Liz Truss hailed the Queen as the “rock on which modern Britain was built”, as she led tributes to the country’s longest-serving monarch.
The Prime Minister said the death of Elizabeth, aged 96, was a “huge shock” to the nation and to the world.
Speaking in Downing Street, Ms Truss described the Queen as the “very spirit of Great Britain” before declaring: “That spirit will endure.”
She also said: “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign.
“Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”
Ms Truss added: “Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed.”
Ms Truss, who met the Queen on Tuesday to be confirmed as the new Prime Minister, paid tribute to the Queen’s “dignity and grace” during her 70-year reign.
She said: “In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends, across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world, to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service.
“It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy.