‘We loved you, Ma’am’ – The nation’s papers react to the death of the Queen

Queen front pages
British newspapers' front pages today featured tributes to the Queen. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The death of the Queen has sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes from the nation’s papers.

Buckingham Palace announced the death of the 96-year-old monarch, who died “peacefully” on Thursday afternoon at Balmoral.

Here is how the papers reacted:

The Times

In its obituary, The Times described the the Queen as “the woman who saved the monarchy in this country”.

It continues: “That is not to say that without her we would have had a republic by now, or that the monarchy did not endure some troubled times during her reign when the unpopularity of some of its members led critics to question its very future, but it is thanks to her dedication and seriousness of purpose that an institution that has at times seemed outdated and out of keeping with the values of contemporary society still has a relevance and popularity today.”

The Guardian

Inside the paper, columnist Jonathan Freedland writes her death heralds not just the end of the Elizabethan age, but the start of “a new future”.

“There will be a different head on the coin, different words for the national anthem,” he said.

“The one element in our collective life that was consistently, reliably the same… has gone.”

The Independent

“Thank God for someone who made many, many people happy.”


The tribute continues inside, with the leading article on her death running under the headline: “The Rock of our Nation.”

The Sun

On the front, the paper says: “We loved you Ma’am.

“Rest in peace… The Sun and our readers loved you. We are proud you were our Queen.”

The Daily Telegraph

In an editorial, the paper paid tribute to the monarch’s “lifetime of service”, adding: “She was more than just a distant, matriarchal symbol of nationhood; she was our constant companion and guide, reassuringly composed even in the most turbulent of times.”

Daily Express

Express columnist Leo McKinstry called the Queen “a shining light for humanity”.

He continued: “At the news of her loss, a wave of sorrow has swept across not just her beloved kingdom but also the whole world.

“In the hours since her death, the poignant respect in which she was held has been graphically revealed in the flood of tributes from political and religious leaders all over the world, but just as important has been the deluge of cards and flowers from ordinary people who loved her and struggle to imagine Britain without her.”

Daily Mail

Sarah Vine, a columnist for the paper, writes: “How to find the words?

“Our grief is a hundred different emotions, all of them hard to grasp.”

Daily Mirror

It continues: “For all the trials and tribulations we have lived through since she ascended the throne – the hardships, the wars, the downturns and the disappointments – we should always be thankful that we were witnesses to not just the country’s longest-serving monarch, but also one of its greatest.”

Financial Times

Below an image of the monarch attending the state opening of Parliament in 1971, the paper calls her death a “watershed moment in the life of the nation”.


Inside, the paper says “more than half a million” Britons are expected to visit the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall before a state funeral is held at Westminster Abbey.

Daily Star

An editorial from the paper adds: “The Queen’s death leaves a huge hole in the nation’s heart.

“She brought unparalleled grace and dignity to the role.

Tributes to the Queen dominate newspaper front pages on Friday morning. Credit: Suzanne Elliott/ ITV News

“There were times when she had to deal with scandal and tragedy. But she always bounced back and was clearly made of the strongest stuff.

“Put simply: Her Maj made us all proud to be British.”