Italy reacts to death of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella has offered his condolences on behalf of Italy on the death of Queen Elizabeth II who died in Balmoral on Thursday afternoon at the age of 96.

“A figure of exceptional importance enters history”, Mattarella said in a statement, hailing the Queen’s “authoritative wisdom and very high sense of responsibility” and “above all the generosity of spirit” with which she dedicated “her long life to the service of British citizens and the wider Commonwealth family.”

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi also expressed his deepest condolences, hailing the Queen as a “key figure in world history over the last 70 years” and “the most beloved symbol of her country.”

“She represented the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth with poise, wisdom, respect for institutions and democracy”, and “ensured stability in moments of crisis”, Draghi said in a statement.

Pope Francis offered prayers for “the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.”

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died peacefully at the royal family’s Scottish estate Balmoral, after reigning for 70 years.

All four of her children travelled to be by her side including Prince Charles who became king immediately after his mother’s death.