Streams of tributes from across the county were paid to Her Majesty The Queen, who died today aged 96.

The 70-year-old monarch – hailed as the “greatest civil servant ever” – died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

Her Majesty The Queen has died aged 96. Photo: Geoff Robinson Photography

County MPs, councils, businesses and sports clubs are among those joining thousands of people around the world in paying tribute.

The new monarch, King Charles III, said: “The passing of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

“We deeply mourn the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, kingdoms and commonwealth, and by countless people across the world.

“During this time of grief and change, my family and I will be comforted and supported by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”

In a lengthy statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “As we mourn together, we know that in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose unwavering loyalty, service and humility have helped us make sense of who we are going through decades of extraordinary change in our world, our nation and our society.

Flag at half mast at All Saints, Birling
Flag at half mast at All Saints, Birling

“As deep as our grief is, our gratitude for Her Late Majesty’s extraordinary devotion to the United Kingdom, her Realms and the Commonwealth runs even deeper.”

Kent County Council Chairperson Lesley Game said: ‘Her Majesty’s life has been dedicated to the service of her country and the Commonwealth, and a staunch defender of peace and the importance that nations work together.

“She was our great constant. Throughout his 70-year reign, as every aspect of our lives changed, his dedicated duty, decency and dignity provided an inexhaustible source of stability, solace and reassurance.”

A book of condolences will soon be open at County Hall.

The Bishop of Dover, Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin pays homage to Her Majesty

MP Tracey Crouch said: “Her Majesty The Queen’s life has been one of constant, dedicated and selfless service to our nation and the Commonwealth, and to generations of her subjects.

“How blessed we are that she reigned over us.

“May she rest in peace.”

A harrowing scene at Buckingham Palace earlier today following news of the Queen's death.  Photo: Dessydee Maseko
A harrowing scene at Buckingham Palace earlier today following news of the Queen’s death. Photo: Dessydee Maseko

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, said: “Today is a momentous occasion in our shared history, an occasion in which she provided an unwavering example of duty and kindness. Her deep faith was a strength and a pillar .

“My thoughts are with the entire royal family.

“May God save the king.”

Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson said: “I am shocked and saddened.

“My heart goes out to the royal family.

“I’m sure I reflect the views of all my constituents when I say our beloved Queen will be sorely missed.

“She will never be replaced.

“She’s been queen for as long as most people can remember.

“It’s a huge tragedy, not just for the country, but for the Commonwealth and all the countries of which she was Queen.

“She will be greatly missed.”

The Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Sue Bell, paid tribute saying: “As a nation we share their grief at the loss of a truly remarkable monarch whose spirit of public service never wavered and whose wisdom and warmth touched everyone she met.”

Chairman of Folkestone and Hythe District Council, Cllr Philip Martin, said: “As our Queen, she has been the rock on which the fortunes of this country have been built for so many years and we are grateful for his great dedication to public service which characterized the whole of his life.”

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said in a tweet: “It is with the greatest sadness to receive this news. Our Monarch, Mother, Grandmother, Rock and Light of our Nation has passed away.”

Ben Fitter-Harding, Leader of Canterbury City Council, said: “Whatever direction the political winds blew and whatever crisis they faced, his knowledge and experience helped politicians of the time to overcome them.

“That was as true at the start of his reign as it was at the end.

“Politicians still hope that history will one day look kindly on them…eventually. Her Majesty The Queen need not fear the same fate.”

The Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr Peter Scollard, said: ‘Our longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty has served the people of this borough and this country with devotion, compassion and dignity.

“The Queen was known around the world for her strong sense of duty and her commitment to serving the country and the Commonwealth…”

Cllr Simon Clark, Swale Borough Mayor, said: ‘It is with immense sadness that we learned of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and I would like to express our heartfelt condolences on behalf of Swale Borough Council. Swale and the people of the Borough of Swale to all the Royal Family.

“The Queen was known around the world for her strong sense of duty and her commitment to serving the country and the Commonwealth.

“His platinum jubilee showed the respect and admiration we had for his tireless work, and as we mourn his passing, we must reflect on how lucky we were to experience his reign.”

Condolence books are open at Swale House, Faversham City Council offices and Sheppey Gateway to allow people to pay their respects from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Floral tributes will be laid at war memorials in Sittingbourne, Sheerness and Faversham and, as a mark of respect, civic and council events and meetings have been canceled until after the funeral.