PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee ordered all flags statewide be lowered in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch who died peacefully Thursday at 96.

The Queen died at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland, where the royal family rushed to her side after her health took a turn for the worse.

The news of her death sent shock waves throughout not only the United Kingdom, but the entire world as well.

“On behalf of all Rhode Islanders, I send our deepest condolences to the royal family and the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” McKee said. “For over seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II led with strength and sincerity. Her legacy will live on for generations to come.”

The flags at state facilities will be flown at half-staff through the day of interment. McKee also encouraged Rhode Islanders to lower their flags as a sign of respect.

Below are the statements from local leaders regarding the Queen’s death. More will be added as they come in.

U.S. Rep. David Cicilline

“Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy will long be remembered by the British people and the global community. Throughout her seven decades-long reign, she has stood as an example of dignity, grace, and dedication to country and public service that will continue to inspire her family as they carry on the traditions of the monarchy. My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in this time of mourning.”

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed

“When she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II, she declared to her people that her whole life would be devoted to their service.  She certainly kept that promise and never wavered in her duty, earning well-deserved accolades over a lifetime of principled service.

As a monarch, Queen Elizabeth was an adept leader who changed with the times, yet still managed to be timeless.  Now she belongs to history and the ages. We join her countrymen and people across the globe in mourning her passing and celebrating her life. As the sovereign, she took on great responsibility at a young age and in an age when there weren’t many female heads of state.  Her skill, poise, and boundless devotion to duty and her countrymen was exemplary. 

When she ascended to the throne at the age of twenty-five, she was the right person to meet the moment and went on to play a remarkable role in British and world history and became a unifying force for many. A steady presence through changing eras, she was a source of wisdom, strength, grace, and resilience.  The very embodiment of tradition and that enduring British sentiment of ‘keep calm and carry on.’ Queen Elizabeth’s reign has ended but her example endures.  Our deepest condolences to the royal family and her many loyal subjects and fans throughout the world.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin

“Queen Elizabeth II was a force to be reckoned with. She reigned for 70 years with grace and compassion. The prayers of the American people are with our great allies and friends in the United Kingdom during this difficult time. May Her Majesty rest in peace.”

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

“Queen Elizabeth II reigned through some of Britain’s darkest times with bravery & great personal strength. My condolences to her family, and to all those mourning her loss in the UK and around the world.”