We farewell Queen Elizabeth II 09 September 2022 The flag at our Thames office is flying at half-mast today, as we join people and nations around the world to mourn the death, and honour the memory, of Queen Elizabeth II. “The Queen has been an enduring, guiding force for both our Commonwealth and the realms of the world, and we join the nations in mourning a remarkable woman,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “On behalf of our district we pass on our regards and condolences.” As head of state of New Zealand, the British monarch is the source of all executive legal authority in the country, but acts on the advice of the Government. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited our district in 1969 for the bicentenary of Captain James Cook. Mercury Bay has a monument to her visit underneath the trees, offering shade from the sun and a peaceful place to enjoy the area’s beauty. Our Council offices and libraries throughout the district will have memorial books available to sign this afternoon, for those who would like to acknowledge Queen Elizabeth’s memory with a personal message. The UK’s longest-serving monarch and the head of the Commonwealth died on Thursday 8 September (Friday 9 September NZST) at the age of 96, following a 70-year reign across a period of remarkable social change. During her reign, the sovereign provided an enduring stability that spanned the post-war era of austerity, the transition from an Empire to a Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry – and exit – from the European Union. Queen Elizabeth died peacefully on Thursday at Balmoral Castle, 40 miles west of Aberdeen, surrounded by her family. Her son King Charles III said the death of his mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family, adding: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother… I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.” The New Zealand flag will be flown at half-mast from the announcement of the death up to and including the day of the funeral, except on Proclamation Day – the day the new Sovereign is announced officially, when flags are to be flown from the top of the mast.