From Biden to Putin, global leaders mourn the death of ‘dignified, strong’ Queen Elizabeth II
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss called the demise of Queen Elizabeth II a “day of great loss”, while US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden credited the late monarch for her “unmatched dignity and constancy” that strengthened the alliance between their countries.
Condolences poured from across the globe as Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, breathed her last on Thursday aged 96. In a a short statement, Buckingham Palace announced her demise, paving way for as many as 10 days of national mourning. With her death, Queen's eldest son - Charles - immediately succeeded as the new king of Britain.
Tributes came from various political leaders, country heads and even United Nations as the Queen - an icon - passed away.
Here are some of the tributes:
1. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss
Addressing media persons outside the 10 Downing Street, newly elected British PM Liz Truss said the late Queen Elizabeth II was the “rock on which modern Britain was built”.
“Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her…Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain – and that spirit will endure…It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy. Today the Crown passes - as it is has done for more than a thousand years - to our new monarch, our new head of state: His Majesty King Charles III…To help him bear the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all. We offer him our loyalty and devotion just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long,” Truss added.
2. US President Joe Biden
US President and First Lady Jill Biden issued a statement soon after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, saying the late monarch was more than it as she “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, including many who have never known their country without her…Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock of alliance between the UK and the US. She helped make our relationship special…Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world,” the statement read.
3. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Trudeau also issued a statement, saying for majority of Canadians, there is no other sovereign than “Queen Elizabeth II (who) was a constant presence in our lives”.
“Time and again, Her Majesty marked Canada’s modern history. Over the course of 70 years and twenty-three Royal Tours, Queen Elizabeth II saw this country from coast to coast to coast and was there for our major, historical milestones…Her Majesty’s reign spanned so many decades – a period when we came into our own as a confident, diverse, and forward-looking country. It is her wisdom, compassion, and warmth that we will always remember and cherish…On behalf of the Government of Canada, I express our heartfelt condolences to members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time,” the statement added.
4. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian PM Modi took to Twitter to share two pictures of him with the late Queen Elizabeth II along with a tribute note.
“I had memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during my UK visits in 2015 and 2018. I will never forget her warmth and kindness. During one of the meetings, she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture,” his post on the micro-blogging site read.
5. Pope Francis
Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened" at the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, even as he offered prayers for her “eternal rest” and for her son, new British King Charles.
“I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth,” the Pope said in his personal telegram to the new monarch King Charles.
6. UN secretary general Antonio Guterres
In a statement, UN chief said that the late Queen was “widely admired for her grace, dignity, and dedication around the world”. The UN security council and the general assembly each held a minute of silence Thursday to pay homage to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
“She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II was a good friend of the United Nations, and visited our New York Headquarters twice, more than fifty years apart…I would like to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II for her unwavering, lifelong dedication to serving her people. The world will long remember her devotion and leadership.” the statement added.
7. Russian President Vladimir Putin
In a statement issued by Kremlin, Putin extended condolences to the UK for the “irreparable loss” of Queen Elizabeth. In a message to new King Charles, the Russian president said the Queen “rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage”.
“I wish you courage and resilience in the face of this difficult, irreparable loss. May I ask you to pass on sincere condolences and support to members of the royal family and the entire people of Great Britain,” Putin's statement added.
8. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
The Ukrainian President called the demise of Queen Elizabeth II “deep sadness”.
“On behalf of the UA people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” the statement read.
9. EU president Ursula Von Der Leyen
In a statement, she said that the commission has learnt of the Queen's passing with “deep sadness”.
“She was the world’s longest serving Head of State and one of the most respected personalities worldwide. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and the British people,” the statement added.
10. Spain's King Felipe
Spain's current monarch King Felipe paid homage to the late Queen, saying she had “witnessed, written and shaped many of the most relevant chapters in the history of our world”.
"Her sense of duty, commitment and a whole life devoted to serving," the Spanish king said in a telegram addressed to the new king Charles.
(With inputs from AFP, Reuters, AP)