CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie ‘saddened’ by passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Photo courtesy: Steve Parsons/Pool via AP

Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie took to Twitter on Thursday to share his condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

“Saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. What a truly remarkable and historic life and reign,” Ambrosie tweeted in a statement that was later shared by the CFL.

Queen Elizabeth, the longest reigning monarch in British history and Canada’s official head of state, passed away Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96 years old.

Her 70-year reign began in 1952 when she was just 25 years of age. Over that span, Queen Elizabeth made 22 official visits to Canada and took in the occasional CFL game.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were the first CFL team to express their condolences to the Royal Family, sharing a picture of the Queen clutching a Ticats program.

In 1977, after attending a game between the Ottawa Rough Riders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats alongside Her Majesty, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau commented on the experience.

“I was telling you yesterday, Your Majesty, after we walked from centre field during the football game, I was very pleased to be seen publicly with you because that is one of the rare occasions when there are no hecklers in the crowd,” he said at a dinner the next day.

“I feel surrounded by friends and indeed, that is the impression one gets when one follows you when you meet Canadians.”

Canadian football has a longstanding connection to the monarchy, with both the CFL’s Grey Cup and the U Sports’ Vanier Cup donated and named after former Governor-Generals, the Crown’s appointed representative in Canada. In a statement acknowledging the 100th Grey Cup in 2012, the Queen noted that due to this fact, “the link between the Canadian Crown and Canadian football is particularly meaningful.”

The Queen’s son, Charles, has automatically ascended to the throne. He is currently 73 years old.