Like many of you, I was deeply saddened today to learn of the death of our Queen – the only monarch most of us have ever known – Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Her reign of over 70 years spanned an incredible period of history. She was Queen during the term of 12 Canadian Prime Ministers and 9 Saskatchewan Premiers. But even more enduring was the dedication, dignity and grace with which she served as Queen of Canada and the Commonwealth.

Many of us have fond memories of Her Late Majesty’s visits to our province – first as Princess Elizabeth in 1951 and then on five occasions as Queen – in 1959, 1973, 1978, 1987 and 2005.

She visited many parts of our province, meeting with people from all walks of life, including continuing the special relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples.

Today, we express both our condolences and our loyalty to the Crown and to our new Monarch, His Majesty the King. I know he will carry on his responsibilities with the same honour, dignity and grace exemplified by his late mother every day of her 70-year reign.

Flags at the Legislature and at provincial buildings are already at half-mast in remembrance of the victims of the recent attacks at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon. They will remain at half-mast until His Majesty’s Accession is proclaimed, where they will be raised and then lowered again until the day of Her Late Majesty’s funeral service. Books of condolences will be available to be signed by the public during regular business hours at the Legislative Building and Government House in Regina.

God bless Saskatchewan. God bless Canada. And God Save The King.