Biden, Trump, Obama mourn her death

President Biden and his five living predecessors joined world leaders in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by her family. Buckingham Palace said in a statement. It was 96.

Biden, who met the queen at Windsor Castle last year on his first trip abroad as president, mourned her death in a lengthy statement released by the White House.

Queen Elizabeth greets President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, June 13, 2021. (Chris Jackson/AFP via Getty Images)

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. It defined an era,” Biden said. “In a world of constant change, she has been a constant presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II has united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her historic reign bear witness to an era of unprecedented human progress and the onward march of human dignity.

“She was the first British monarch with whom people around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection,” Biden continued, “whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around her. their TVs for her coronation or watched her last Christmas speech or her Platinum Jubilee on their phones. And she, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service.”

In his statement, Biden noted that Queen Elizabeth met with 14 US presidents during her 70-year reign.

“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unparalleled dignity and stability who deepened the fundamental alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” he added. “It helped make our relationship special.”

Biden also issued a proclamation directing all American flags to be flown at half-staff “as a mark of respect” to the queen’s memory until sunset on the day of her burial.

Queen Elizabeth II and President Barack Obama

Queen Elizabeth II and President Barack Obama attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in 2011. (Lewis Whyld/AP)

Former President Barack Obama also issued a lengthy statement on her death.

“From the day of her coronation 70 years ago — the first ever televised — to this moment, as countless online tributes are posted in her honor, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has captivated the world,” Obama said. . “Her Majesty was just 25 years old when she took on the enormous task of leading one of the world’s largest democracies. 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 of women of her generation.”

Obama, who met the queen four times during his two terms in office, also recalled her warm personality.

“Michelle and I were lucky enough to meet Her Majesty and she meant a lot to us,” he said. “At a time when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, he welcomed us onto the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and time again, we were impressed by her warmth, the way she put people at ease and how she brought her humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Donald Trump

Queen Elizabeth II and President Donald Trump attend an event to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 5, 2019. (Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters)

Former President Donald Trump, who met the Queen twice during his one-year presidency, posted several messages about her on Truth Social, his social media platform.

“Melania and I are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Trump wrote. “Along with our family and fellow Americans, we send our sincere condolences to the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom during this time of great sadness and grief. Queen Elizabeth’s historic and remarkable reign left a huge legacy of peace and prosperity in Great Britain.

“She will always be remembered for her loyalty to her country and her unwavering devotion to her countrymen and women,” he added. “Melania and I will always cherish our time with the Queen and we will never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom and wonderful sense of humour. What a wonderful and beautiful lady she was—there was no one like her!”

President George W. Bush with Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth with President George W. Bush in 2008. (Dominik Liplinski/Reuters)

Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also issued statements mourning the Queen’s death.

“Laura and I had the honor of meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a woman of great intellect, charm and intelligence,” Bush said. “Spending time at Buckingham Palace and having tea with Her Majesty — and her Corgis — are among our fondest memories of the presidency.

“Queen Elizabeth led England through dark times with her trust in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow,” he added. “Our world has benefited from her steadfast determination and we are grateful for her decades of service as a sovereign. Americans especially appreciate her strong and unwavering friendship. Laura and I join our fellow citizens in sending our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and the British people.”

President Bill Clinton with Queen Elizabeth II

President Bill Clinton with Queen Elizabeth II. (Kevin Coombs/Reuters)

“Hilary and I mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and join people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and around the world in giving thanks for her extraordinary life.” Clinton said in a statement. “Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity and genuine concern for the welfare of all her people. In sun or storm, it was a source of stability, peace and strength.

“We will always be grateful for the kindness he has shown us over the years, particularly during our visits to Buckingham Palace in 1995 and 2000, and for all he has done to deepen the Special Relationship,” he added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and all the people Her Majesty has inspired throughout her service.”

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum tweeted a photo of the Queen and Carter in London in 1977.

Other current and former US leaders paid tribute to the queen, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ordered flags flown at US Capitol in honor of her death.

The Queen’s death came a day after she canceled a virtual meeting with members of her Privy Council on the advice of her doctors, who were concerned about her condition.

As news of the Queen’s deteriorating health spread, crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace for updates on her condition and members of the royal family, including Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, rushed to Balmoral to be next to her.

A framed statement announcing her death was affixed to the palace gates.

Staff place a sign announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth on a fence outside Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday.  (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Staff at Buckingham Palace place a sign announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

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