News | 9 September 2022

Wellington responds to news of Queen’s death

Buckingham Palace has announced that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth has died today aged 96.

Queen Elizabeth II with Mayor Robert Macalister on the Town Hall steps during her 1953-1954 tour.
Queen Elizabeth with Mayor Macalister at the Town Hall during her 1953-54 tour

A state funeral is likely to occur within 10-12 days in the United Kingdom, and there will be opportunities for Wellingtonians to attend memorial events, mourning observances and sign condolence books in the meantime.

A condolence book is available for the public to sign in the Wellington City Council's 113 The Terrace office's reception area on Level 16 during office hours, and the Michael Fowler Centre and Cable Car tunnels will be lit up as a mark of respect.

The 16th Field Regiment will fire one round for every year of Her Majesty’s life on the waterfront from 6pm this evening. Thoroughfare along Te Papa Promenade will be restricted from midday and not available for the period of the firing and 15 minutes either side so approximately 5.45pm-6.30pm.

Her Majesty’s passing will be a deeply sad time for most New Zealanders says Wellington Mayor Andy Foster.

“For most of us, Her Majesty has been always there, our Queen for all of our lives. She is the longest serving monarch of not just New Zealand, but also of the United Kingdom, and all its predecessor states, going back to the dawn of history, and one of the longest reigning monarchs anywhere, anytime.

“Only the oldest of our community will have known a time before her being Queen, and even for them they would remember she was the courageous wartime Princess.

“Queen Elizabeth has served all of her long lifetime in the absolute best sense of the word service, with dignity, empathy, and constancy, even in often challenging circumstances. The World she leaves is so very different from the World that welcomed her as a new Queen in February 1952.

“Her Majesty visited New Zealand no less than 10 times as Queen, and I was privileged to meet her on one of those visits. She had that special ability to make everyone feel special on a human personal level, and at the same time to be across and understand the major geo-political issues of our time and times past.

“Her Majesty’s passing is truly the end of an era, and also a profound reminder of the mortality of every generation,” adds Mayor Foster.