First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford leads tributes to 'selfless' Queen following her death

Mark Drakeford says the country feels 'an immense loss' following the death of Her Majesty The Queen

The First Minister of Wales has paid tribute to the "long and exceptional life" of Her Majesty the Queen, following the announcement of her death at Balmoral Castle this afternoon.

Sharing his condolences on Twitter, Mark Drakeford wrote: "It is with great sadness that people in Wales mourn the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"Throughout her long and exceptional life, as our longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty has reigned over the united Kingdom and Commonwealth family upholding the values and traditions of the British Monarchy.

"We pay tribute to Her Majesty's dedication and selfless devotion. She will be sorely missed by many organisations for which she was Patron or President.

"We offer our sincere condolences to her children and their families on this sad occasion."

Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies, said the Queen had had an "unrivalled impact" on people across the world.  

Mr Davies said: “The sad news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing will touch many families not just in the United Kingdom, but also across the Commonwealth and the world.  

The Queen's final visit to Wales was in October 2021, at the official opening of the Senedd. Credit: PA

“Many of us will not have known another Head of State of our great country.  

“For many, she has been as much a part of our families as those who gather each day around the family table.  

“Today, there will be an empty chair around those tables, as many will reflect on her 70-year reign and a lifetime of public service.  

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family at this sad time.  

“In the fullness of time, our sadness will give way to the sunshine of memories that her reign has brought to our lives and our great country.   

“In the immediate days following on from this sad news, we must unite in our grief and take strength that our country and the Commonwealth are better places today for her long reign and life of public service.” 

'Dedication, honour and dignity'

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Jane Dodds, said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. My thoughts are with the King, her majesty’s other children, grandchildren and all those close to her at this difficult time.

“Her Majesty’s passing, without a doubt, does mark the end of a very long, and indeed a seminal chapter in the history of our nations and for most people her presence has been one of the few constants throughout their lives.

“Throughout her life, Her Majesty served the country with the absolute greatest dedication, honour and dignity.

"From serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War Two, to taking the time to speak to local schoolchildren at the opening of the Senedd last year, she never once shied away from public duty.

"Her life will forever be interlinked with that of a period of great change within the UK and although many today would struggle to recognise the world she had been born into, she always seemed to belong very much here today in the present.

"Her Majesty was always a great friend to Wales and she will be deeply missed within the UK, the Commonwealth and further afield.

"I pray that her journey into the next stage has been peaceful and that she is at rest."

Plaid Cymru Leader, Adam Price, said: "Her Majesty the Queen’s long reign saw a period of immense change for Wales, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. 

"Her deeply held sense of duty was recognised by millions across the globe, and many will remember her as a figure which provided comfort, stability and continuity during times of crisis.

"On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I extend our deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this difficult time."

In a statement issued on behalf of the Church in Wales, the seven bishops expressed their great sadness at the Queen’s death and give thanks for her "sincere and devout faith".

A spokesperson said: "The news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen has been received with great sadness by the Bishops of the Church in Wales. 

"Like most of the population, we have all lived our lives within her reign, and have no experience of any other monarch in the United Kingdom.

"Even so, it is clear that Her Majesty was extraordinary in the service and dedication she gave to the nation and the Commonwealth. 

"We will all be mindful of the commitment she made on her twenty-first birthday in 1947, when she promised her whole life to the service of the people. 

"It is a commitment from which she never flinched, and a service which she gave gladly. 

Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to Caernarfon Castle in 2010. Credit: PA

"She endured through good times and bad, through celebrations and setbacks in the life of the nation.

"Whenever she was called upon to speak to the nation and the Commonwealth, she spoke in a way which reminded us of who we were, and called us to a greater response and more hopeful future. 

"Born into privilege, she quietly transformed the monarchy so that it adapted itself in time. As a person, she typified an aspect important to national life, service for the greater good of all.

"We are particularly thankful to God for Her Majesty’s Christian witness. At Christmas, her broadcasts to the nation never failed to speak of her personal faith in Christ as Saviour.

"She commended love for God and one’s neighbour, and her life was lived in a way which quietly prioritised a commitment to Christian worship on a Sunday, and a regime of daily prayer. 

"Like so much of her life, this was performed without display, but sincerely and with great devotion. This is an example of faith which we will hold dear.

"Our prayers are with the Royal Family at this sad time."