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UK’s new PM mourns Queen: ‘The rock on which modern Britain was built’

Liz Truss, only two days into the job, addresses nation after Elizabeth II’s passing, saying monarch ‘provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed’

In this file photo taken on September 6, 2022 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and new Conservative Party leader and Britain's Prime Minister-elect Liz Truss meet at Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland. (Jane Barlow / POOL / AFP)
In this file photo taken on September 6, 2022 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and new Conservative Party leader and Britain's Prime Minister-elect Liz Truss meet at Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland. (Jane Barlow / POOL / AFP)

LONDON — UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, only two days into the job, addressed the nation Thursday from the steps of 10 Downing Street shortly after news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death was announced.

Truss was hosted by the Queen at Balmoral Castle on September 6, and formally tasked by the monarch with forming a government.

Here is Truss’s statement in full:

“We are all devastated by the news we have just heard from Balmoral.

“The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world.

“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built.

“Our country has grown and flourished under her reign.

FILE – US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden smile while standing with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II watching a Guard of Honour march past before their meeting at Windsor Castle near London, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool, File)

“Britain is the great country it is today because of her.

“She ascended the throne just after the Second World War.

“She championed the development of the Commonwealth — from a small group of seven countries to a family of 56 nations spanning every continent of the world.

“We are now a modern, thriving, dynamic nation.

“Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed.

“She was the very spirit of Great Britain –- and that spirit will endure.

President Ezer Weizman, left, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II share a toast during an official dinner in her honor hosted by Weizman at Spencer House in London, February 1997. (Government Press Office)

“She has been our longest-ever reigning monarch.

“It is an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years.

“Her life of service stretched beyond most of our living memories.

“In return, she was loved and admired by the people in the United Kingdom and all around the world.

“She has been a personal inspiration to me and to many Britons. Her devotion to duty is an example to us all.

“Earlier this week, at 96, she remained determined to carry out her duties as she appointed me as her 15th prime minister.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the opening of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, October 2, 2021. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images via JTA)

“Throughout her life, she has visited more than 100 countries and she has touched the lives of millions around the world.

“In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends — across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world — to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service.

“It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy.

“Today the Crown passes — as it is has done for more than a thousand years — to our new monarch, our new head of state: His Majesty King Charles III.

“With the King’s family, we mourn the loss of his mother.

“And as we mourn, we must come together as a people to support him.

Queen Elizabeth at a performance at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in London in 1964. (Terry Disney/Express/Getty Images via JTA)

“To help him bear the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all.

“We offer him our loyalty and devotion just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long.

“And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country — exactly as Her Majesty would have wished — by saying the words: God save the King.”

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