Tributes are being paid to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II across East Lothian today as locals remember the impact of her visits and her legacy.
Flags are at half mast at council buildings and books of condolence are expected to be available to the public by this afternoon at council headquarters John Muir House, Haddington and The Brunton, Musselburgh.
Provost John McMillan led tributes saying: "Her Majesty was the most widely travelled monarch of all time visiting countries in all five continents but of course also retained a particular fondness for Scotland.
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"She visited East Lothian on a number of occasions – the most recent visit was in 2016 to mark the 200 the anniversary of Musselburgh Racecourse.
“During 2022, the year of her Platinum Jubilee, local communities across East Lothian including schools, businesses, community groups and individuals embraced the challenge of the Queen’s Green Canopy and planted trees in a variety of sites across the county that will serve as enduring tributes to her reign.
"East Lothian joins the rest of the nation, Commonwealth and wider world in a period of mourning that acknowledges the passing of an incredible individual whose commitment and longevity to public duty is unlikely to ever be equalled.”
It is understood flags will be raised on Sunday when the Provost and East Lothian's Lord Lieutenant will read a proclamation outside the Corn Exchange, Haddington, declaring the new King Charles III.
Flags will return to half mast following the proclamation until the day after the Queen's state funeral.
Original plans for the Queen's final journey from Scotland had been to travel on the Royal train through the county, however changes to the protocol were made last year and it is now expected Her Majesty's body will be flown from Edinburgh to London after lying in state in St Giles Cathedral for two days.
At Musselburgh Racecourse, which is described as the 'jewel in East Lothian's crown', staff and directors expressed their "deep sadness" at her loss.
They said: "We were fortunate to benefit from two Royal visits by Her Majesty over a 25 year period and to be able to celebrate her lifelong interest in equine affairs and particularly horse racing.
"In 1995 we were honoured when Her Majesty made her first visit to the Honest Toun to perform the opening of The Queen’s Stand, our then new £500,000 hospitality facility.
"It was just more than 21 years to the day – 8 July 2016 – that Her Majesty returned to Musselburgh Racecourse, this time to help us celebrate our 200th anniversary. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, she watched the racing from the stand she opened in 1995 ."
Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said: “Like the rest of the nation and everyone involved in horse-racing, we are deeply saddened to hear this news.
"On her second visit to Musselburgh Racecourse to mark our 200 th anniversary The Queen took a genuine interest in the development and history of the racecourse, and I remember fondly the day as a true celebration of horse-racing and one on which she put smiles on countless faces.”
During the bicentennial visit the Royal Regiments of Scotland performed along with their Shetland pony mascots Cruachan III and Cruachan IV.
It was not the first time the Queen had come face to face with Cruachan IV, whose behaviour on the day was better than on other occasions when he reportedly took a bite out of her bouquet, loudly neighed at her when she turned her back on him and, on one meeting bared his teeth.
East Lothian’s Lord-Lieutenant, Roderick Urquhart, also paid tribute to Her Majesty's selfless work through her 70 year reign.
He added: "Her visits to East Lothian were many and varied over the years, and in particular I have happy memories of her visiting the Lamp of Lothian in Haddington in 2007, and joining the bicentenary celebrations of Musselburgh Racecourse in 2016.
“As Lord-Lieutenant I have been fortunate to carry out many duties on behalf of The Queen, including the presentation of Honours to local residents, and celebrating 100 th birthdays and Diamond Wedding anniversaries, as well as presenting Queens Awards. On each of these occasions I have been aware of the huge respect and fondness for our monarch."
And he paid his condolences to King Charles III as he takes on the role of monarch.
He said: "Whilst in this period of mourning, we must also recognise the succession within the monarchy, and the inheritance of the Crown by her heir, Charles.
"As King, Charles will inevitably be a different monarch, but one who will help evolve a new modern relevance to the monarchy, as well as being a true and confident successor to HM The Queen, in continuing the twin roles of head of state and head of the nation and Commonwealth, in the 21 st Century.”
Politicians also paid tribute with South of Scotland MSP Craig Hoy saying: "Her Majesty The Queen represented the very best of our nation throughout her long service.
"The dedication and commitment of Her Majesty to this country was unmatched and was recognised right across East Lothian and far beyond.
"For seven decades, The Queen led our country through good times and bad, showing an unwavering presence of strength in each and every national moment of adversity.
"Her Majesty’s passing will be felt intensely across East Lothian, and also across Scotland, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth - and in every part of the world.
"A caring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and a monarch, the Queen combined a delightful sense of humour with an intense commitment to duty.
"My thoughts are with the Royal Family, the people of East Lothian and the entire country at this very sad, difficult time."
And South Scotland MSP Martin Whitfield said: "Her Majesty’s passing is a sad time for people in East Lothian and the whole country, but most of all for the Royal Family who have lost a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. Our hearts go out to the family and my deepest condolences are with them.
“Throughout her reign, the Queen was always a great source of reassurance, compassion and unity, linking people and communities locally, through to a national level in Scotland, the UK and the Commonwealth. Her dedication to public service and to the nation was an inspiration to all and will never be forgotten.
“In East Lothian we were fortunate to welcome her on various visits over the years, including to Musselburgh Racecourse, and I know that the people who met her will cherish the memories of those times.”
East Lothian MSP Paul McLennan said: "My thoughts and prayers go to the family of Queen Elizabeth at this time.
"She served with duty throughout her reign as she pledged to do in 1952, and was an example of service, faith and duty across those years.
"People across East Lothian will have fond memories of her many visits to the County across the years. I offer my condolences to her family and friends."
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