Biden joins world leaders in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II |  CNN Politics

Biden joins world leaders in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II | CNN Politics



CNN

US President Joe Biden and world leaders mourned Queen Elizabeth II, after her death earlier Thursday at the age of 96.

The President and First Lady Jill Biden expressed their condolences at the British Embassy in Washington, where they made an impromptu stop to sign a book of condolences.

“We cry for you all. She was a great lady. We are delighted to have been able to meet her,” the president told embassy staff.

The first lady also presented a bouquet of flowers to British Ambassador to the United States, Karen Pierce, who welcomed them to the embassy.

The president and first lady said in a joint statement earlier that the Queen – Britain’s longest-reigning monarch whose reign spanned seven decades – “defined an era”.

“Today, the thoughts and prayers of people across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief,” the White House statement said. “We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who not only mourn their Queen, but also their dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. His legacy will figure prominently in the pages of British history and in the history of our world.

US flags at the White House, other federal buildings, military installations and overseas embassies will fly at half mast ‘until the day of internment’, according to a proclamation by President Biden on the Queen’s death .

The first couple, in their statement, called the Queen “a stable presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, many of whom have never known their country without her”.

“Supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II has always led with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty and the matchless power of her example. She endured the dangers and hardships of a world war alongside the British people and rallied them during the devastation of a global pandemic to look forward to better days ahead,” the White House statement continued.

The Queen, the Bidens added, “was a stateswoman of unequaled dignity and steadfastness who deepened the fundamental alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.”

“She helped make our relationship special,” the statement read, referring to the UK’s “special relationship” with the US – a term coined by Winston Churchill. The Bidens also said they looked forward to continuing “a close friendship” with King Charles III and the Queen Consort.

Recalling their time together, the Bidens wrote that they first met Queen Elizabeth in 1982 as part of a Senate delegation to the UK.

Biden and the Queen last spoke and saw each other during the president’s visit to the UK in June 2021, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier on Thursday.

Condolences from Leaders from the UK, Commonwealth and around the world flocked after news of the Queen’s death was announced.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Queen was “loved and admired” by the people of Scotland.

“And evidently Her Majesty was seldom happier than when she was here in Scotland at her beloved Balmoral,” Sturgeon continued, referring to the castle where the Queen died.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Queen was “a constant presence in our lives – and his service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.

“As we look back on her life and reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion and warmth,” he continued.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote in a statement that the monarch had lived a “long life of duty, family, faith and service”, noting that “it was clear that Her Majesty held a special place in his heart for Australia”. As Head of State, the Queen has visited Australia 16 times.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remembered the Queen in a national speech after her death, saying she had come to define “the notions of service, charity and consistency”.

Ardern also announced that New Zealand would enter a period of official mourning. The flags will be lowered. Preparations for a state memorial are underway and will take place after the Queen’s official funeral in the UK.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement that he had ‘memorable meetings’ with the Queen, writing: ‘During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gave her during of his marriage. I will always cherish this gesture.

Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin called her “the end of an era”, saying that “her devotion to duty and public service was evident and her wisdom and experience were truly unique”.

Pope Francis praised the queen as an “unshakeable witness to faith in Jesus Christ” in an open letter to the new king.

“Commending his noble soul to the merciful goodness of our Heavenly Father, I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now assume your high responsibilities as King,” the Pope wrote.

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote that the Queen “embodied the continuity and unity of the British nation for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a queen with a big heart who left a lasting mark on her country and her century.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted: “It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the people, we send our sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the whole of the UK and the Commonwealth for this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the Queen “was a role model and an inspiration to millions, also here in Germany. His commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of the Second World War will remain unforgettable. She will be missed, especially her wonderful sense of humor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement: “The most significant events in recent UK history are inextricably linked to Her Majesty’s name.”

“For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage,” Putin continued. “I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy and irreparable loss.”

Statements of condolences have arrived from dozens of other nations, ranging from Panama to Pakistan.

Former US presidents also offered their condolences after his death.

George W. Bush, who hosted the Queen in the United States during her tenure, recalled spending time at Buckingham Palace and meeting her famous corgis.

“Spending time at Buckingham Palace and having tea with Her Majesty – and her corgis – are some of our fondest memories of the presidency,” Bush wrote. “Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark times with her faith in her people and her vision for a brighter future. Our world has benefited from her steadfast determination and we are grateful to her for her decades of service as than sovereign.

Donald and Melania Trump wrote in a statement that “his leadership and enduring diplomacy secured and advanced alliances with the United States and countries around the world. However, she will always be remembered for her loyalty to her country and her unwavering devotion to her compatriots, men and women.

“(We) will always cherish our time with the Queen and will never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom and wonderful sense of humour. What a tall, beautiful lady she was – there was no one like her! Trump wrote.

The Obamas remembered the Queen as a leader who made the role his own.

“Her Majesty was only 25 when she took on the enormous task of leading one of the world’s greatest democracies. In the decades that followed, she continued 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. “, they wrote.

And Bill and Hillary Clinton marked the passing by remembering her as someone with “grace, dignity and sincere concern for the welfare of all her people”.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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