'The Royal Scottish Academy was deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral on 8 September 2026. It came as a complete surprise after seeing the press footage of her receiving the outgoing and incoming Prime Ministers two days earlier.
'Her service and devotion to duty over the past 70 years has been exceptional. I remember watching her coronation when I was six years old on a small screen housed in a boxed cabinet. It was an extraordinary occasion, a celebration to have a young queen. It offered a beacon of light for the future when the country was recovering from the devastation of war and still undergoing rationing.
'We at the Academy have been honoured over many years by the visits of Her Majesty and HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during the Annual Exhibition which coincided with their June visit to Edinburgh. Since her Coronation, she has signed all the vellum Diplomas which are presented on election to all elected Members of the Academy, a handsome document that each one of us treasures. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Queen in 1973 when I was a student at the Royal College of Art in London. I was immediately struck by her powerful presence.
'She was our longest serving and a most remarkable monarch, the matriarch of our nation and the Commonwealth. She will be sorely missed by us all. On behalf of the Academy I send our deep condolences to King Charles III and the Royal Family in their time of grief.'
Joyce W. Cairns PRSA D.ED (hc) HRA HRHA HRWA HRBA RSW