In a statement, McLachlan paid tribute to the longest-standing British monarch in history.
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“The AFL is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” he said.
“We extend our sympathies to the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom during this very difficult time.”
McLachlan recalled the famous moment the Queen attended the 1970 VFL season opener between Richmond and Fitzroy.
“Her Majesty was a woman of the people,” McLachlan said.
“This was never more evident than when she attended the 1970 season-opening Richmond v Fitzroy game at the MCG, unfurling Richmond’s 1969 premiership flag, happily meeting players and eagerly learning about our game.
“Her grit, humility and devotion to the Commonwealth will be remembered by all long after her reign. May she rest in peace.”
In honour and remembrance of Her Majesty’s life, a minute silence will be observed before the National Anthem at both tonight and tomorrow’s semi-final matches, and flags will be flown at half-mast.
A minute silence will also be observed before all AFLW and VFL matches this weekend.
Meantime, the AFL will have some thinking to do about Brownlow medal night.
September 19 is currently being mooted as the date for the Queen’s funeral, which will clash with the Brownlow.
Given the obvious coverage and attention on arguably the most significant funeral of the past 150 years, 7NEWS reporter Tom Browne believes the AFL may consider a shift in date for footy’s night of nights.
“With discussion surrounding the Queen’s funeral possibly on September 19 … the AFL is looking at moving the Brownlow medal on the same night,” he said.
“Footy isn’t important by comparison … I’m just reporting on the likely date clash”.