North Yorkshire community leaders express sadness following Queen’s death

The Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner, and senior figures at North Yorkshire County Council have expressed their sadness at the announcement of the death of the Queen.

Mrs Ropner and senior councillors have paid tribute to the Queen’s 70-year reign and the monarch’s work across both the country and the globe.

A book of condolence has been opened at County Hall in Northallerton for the public to also give their own tributes to the Queen.

Mrs Ropner, who was appointed to her role as the Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire four years ago, said: “I had the privilege to meet Her Majesty the Queen in 2018 and I have also witnessed so many examples of her diligence and hard work, not only within North Yorkshire but also nationally and across the world.

“On behalf of the people of North Yorkshire, York and Teesside, I would like to express the condolences of the Lord Lieutenancy to the Royal Family.”

The chairwoman of North Yorkshire County Council, Cllr Margaret Atkinson, spoke of the profound impact that the Queen had on the lives of so many people throughout her reign.

Cllr Atkinson said: “I have always had a great deal of admiration for the Queen, and she was such a beautiful, kind and remarkable lady who I was fortunate enough to meet at a Garden Party in 1997 due to my charity work for Yorkshire Cancer.

“She had such dignity and humanity and kept to her promise that she would dedicate her life to the people of the UK and the Commonwealth. Which given her age of 96 when she passed away, is an incredible achievement.”

North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, praised the Queen’s “unstinting commitment” to serving the country, and praised her dedication to the role as the nation’s monarch.

Cllr Les said: “The Queen’s reign has already been noted as the longest ever of any of the country’s monarchs, but she will be remembered for so much more than the length of her time as the Sovereign of our nation.

“Her tireless and unstinting commitment to the role has been an inspiration throughout the whole of her reign, and her legacy will leave an indelible impression for generations to come.

“I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to the Royal Family for not only their loss, but the nation’s loss too. God save the King.”

The chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, Richard Flinton, spoke of how the Queen’s legacy will live long in the memories of so many generations.

Mr Flinton said: “To have had a monarch who served for so long really is remarkable, and the Queen was responsible for so many memories for the people of North Yorkshire as well as around the globe.

“Whether it is those of her own generation through to children and young people, the Queen was a person who was respected and loved by so many.

“Her work, commitment and passion for the role as our monarch will live long in the memories of the nation, and she will be truly missed.”

The leader of the opposition on the county council, Cllr Bryn Griffiths, who is the leader of the Liberal Democrat and Liberal group, added: “There are few people whose loss could be felt so deeply by so many.

“Most of us have only known Queen Elizabeth as our monarch. We could not have wished for anyone better to have represented our country and been so respected on the world stage.

“She came to the throne amid post-war rebuilding and has remained an inspirational figurehead ever since, retaining the love and respect of her subjects and many all around the world.

“The united sadness across the political spectrum in North Yorkshire and all of our society is a testament to a most incredible monarch. Our thoughts are with her family.”

The leader of the Labour group, Cllr Steve Shaw-Wright, said: “The Queen’s life was defined by service to her country and the Commonwealth, to her family and her subjects.

“The country has been honoured to have had the Queen set the highest standards of public service to guide the nation both at the best of times and the hardest of days.

“Whilst grieving at this sad time, the nation will have many collective happy memories of the Queen, along with those lucky enough to have met her in person.

“The Queen was an extraordinary person and part of an extraordinary generation.”

The leader of the North Yorkshire Independents Group, Cllr Stuart Parsons, said: “The Queen’s death is remarkably sad, and Her Majesty has served our nation and the world stupendously.

“I find it most difficult to contemplate the death of such a wonderful sovereign.”

The leader of the Green group on the county council, Cllr Andy Brown, added: “It has been an astonishing achievement to have been so heavily in the public eye for so many years and to have always behaved with dignity.

“The generation that lived through the Second World War brings an incredible depth of experience that deserves the respect of all of us who have benefited from their exceptional contribution to our society.”

Information regarding opportunities for people to pay their respects, including where to place wreaths and details relating to the flying of flags, is available via the county council’s website at

Along with the book of condolence at County Hall, an ebook is also available via Buckingham Palace’s website at

During the official period of mourning, the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and her Deputy Lieutenants will not be undertaking any engagements to which the lieutenancy office has previously committed.