FLAGS are flying at half mast as the Wee County mourns the death of the queen.

Books of condolence have been opened in Alloa and Tillicoultry since the monarch passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle on Thursday, September 8.

Dignitaries, members of the clergy and the public were at Alloa Town Hall the day after to sign the book of condolence there, available to the public between 9am and 6pm this week.

A separate book of condolence is available at the Ben Cleuch Centre in Tillicoultry.

Representatives, led by Clackmannanshire Lord Lieutenant Lt Col (Retd) Johnny Stewart and Clackmannanshire Council chief executive Nikki Bridle along with Provost Donald Balsillie, returned to the town hall on Sunday.

The accession proclamation was read by the chief executive at 4pm that afternoon, following on from the proclamation being read in London and Edinburgh.

In recognition of the new monarch, King Charles III, flags were flown at full-mast for around an hour before returning to half-mast in mourning.

Leading tributes to a “remarkable lady” was Lord Lieutenant Johnny Stewart, the personal representative of the crown in the county.

He said: “Although we have all seen her frailty in recent months, the actual news of her death has still come as a shock to the nation.

“The longest serving monarch in the history of the country has reigned during seven decades of unprecedented change but has remained throughout a beacon of stability and, above all, duty.”

Mr Stewart added: “Few, if any, have served the nation in the way in which she has and for the vast majority of the British people they have known no other monarch.

“She took great pride in all of the charitable works which she undertook and was a fierce defender of the Commonwealth and all that it now represented.

“No one, even those less disposed to the monarchy, doubted the service which was given by her and which will in all likelihood never be repeated.

“One must not forget that, as well as being the head of state, she was a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and that her passing will be a time of great personal grief to her entire family.

“To all of them, we extend our condolences and our gratitude for the years of unstinting service to the nation.”

The accession proclamation was a historic public occasion with a crowd gathering at the town hall to bear witness.

The state funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey next Monday, September 19 – the end of that day mark the closure of a period of national mourning.

In Clackmannanshire, a county-wide service of thanksgiving will be held on Tuesday, September 20, at St Mungo's Parish Church from 6pm.

Chief executive Nikki Bridle added: “As we reflect upon Her Majesty’s lifetime of dedicated service, I think she will be remembered for her enormous sense of duty and commitment to public service.”