The death of Her Majesty The Queen brings to a close the second Elizabethan age. Over the course of her 70 years on the throne, the world has changed in ways which might have been thought impossible. The pace of change and the development and progression of humanity has brought equal opportunities and challenges.

Yet through this period, there remained one constant – The Queen. For many of us, we have never known another Monarch. Her devotion to duty, this country, her realms, and the Commonwealth became a symbol that inspired billions of people. Her power lay not just in the crown, but in her dedication to her people.

In moments of celebration and in mourning, the Queen brought the nation together. Her broadcasts gave hope and inspiration. As we mourn her passing, we are offered the chance to reflect on her life and on her role as head of state.

Her legacy will surely be one that reminds us of the importance of the institutions that have promoted and safeguarded civility, duty and honour, and are part of our historic and cultural fabric. Her reign did not divide but instead brought people together. Whether it be across the British Isles, her realms, or the Commonwealth, her magic was to make this family of nations and its people, feel part of her own family.

The nation now enters a period of mourning in which we will all be able, in our own way, to celebrate her life, her reign and her work. In cities, towns and villages around the world, we will come together to share stories of Her Majesty, sign books of condolence and commemorate her life.

As we do so, we might also seek to think of the future. To hold close to our hearts her words that “grief is the price we pay for love” and that “better days are ahead”. In doing so, we can rejoice in her life passed and celebrate the continuation of the line of succession.

His Majesty The King must now fill the void that has been left by his beloved mother, and we as his citizens must support him in discharging his duties. As King and head of the Commonwealth, he will seek to continue on the mission set out by his mother to bring together the people of the world, find commonality and provide the leadership that we need in these difficult times.

Like so many people, I believed that the Queen would just continue to be a constant in our lives. This fantasy has sadly been drawn to a close. Over the coming days, I will be taking part in tributes to Her Majesty in the House of Commons and attending services of thanksgiving. It is a moment of great sadness.

As I reflect on this significant moment in our nation’s history, I shall also be proud to stand and say those immortal words of God Save the King.