Queen Mourned Globally As Stabilising Force In Tumultuous Age
The death of Queen Elizabeth II prompted an outpouring of condolences from global leaders.
(Bloomberg) -- The death of Queen Elizabeth II prompted an outpouring of condolences from global leaders, many noting that her long reign provided constancy to a world beset by wars, a pandemic and other crises.
US President Joe Biden issued a statement saying the Queen “defined an era.”
“In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons,” Biden said. “The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.”
Biden last met with Elizabeth in June 2021, when she hosted him at Windsor Castle during his visit to the UK for the Group of Seven Summit in Cornwall.
Elizabeth, 96, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died at her estate in Balmoral, Scotland on the afternoon of Sept. 8, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. She had celebrated her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, marking 70 years of service.
“Her Majesty the Queen has embodied the continuity and the unity of the British Nation for more than 70 years,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet. “I keep the memory of a friend of France, a queen of heart that has marked her country and her century forever.”
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said she “guaranteed stability in time of crisis and was able to keep alive the value of tradition in a society in constant and profound evolution.”
In London, newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss announced that the crown had passed to the queen’s eldest son, King Charles III.
“God save the King,” she said.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin paid tribute to the monarch’s role in securing peace in Northern Ireland, saying her “commitment to and support for the Good Friday Agreement, reconciliation and mutual understanding was critical to advancing positive relations on these islands and is deeply appreciated by the Irish people.”
In the US, flags were ordered flown at half-staff an the Capitol and White House in Washington -- and at other and federal buildings across the nation until sunset on the day the Queen in interred. The New York Stock Exchange observed a a moment of silence.
“Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget her majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor,” former president Donald Trump said in a statement.
Another former US president, Barack Obama, noted that she’d worked with 15 prime ministers “and countless foreign heads of state.”
“She listened deeply, thought strategically, and was responsible for considerable diplomatic achievements,” Obama said in a statement. “And yet, she wore her lofty titles with a light touch -- as willing to act in a comic sketch for the London Olympics as she was to record steadying messages for the people of the UK during the Covid-19 lockdowns.”
In London, some theater shows canceled their evening productions, while the city’s famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew said it would be closed Friday. A planned strike by postal workers for Friday was called off as the UK heads into a 10-day mourning period. British television networks switched programming to tributes to the Queen.
Read more: Charles Becomes King as Face of the United Kingdom Changes
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose war-torn nation has benefited from significant British aid in its conflict with Russia, tweeted that his nation extended “sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
In Canada, a member of the British Commonwealth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “in a complicated world, her steady grace and resolve brought comfort and strength to us all.”
“She was one of my favorite people in the world, and I will miss her so,” Trudeau, the 12th Canadian leader to serve during her reign, said during a retreat with his cabinet members in Vancouver.
(Updates with more leaders throughout)
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