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Politicians in Muskoka offer condolences to Royal Family

With Queen Elizabeth II’s passing at the age of 96, many politicians in Muskoka are expressing their condolences to the Royal Family.

“Like all Canadians, I am devastated to hear about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” a statement from Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison reads. “For 70 years, Canada has benefitted from her grace and leadership. This is a tremendous loss for both the Commonwealth and the entire world. My thoughts are with the Royal Family.”

Elizabeth is the longest-reigning British monarch at over 70 years.

“Throughout the past 70 years, the Queen had led with dignity, selflessness, and grace,” Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Graydon Smith wrote on Twitter.

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“I, like so many growing up, only knew her as Monarch,” Gravenhurst Mayor Paul Kelly wrote shortly after Elizabeth’s death was publically announced Thursday afternoon. “An unbelievable model for so many. Thank you to her family for sharing this great leader with the world.”

On July 4, 1959, when the barge at Gull Lake Rotary Park was set to be officially unveiled to the public, Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip attended. “I can remember the Queen coming up the highway with the motorcade and coming into Gravenhurst and the barge and the park was a stop along the way,” explains Fred Schulz, Coordinator for Music on the Barge. He says there were over 5,000 people around the park that day. “It couldn’t have been any more exciting,” he continues.

“I was way, way back,” Schulz adds, so he wasn’t close enough to see the Queen. However, Schulz says just seeing her drive by in an open-top convertible was an incredible experience. “What a moment in history for Gravenhurst,” he says.

Buckingham Palace officials say the Queen passed away at her home in Scotland. Prince Charles now becomes King of England, with his son Prince William next in line.

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