Royals pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on first anniversary of her death

ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship rounds up the tributes paid to the late Queen

The Royals have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on the first anniversary of her death.

King Charles paid tribute to his late mother in a poignant message (written and read at Balmoral Castle where the Queen died on September 8 last year) saying he recalled with “great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us”.

Friday is a year since the nation’s longest-reigning monarch, who served as Queen for 70 years, died peacefully of at 96 just months after her Platinum Jubilee.

Crowds gathered in the morning to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The Prince and Princess of Wales shared a personal tribute saying "we all miss you", while the Duke of Sussex was pictured visiting St George’s Chapel in Windsor - the late Queen's final resting place.

The Prince and Princess of Wales paused to pay tribute to the Queen at a service in Pembrokeshire

A picture, a favourite of the King's, was released alongside his message.

The formal colour photograph taken by Cecil Beaton shows a young Queen, then 42, at an official portrait sitting in 1968.

She is standing sideways and smiling as she is photographed in her Garter robes and wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Tiara, made of 15 interlaced diamond circles.

The King, in his short tribute, thanked the nation for the love and support shown to him and Queen Camilla during his first year as monarch, and pledged their continued service.

His written message was signed Charles R.

The King and Queen left Crathie Kirk, close to Balmoral Castle, after private prayers and a moment of reflection on the life of the late monarch lasting about 30 minutes.

The couple then made their way over to speak to well-wishers gathered close to the church, who included Balmoral Estate staff, members of the royal household and the public.

Alistair Cassie, who has run his general hardware store in Ballater for more than 40 years, greeted the King informally and shared a few words with him.

He said afterwards: “It feels the honourable thing to do to be here because the King has been very, very good to Ballater over the years, right back from the time of the floods he’s given a lot of help to people, very quietly too.”

Mr Cassie joked: “I used to do some work at Balmoral and I used to meet the Queen quite a lot – if I saw a corgi coming I used to move away.”

Gun salutes paid tribute to the late Queen on the one-year anniversary of her death

The Prince and Princess of Wales attended a special service in St Davids Cathedral in St Davids, west Wales, in memory of the Queen on an emotional day for the royal family.

The couple, whose visit was delayed due to foggy weather, were cheered by around 300 well-wishers who had gathered in the grounds of the ancient cathedral.

During their visit, William and Kate, attended a private service lasting 10 minutes in the cloisters along with clergy, the choir and 20 invited guests.

The Duke of Sussex, who flew to London for a WellChild award ceremony on Thursday, paid tribute to his grandmother in his speech at the event, saying: “I know exactly one year on that she is looking down on all of us tonight, happy we’re together, continuing to spotlight such an incredible community.”

Crowds watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, on the Queen Elizabeth II death first anniversary. Credit: PA

An image of Harry leaving St George’s Chapel on Friday morning circulated on social media. The King George VI Memorial Chapel, which sits within the walls of St George’s Chapel, is Elizabeth II’s final resting place.

Princess Eugenie paid tribute to her late grandmother, writing on Instagram: “Thinking of you today. Missing you so much but remembering what a life of service, love and dedication to everyone and to your family, who loved you so very much.

“Forever grateful to you. And always in my heart.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also paid tribute to the late Queen, reflecting on her legacy.

“With the perspective of a year, the scale of Her Late Majesty’s service only seems greater,” he said.

“Her devotion to the nations of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth only seems deeper. And our gratitude for such an extraordinary life of duty and dedication only continues to grow.”

Mr Sunak said he treasured his memories of meeting the Queen and was struck by her “wisdom, by her incredible warmth and grace”, but also her “sharp wit”.

“People across the UK – whether they had the good fortune to meet Her Late Majesty or not – will be reflecting today on what she meant to them and the example she set for us all,” he added.

Members of the Army reservists from 206 (Ulster) Battery, 105 Royal Artillery fire a 21 gun salute to mark Accession Day. Credit: PA

Former prime minister Liz Truss has spoken about her final encounter with the late Queen, describing how the “upbeat” and frail but “mentally alert” monarch told her they would be “meeting again soon”.

The Queen had welcomed Ms Truss to her home in Aberdeenshire on September 6 2022 to appoint her as prime minister.

“She was very, very keen to reassure me that we’d be meeting again soon. It was very important to her,” Ms Truss told GB News.

She added: “She was very determined to do her duty, right to the end.”

The Queen died two days later, with Ms Truss describing the scene as she waited in Downing Street when the confirmation came at around 4.30pm.

The Queen meeting Liz Truss just a few days before her death. Credit: PA

Soldiers and horses who took part in the state funeral procession and proclamation salutes signifying the new reign are to return to perform Accession Day gun anniversary salutes in the King’s honour on Friday.

Captain Amy Cooper – who was the lead rider in the procession which carried the Queen’s coffin to lie in state in Westminster Hall – will give the order to fire a 41-gun salute at midday in London’s Hyde Park.

Handout image issued by Buckingham Palace of the message written by the King on the first anniversary of the late Queen Elizabeth's death. Credit: PA

Almost all of the King’s Troop riding out – in their distinctive dress uniform of gold braided jackets and busby hats accompanied by the Band of the Grenadier Guards – played a role in the final farewell to the Queen a year ago.

A 62-gun salute will also be fired at the Tower of London by The Honourable Artillery Company – with the regiment and the King’s Troop both responsible for gun salutes following the death of the late monarch.

Bells will be rung at Westminster Abbey at 1pm in commemoration of the King’s accession.

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