeth II
Liz Truss, Queen Elizabeth II

James Veysey/Shutterstock, Sky News via Getty

"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 said. "She was the very spirit of Great Britain — and that spirit will endure. She has been our longest-ever reigning monarch. It is an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years."

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Truss continued, "Her life of service stretched beyond most of our living memories. In return, she was loved and admired by the people in the United Kingdom and all around the world. She has been a personal inspiration to me and to many Britons. Her devotion to duty is an example to us all."

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She recalled the Queen's determination "to carry out her duties" in her final days, including with Truss' own appointment to office at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as well as her many visits to more than 100 countries and touching "the lives of millions around the world."

"In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service," she continued. "It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy. Today, the crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III.

RELATED VIDEO: The Amazing Life of Queen Elizabeth II

"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,' " Truss concluded.

Queen Elizabeth II died at age 96 on Thursday afternoon as Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that she passed "peacefully at Balmoral," adding: "The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."

Her death follows her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in June 2021. She is succeeded immediately by her eldest son, King Charles III, 73, who is now the monarch.