Friday (September 8) marks a year since Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 and the nation, some of whom didn't know life before the monarch, would lose its longest-serving monarch. 

On the day itself, an outpouring of emotion was seen across the UK, with flowers and tributes given to Her Majesty, which would be seen for the next ten days of national mourning. 

To mark one year since the Queen died, The Northern Echo looks at how we covered the monarch's death and the North East's reaction to the passing of the Queen, who reigned for 70 years.

Read more: First anniversary of death of Queen Elizabeth II: A life dedicated to royal duty

The day of the Queen's death

Rumours regarding the Queen's health began to circulate early on the morning of September 8, and the Palace released a 'concerning' statement about her condition at 12.32pm.

The late Queen died at 3.10pm, her death certificate later revealed, with the cause listed as “old age”.

News of the monarch’s death and the accession of Charles as King was announced to the world by Buckingham Palace just over three hours later at 6.30pm.

The Northern Echo: The last photo of Queen Elizabeth IIThe last photo of Queen Elizabeth II (Image: PA MEDIA)

An unprecedented situation

After learning of the news of the Queen's death, The Northern Echo was like any other newsroom up and down the country - reporters and editors were scrambled to deal with the unprecedented situation. 

Each one of the team hadn't experienced a monarch before Queen Elizabeth II, and, as well as understandable emotion, The Northern Echo assembled to cover the local and national reaction to the longest-serving monarch.

All of the reaction, and the tributes that were paid nationally and locally, went towards a special memorial edition of the newspaper on September 9. 

The Northern Echo: Queen Elizabeth IIQueen Elizabeth II (Image: PA)

Featuring numerous pages of tributes in the newspaper, the monarch's appearances in the North East, plans for councils and emergency services in the region and national lines were all included. 

A fitting tribute to Her Majesty was made on the back of the paper. In white text on a black background, it featured the famous quote from the Queen: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service."  

The Northern Echo: The front page of The Northern Echo on September 8The front page of The Northern Echo on September 8 (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)     The Northern Echo: The back page of The Northern Echo on September 9The back page of The Northern Echo on September 9 (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Local reaction to the Queen's death

Along with other places across the UK, the North East were in mourning for the Queen - with communities paying their own special tributes on the day of the monarch's death.

In County Durham, royal superfan Anita Atkinson compared Her Majesty's death as “like a passing in the family”.

The Northern Echo: Anita AtkinsonAnita Atkinson (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Anita Atkinson, 56, has been collecting royal memorabilia all her life, and has amassed a huge collection of items on her converted dairy farm in Weardale, County Durham – which boasts around 12,000 items in total.

At the time of the Queen’s death, the County Durham grandmother said she’s “not usually an emotional person” but broke down in tears at the sad news – saying that the Queen was “an absolute constant” in her day-to-day life.

The Northern Echo: Floral tributes for the Queen in DarlingtonFloral tributes for the Queen in Darlington (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

“I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it. I know she’s 96, but she’s such a strong character, and I can’t remember the Queen not being in my life at any point,” Mrs Atkinson said.

As well as mourning the death of the treasured monarch a year ago today, Mrs Atkinson also wanted to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II – praising her as “a perfect role model” and “serving the commonwealth with utter devotion”.

Elsewhere, floral tributes were set out in Darlington, Durham, Northallerton, Newcastle, and other towns and cities across the North East and North Yorkshire.

The Northern Echo: A Darlington tribute to the QueenA Darlington tribute to the Queen (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

In Darlington, the mood was a sombre one, with The Northern Echo asking people about the Queen's legacy, with one person saying: “70 years is such a long time and it’s all I’ve ever known.

"I can’t really imagine having a King. I do know there’s been some negative stuff on social media about it all and I just think that’s so disrespectful and unnecessary. She’s served this country well and that should be respected.”

Across the region, events were cancelled, including the Great North Run 5k, Darlington Blues Festival, Billingham Show, and Saltburn Hill climb, alongside national events, such as Premier League Football.

Proclamation of King Charles III

On September 10, the nation’s new monarch King Charles III was formally declared head of state during a historic ceremony.

In a new moment for the majority of the nation, the King was confirmed during a meeting of the Accession Council attended by privy councillors at St James’s Palace in London.

The Northern Echo: The proclamation of King Charles IIThe proclamation of King Charles II (Image: PA MEDIA)

Across the region, hundreds of residents gathered in Darlington during the King's proclamation

Among those in attendance, were Darlington MP Peter Gibson, Darlington Borough Council leader Jonathon Dulston and former leader, Heather Scott.

Commander Ian Berry MBE, deputy lord lieutenant of County Durham opened the ceremony.

The Northern Echo: Hundreds gathered in Darlington for the proclamation of King Charles IIIHundreds gathered in Darlington for the proclamation of King Charles III (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

He stressed that the sadness felt was “shared by people across the Globe, as we remember with great affection and gratitude a lifetime of service given by our longest remaining monarch.”

The Northern Echo marked the proclamation with a front page dedicated to the King's speech that he made during the event. 

His most emotive quotes were included on the front, alongside a picture of the King.

