SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth in the House of Commons, saying “for many in Scotland, she was Elizabeth, Queen of Scots”.

All clothed in black, MPs in Westminster have been paying their respects to the monarch since midday following her death at Balmoral on Thursday.

Blackford described her as a “steady hand” and a “perpetual symbol of stability” and ended his speech with “God bless the Queen”.

He told the House: “The grief and mourning which reverberates around this chamber and across the world, will be all the more acute for the King and members of the Royal Family.

“Only they can understand the deep personal loss of a close family member, and people across society who have similarly lost loved ones, will understand the pain that they must feel, as we ensure our heartfelt condolences are with them today.

“Over the coming days people up and down these islands will seek to come to terms, in their own private way, with the loss of one of the true constants in all our lives.

“In that regard, my thoughts are also with … (the) Prime Minister, just days into office and having to come to terms with the enormity of the loss of the head of state and show the leadership that is now required in her position.

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“We can also help but dwell on the late Queen who right to the end fulfilled her duty by appointing the new Prime Minister.

"For many, she has been a steady hand guiding the ship, and the perpetual symbol of stability.  

“Her Majesty’s roots in Scotland run deep. She is descended from the Royal House of Stuart on both sides of her family and, of course, her mother was from Glamis in Angus.

“It is clear that these family ties gave way to a great and enduring affection and Scotland was a place that was truly held dear to her, not only in an official capacity but in a private capacity as well.

“For many in Scotland, she was Elizabeth, Queen of Scots. God bless the Queen, God bless the King.”

He added that it was "fitting" she died at Balmoral which he said was her "favourite home". 

Prime Minister Liz Truss said the Queen shared her “deep experience of government” when the two met at Balmoral earlier this week.

The National: Queen Elizabeth in her final days at BalmoralQueen Elizabeth in her final days at Balmoral (Image: PA)

She said: “She remained determined to carry out her duties even at the age of 96.

“Her devotion to duty remains an example to us all. She carried out thousands of engagements, she took a red box everyday, she gave her assent to countless pieces of legislation and was at the heart of our national life for seven decades.

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“She was a champion of freedom and democracy around the world. She was dignified but not distant. She was willing to have fun.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the Queen played a “crucial role” in public life and paid tribute to the messages she delivered during the pandemic.

He said: “Our Queen played a crucial role as the thread between the history we cherish and the present we own.

“Never was this link more important than when our country was plunged into lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

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“Her simple message: that we would see family again, that we would see friends again, that we would be together again, gave people strength and courage when they needed it most.

“At the time we were most alone, at a time we had been driven apart, she held the nation close, in a way no one else could have done.”