After the announcement of the Queen's death on Thursday at the age of 96, Hackney residents reflect on what she meant to them and to the country.

Shanty Smith, who is just about to graduate from University, said: "One thing I would say is that for someone that we've been seeing our whole lives and cared about our whole lives, including the rest of the royal family, it's weird that she inevitably passed away.

"I was at home when I heard the news. I thought it was fake. Obviously, she was getting on but she's just one of those people who you feel like will live forever."

Hackney Gazette: Shanty Smith lives in Dalston in HackneyShanty Smith lives in Dalston in Hackney (Image: Archant)

Neil, also from Dalston, said: "I think I probably became more upset than I imagined myself to. But, I think it's probably the passing of a moment in time rather than the queen herself.

"I think she represents a piece of history and I've got that slightly nostalgic feeling that we're never going to have that type of commitment that she showed to that job again... it's more about the passing of that type of person that the queen herself."

Atinuke Olatumbe, a health worker from Hackney Central, was told the news by her daughter: "I was walking and I got back home and my daughter said: 'Mum, did you know the Queen has gone?'"

"I said: 'Oh my god!' I was shocked.

"I'm not happy because she was the mother of all nations, most especially here. Being African and coming here and being accepted, I felt connected to her."

Hackney Gazette: Atinuke Olatumbe was shocked by the news of the Queen's deathAtinuke Olatumbe was shocked by the news of the Queen's death (Image: Archant)

The Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, and speaker of Hackney Cllr Humaira Garasia said in a statement: “On behalf of the whole of Hackney, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family after the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

“A constant in all our lives and in the modern-day history of the United Kingdom, the Queen was our longest-serving monarch, providing certainty and reassurance throughout her 70-year reign - both in times of peace and in uncertainty."