The Northern Echo: The King's proclamation edition of The Northern EchoThe King's proclamation edition of The Northern Echo (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

'Thank you for everything Ma'am' - the public pay their respects as the Queen lies in state 

After almost a week of mourning since the Queen's death, there was a period of the monarch lying in state - for people to pay their respects. 

At the Lying-in-State, The Queen’s closed coffin rested on a raised platform in Westminster Hall and was draped in the Royal Standard with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top.

The Northern Echo: The Queen Ying in StateThe Queen Ying in State (Image: PA MEDIA)

Each corner of the platform was guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

The public was able to attend the lying in state from 5pm on Wednesday, September 14 until 6.30 am on the day of her funeral (Monday, September 19.

Locally, Joyce Dawson, 54, from Middlesbrough, travelled down for the Queen’s lying in state after seeing the first people in the queue.

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo front page on September 14 The Northern Echo front page on September 14 (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

She said at the time: “I texted my daughter and said ‘We have to go to London tonight’, so we’re here. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.”

She and her daughter Shelby, 26, who has also never been to London before, got on the midnight coach from Middlesbrough and joined the queue at about 8am.

Joyce added: “It’s just nice to be a part of this. It’s exciting, I’m dead excited, I’m like a little kid.”

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo's front page on September 16The Northern Echo's front page on September 16 (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

In The Northern Echo, the lying in state process was covered with a picture of the Queen's coffin arriving in London with the headline 'You're Home Ma'am' on September 14. 

Two days later, the newspaper put on the front page of the floral tributes outside Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, and Balmoral with the backing of "This is For You, Ma'am."

At this point, thousands of flowers, memorial items and tributes had been laid at Buckingham Palace, with King Charles III and the Queen Consort visiting crowds of people mourning between September 14 and 18.

The Queen's funeral (September 19)

A chance to give Her Majesty a final send-off, people queued on The Mall from September 18, with mourners coming from across the globe to pay their respects to the longest-serving monarch. 

The flowers and tributes still lined Buckingham Palace, as well as Sandringham and Balmoral. 

The Northern Echo: Floral tributes are laid next to Buckingham PalaceFloral tributes are laid next to Buckingham Palace (Image: PA MEDIA)

The Northern Echo reporters Chris Lloyd and Daniel Hordon went down to London to cover the funeral and get a sense of the emotion of the day. 

In the North East and North Yorkshire, churches up and down the region streamed the funeral live and held memorial events, including in Darlington, Richmond, Northallerton, Ripon, Durham, Newcastle and parts of Teesside. 

The streets were eerie before the funeral, with The Northern Echo capturing images of the streets of Darlington completely empty. The Northern Echo: Rows and rows of flowers in Durham CityRows and rows of flowers in Durham City (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

The North East connections and the Queen's funeral were also aplenty, with numerous people from the region involved in the unprecedented event. 

19-year-old David Sanderson, originally from Morpeth, was selected to be one of the eight soldiers from the Queen’s Company 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, who bore the oak casket in London and Windsor.

The Northern Echo: The empty streets of Darlington on the day of the Queen's funeralThe empty streets of Darlington on the day of the Queen's funeral (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Durham Constabulary sent along 60 of their officers to London to give mutual aid to the Metropolitan Police.

Lynn McManus, of North Shields, was the only member of the public from the region to be invited to the State event.

The Northern Echo: Lynn McManus, of North ShieldsLynn McManus, of North Shields (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

At the time, she said: “It was absolutely breathtakingly magnificent - the atmosphere, the pageantry, all the dignitaries and all the best of the armed forces on parade.

“And then of course there was the Royal family. It was such an honour to be there.

“I kept saying to the woman sitting next to me ‘I just can’t believe I am sitting here’. It was just magnificent. Quite surreal."

The Northern Echo: 19-year-old David Sanderson, originally from Morpeth19-year-old David Sanderson, originally from Morpeth (Image: PA MEDIA)

In The Northern Echo newsroom, with two reporters down in London, the remaining reporters in the North East covered local areas for events and church streaming events to mark the Queen's funeral.

On the front page of the day after the funeral, The Northern Echo put together a commemorative issue, which had a wrap-around of aerial photos of the Queen's coffin carried out of Westminster Abbey, where the funeral took place. 

An up-close picture of the Queen's coffin with the text 'She made history, she was history' was the main front page on September 20.

Here's The Northern Echo's front pages the day after the Queen's funeral:

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

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How the one-year anniversary will be marked

As said on PA: "Queen Elizabeth II was the royal family’s rock, popular with the public, and untainted by the House of Windsor’s scandals."

It's understood that the King and Queen will mark the moment on Friday privately at their Scottish retreat, where they are spending their traditional summer break.

Plans for a permanent memorial to the late Queen and a national legacy programme in her honour will be unveiled in 2026 to mark what would have been Elizabeth II’s centenary year.

The Northern Echo: Queen Elizabeth IIQueen Elizabeth II (Image: PA MEDIA)

The Queen Elizabeth Memorial Committee will consider and recommend proposals for a “fitting tribute” to the nation’s longest-reigning monarch following her death in September 2022.

The Government said it would support the proposals and consider funding options.

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The plans will be unveiled to coincide with what would have been the Queen’s hundredth birthday in 2026.

Locally, it's expected that public buildings will erect flags to mark the occasion. 

However, no formal events have been confirmed in the North East.