Tributes and condolences poured in from across the globe Thursday as world leaders joined the UK in mourning the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
The current and former US presidents, European heads of state, the Pope and political leaders of every stripe were among those to offer heartfelt statements as news spread of the 96-year-old’s death.
“Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau added: “Today, a page has not only been turned, but a chapter in our shared history has drawn to a close. I know Her Majesty’s service to Canada and Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron also paid his respects, saying in a statement: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s PM, honored the Queen by saying: “This is a time of deep sadness. Young or old, there is no doubt that a chapter is closing today, and with that we remember an incredible woman that we were lucky to call our Queen.”
Pope Francis sent a telegram to King Charles III to offer condolences, writing: “Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I offer heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”
President Biden ordered White House flags be lowered to half staff and honored the Queen in a statement.
“Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” he said.
Former President Donald Trump also issued a statement, calling her a “grand” and beautiful lady.
“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. What a grand and beautiful lady she was—there was nobody like her!” Trump said.
Queen Elizabeth was the UK’s longest-serving monarch after assuming the throne in 1952, at age 25.
The Queen had faced mounting concerns about her ailing health in the months leading up to her death — most recently when photos of her meeting new British PM Liz Truss in September were released.
She also had to miss some of her Platinum Jubilee festivities in June due to health concerns.
For the first time in 70 years, the Queen didn’t receive the royal salute during the Trooping the Colour parade on June 2.
The Queen’s passing marks the beginning of an official 12-day mourning period across Great Britain.
Her funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey at the end of the mourning period.