The mayor of Tavistock has been paying tribute to the Queen’s ‘quiet dignity and devotion to her duty’ as the nation mourns her passing tonight.

Speaking to the Times Paul Ward said: ‘Like many people of my generation, I have only known one monarch until today, and that was, of course Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. We all knew this day would come, but it is nevertheless an enormous shock.

‘I have always greatly respected and admired the Queen. When she acceded to the throne, she promised to serve her people for as long as she lived. She has more than honoured that promise and has been an example to us all.

‘We will miss the Queen’s quiet dignity, her devotion to her duties and her people, her stabilising influence in times of turbulence, and we will also miss her twinkling eyes and dry sense of humour.

‘We will now respect the period of official mourning and begin to adapt to a new era, that of our new monarch, King Charles the 3rd. My fellow town councillors and I are thinking of the members of the Royal Family at this sad and difficult time and offer them our sincerest condolences.’