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The Queen's death rememered in Dartford with events and tributes to HM Queen Elizabeth II

A book of condolence for the Queen's family has opened at the Civic Centre and at Dartford Museum today.

People can call in between 9am till 5pm to sign it and it will close at 5pm the day after the funeral, when it will be sent to Buckingham Palace.

Her Majesty at the opening of Queen Elizabeth II bridge, in Dartford, 1991
Her Majesty at the opening of Queen Elizabeth II bridge, in Dartford, 1991

Flowers will be laid at the bandstand in the town's Central Park.

A court, which was opened by the late Queen more than 35 years ago stopped today to pay tribute.

Judges, barristers, probation officers, prison staff, police officers, CPS and court staff packed Court Seven at Maidstone Crown Court.

Led by resident judge Julian Smith and senior barrister Philip Bennetts KC, they stood for two minutes in her honour.

The judge reminded everyone that it was Queen Elizabeth II who had opened the court on October 31, 1984.

Tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Bluewater Shopping Centre
Tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Bluewater Shopping Centre

He added: "Her Majesty meant many things to many people but she meant something to everyone.

"She meant something to all of us. She has been a constant in all of our lives and it will be a substantial and profound adjustment.

"We all feel a sense of knowledge and ownership of her which is our right and after so long a reign and it is clear she has always affected and influenced our lives."

The flag outside the court was lowered to half-mast yesterday.

Tributes were also made at Bluewater Shopping Centre, in Greenhithe, with pictures of the queen displayed around the mall.

Dartford Mayor Paul Cutler. Picture: Peter Alloway
Dartford Mayor Paul Cutler. Picture: Peter Alloway

This Sunday, Dartford will play its part in a historic ritual unchanged for generations.

The passing of one monarch and ascension of the next sees a formal proclamation made at St James’s Palace in London and also in towns like Dartford.

All residents will be welcome to join this moment of history by attending the ceremony at Memorial Gardens by Dartford Library at 3pm.

Mayor of Dartford, Cllr Paul Cutler, said: "Her Majesty The Queen has been a huge part of our lives as our monarch for 70 years. I know I speak on behalf of the people of Dartford when I say that her dedication and deep sense of civic duty have been an inspiration to countless lives.

"The many tributes we have already seen speak volumes to the impact Her Majesty's life had on the world. There may never be a figure like her again and we will miss her for many years to come. Now it is time for a new monarch and I know King Charles III will build on her amazing legacy. Long live the King."

Dartford Council Leader Jeremy Kite
Dartford Council Leader Jeremy Kite

Leader of Dartford Borough Council, Cllr Jeremy Kite, said: "The passing of Her Majesty The Queen is so desperately sad. For many of us who have known no other monarch it seems impossible to think that she is no longer there to lead and guide us. We can only be thankful that we were lucky enough to live in her time.

"This summer’s Platinum Jubilee seems a long way off but, looking back, we perhaps all knew that it was something of a goodbye and a huge national ‘thank you’. I am pleased we all had a chance to show Her Majesty what we all thought about her and how much we appreciated her service. God bless her."

Leader of the opposition, Cllr Kelly Grehan, added: "I’ve been deeply saddened by the death of The Queen. For over 70 years Queen Elizabeth II exemplified the values of duty and public service.

"She has been a source of stability and consistency in an ever changing world. I find it hard to imagine Great Britain without her. Rest in peace Ma’am."

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