Following the Queen’s passing earlier on Thursday at the age of 96, US President Joe Biden and other international leaders expressed their condolences.
At the British Embassy in Washington, where they unexpectedly stopped to sign a condolence book, the President and First Lady Jill Biden offered their condolences.
The President told the embassy personnel, “We sorrow for all of you. She was a terrific lady. We’re very happy we got to meet her.
When they were welcomed at the embassy by Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the US, the first lady also gave her a bouquet of flowers.
The Queen, who ruled Britain for the longest period of time—seven decades—was quoted by the president and the first lady as having “shaped an era.”
The White House released a statement that read, “Today, people across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their sadness. “We express our most sincere condolences to the Royal Family, who are mourning not just their beloved Queen but also their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, whose legacy will loom large in the pages of British history and in the story of our globe,” the statement reads.
President Biden declared on the Queen’s passing that American flags will be flown at half-staff “until the day of interment” at the White House, other federal buildings, military installations, and embassies abroad.
The Queen is “a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including those who have never known their nation without her,” according to the first couple’s statement.
The Queen endured the risks and hardships of a world war alongside the British people and inspired them to look forward to better days during the devastation of a global pandemic, according to the White House statement. “Supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example,” the statement continued.
The Queen “deepened the foundational Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States” and “was a stateswoman of unsurpassed dignity and constancy,” the Bidens continued.
The statement made reference to the “special relationship” between the UK and the US, a term originated by Winston Churchill, and stated that “she helped make our partnership special.” Additionally, the Bidens expressed their desire to keep up their “tight connection” with King Charles III and the Queen Consort.
The Bidens reflected on their time spent together and recalled their first encounter with Queen Elizabeth in 1982 when flying to the UK as part of a Senate mission.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier on Thursday that the last time Biden and the Queen spoke and interacted was during the President’s trip to the UK in June 2021.
World Leaders Express Grief
Following the news of the Queen’s passing, condolences have poured in from leaders around the UK, the Commonwealth, and the rest of the world.
According to Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, the Scots “love and admire” the Queen.
Sturgeon continued, alluding to the Queen’s final home, Balmoral, saying, “And by all accounts, Her Majesty was rarely happier than when she was here in Scotland at her beloved Balmoral.”
The Queen was “a constant presence in our lives — and her devotion to Canadians will forever remain a significant part of our country’s history,” according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.
He stated, “Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion, and kindness as we look back at her life and her reign that lasted so many decades.
The monarch had led a “long life committed to duty, family, faith, and service,” according to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who noted that it was “obvious Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia.” As head of state, the Queen made 16 trips to the country.
After the Queen passed away, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, paid tribute to her in a speech to the nation, noting that she had come to “define notions of service, charity, and consistency.”
In addition, Ardern declared that New Zealand would enter an official period of mourning. Half-staff will be flown for all flags. A state memorial is being planned; it will take place following the Queen’s ceremonial funeral in the UK.
The news of her demise awoke Asian leaders on Friday.
The Queen and I had “memorable meetings,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in a statement. He added, “During one of the sessions, she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her at her wedding. I will always treasure that gesture.”
Reminder that Queen Elizabeth is not a remnant of colonial times. She was an active participant in colonialism. She actively tried to stop independence movements & she tried to keep newly independent colonies from leaving the commonwealth. The evil she did was enough https://t.co/SDGi0boCzx
— Nsafoa's Feminist Duck 🏳️🌈 (@YaaAsantewaaBa) September 8, 2022
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his “deep sadness” over her demise. Singapore is a former British colony in Southeast Asia. “Her Majesty left a huge influence on Singapore’s history and our long-standing close relations with the United Kingdom. Her loss is sincerely regretted by everyone in Singapore,” Lee said in public statements posted on his official social media accounts.
Yoon Suk Yeol, the president of South Korea, expressed his sympathy on Friday. He tweeted, “Her excellent nature and acts will live on in our memories. “She left significant legacies of dignity and had a strong commitment to the cause of human freedom.”
The Queen, who resides in Japan, which is home to the oldest continuous monarchy in the world, has improved relations between Britain and Japan, according to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. “The passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who has guided Britain through a trying time in the world, is not simply a huge loss for the citizens of the UK but for the international community,” Kishida said in a statement to reporters on Friday.
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan expressed her “deepest sympathies to the British government and the Royal Family” and commended the Queen as the “backbone of global democracy.”
Micheál Martin, the Taoiseach of Ireland, described her demise as “the end of an era” and noted that her “knowledge and experience were genuinely unique” and that her “dedication to duty and public service were self-evident.”
In an open letter to the new King, Pope Francis complimented the Queen for being a “steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ.”
“I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will support you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your exalted obligations as King,” the Pope said. “Commending her beautiful soul to the gracious goodness of our Heavenly Father.”
“I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting imprint on her country and her century,” wrote French President Emmanuel Macron of the Queen, who “embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years.”
“It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the whole United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” wrote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a tweet.
The Queen “was a role model and inspiration for millions, particularly here in Germany,” according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “Her devotion to German-British reconciliation after the tragedies of World War II will remain unforgotten. She will be missed, not least for her delightful humor,” he added.
In a statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “Her Majesty’s name is intrinsically associated with the most significant events in the history of the United Kingdom.”
For many years, Elizabeth II had earned the adoration and respect of her citizens as well as prominence on the international stage, according to Putin. I send you my best wishes for bravery and tenacity in the face of this terrible, irreversible loss.
Hundreds of additional countries, from Pakistan to Panama, have expressed their condolences.
Former US presidents offer their sympathies
Following her passing, former American presidents have also expressed their sympathies.
George W. Bush, who greeted the Queen when she visited the US while he was president, remembers visiting Buckingham Palace and getting to know her well-known corgis.
Having tea with Her Majesty and her corgis when visiting Buckingham Palace was one of Bush’s favourite presidential experiences, he wrote. “Our globe benefited from Queen Elizabeth’s steadfast resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign,” the statement reads. “Queen Elizabeth ably guided England through hard circumstances with her trust in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow.”
She “secured and advanced alliances with the United States and countries around the world” through her leadership and persevering diplomacy, according to a statement from Donald and Melania Trump. However, she will always be remembered for her loyalty to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow citizens.
Trump stated, “What a grand and beautiful lady she was — there was nobody like her. (We) will always appreciate our time with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s gracious friendship, profound wisdom, and fantastic sense of humor.
As a leader who “made the role her own,” the Obamas remembered the Queen.
They stated, “In the decades that followed, she would go on to make the role of Queen her own — with a reign defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic, defying the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation. Her Majesty was just 25 years old when she took on the enormous task of helming one of the world’s great democracies.
She was remembered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as having “unfailing grace, decency, and genuine compassion for the welfare of all its people” as they acknowledged her passing.
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