World leaders and dignitaries are paying their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who has died aged 96. They respected the Queen’s deep sense of responsibility and tolerance, and her sense of humor and kindness. French President Emmanuel Macron remembered the queen as ‘a noble queen’ who was ‘a friend of France’. US President Joe Biden first met the Queen 40 years ago. He described the queen as ‘more than an empress, the maker of an era’. Referring to his visit to the UK in 2021 as president, Biden said, ‘He charmed us with his sense of humour, charmed us with his kind heart and imparted his wisdom to us.’ ‘Queen Elizabeth II was a statesman of unparalleled wisdom who deepened the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. He has helped strengthen our relationship,’ Biden added. Canada’s head of state was Queen Elizabeth II. During his reign, 12 Prime Ministers came in charge of the country. An emotional Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had a deep love for Canadians. Trudeau said he will miss interacting with the Queen, who was wise, curious, helpful and funny and more. ‘He was one of my favorite people in the world. I will miss him,’ she said through tears.
‘A uniquely ordinary personality’
National flags around the world are being flown at half-mast, including by the European Commission in Brussels. Ursula von den Leyen, president of the European Commission, said the Queen’s empathy and competence with each generation, her passion for tradition – were all examples of true leadership. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth. He and Queen Maxima expressed deep respect for the late queen, remembering her as ‘steadfast and wise’. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is also a relative of the Queen. She says, ‘He has always been sympathetic to my family and a valuable link in our shared family history.’ King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium have described Queen Elizabeth as an extraordinary figure who has shown dignity, courage and integrity throughout her reign. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz paid tribute to the Queen’s good sense of humor, saying, ‘Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will forever be remembered.’ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled meeting the Queen during his two visits to the UK. “I will never forget his sincerity and kindness,” he said in a tweet. ‘During a meeting Rani showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi had gifted her at her wedding. I always appreciate this courtesy.’ Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent their condolences, describing the king as a ‘role model of leadership who will be immortalized in history.’ Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his sincere condolences to the British government and people. Said ‘his passing is a great loss to the people of Britain.’
A reassuring presence
Queen Elizabeth has witnessed extraordinary changes during her seven decade reign. This has also come up in many tribute messages. Barack Obama wrote, ‘He has been through periods of growth and stagnation – from landing on the moon to the fall of the Berlin Wall.’ Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed deep sorrow. “The death of the Queen, who led Britain through a turbulent time in the world, is a great loss not only to the British people but also to the international community,” he told reporters. Irish President Michael D Higgins paid tribute, saying the Queen’s extraordinary sense of duty would hold a special place in British history. “A lot has changed during his 70-year reign. Where he presented himself as a significant source of reassurance to the British people,’ he said in a statement. Irish Prime Minister Mitchell Martin described the Queen’s departure as the ‘end of an era’, referring to the Queen’s reign as a ‘historic time’. ‘His dedication to public service and responsibility was evident and his wisdom and experience truly unique,’ Martin said in his statement. He also recalled the Queen’s kindness and warm comments during her visit to Ireland in 2011. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Queen Elizabeth was a reassuring presence during decades of great change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the emergence of the Commonwealth. In a statement, he paid tribute to the Queen for her lifetime of service to the people. “The world will long remember his leadership and dedication,” he said. Queen Elizabeth has visited Australia, another Commonwealth country, 16 times. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says many people don’t know the world without him. ‘In the midst of years of tumult and tumult he has shown constant gentleness and patient calm.’ ‘He celebrated the good times. He stands by us in bad times. Happy and proud but stable.’ New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a police officer woke her up at 4:50 a.m. to inform her of the Queen’s death. ‘He was amazing. The last days of Rani’s life reveal who she was in many ways. He worked in all directions for the people he loved,’ he said.
He lived in history, he made history
Queen Elizabeth II has met thirteen US presidents during her reign. Former US President Barack Obama said the Queen captivated the world with her kindness, elegance and hard work. Another former US President Donald Trump said he will never forget the Queen’s friendly demeanor, great wisdom and great sense of humor. “She was a great and beautiful woman – there was no one like her,” Trump wrote on his own online platform, Truth Social. Israeli President Isaac Herzog also noted the dramatic changes the queen has seen throughout her reign, saying ‘she will remain an icon as a beacon of stability, responsible leadership and morality, humanity and patriotism.’ The Queen did not visit Israel. But Prince Charles, Edward, William and the late Prince Philip have gone. Prince Philip is buried in Jerusalem – ‘Queen Elizabeth was a historical figure. He lived in history. Made history. He leaves behind a wonderful inspirational legacy in passing,’ wrote President Herzog. Jordan’s King Abdullah II said his country was mourning the death of the iconic leader. He said the Queen visited Jordan in 1984. ‘He was a beacon of wisdom and principled leadership…a partner and dear family friend to Jordan.’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that he was deeply saddened by the news of this irreparable loss. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has reportedly met the queen several times and once kept her waiting for 14 minutes. He sent his deepest condolences to King Charles III. “The most important thing in recent history is the inextricable association of the Queen’s name with the United Kingdom,” Putin wrote in a statement. ‘For decades Elizabeth II has rightly enjoyed respect and love and has likewise commanded the world stage.’ Russia is now under heavy sanctions from the West, including the United Kingdom, due to its aggression in Ukraine. African leaders also paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth. Many knew him very well as the head of the Commonwealth of Nations. William Ruto, who won the Kenyan presidential election, praised the queen’s historic legacy and said Kenyans will miss the queen’s sincere relationship with the country. Kenya, a former British colony, became independent in 1963. It was a special place for Rani. From here she became queen. In 1952, when she was 25 years old, she went there for a vacation as a princess. Then his father, King George VI, died in his sleep. Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, a new country to join the Commonwealth, said the queen was a great friend of Africa and Africa loved her in return. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addu tweeted to commemorate the Queen’s visit to his country. ‘He brought an amiable nobility, style and joy to the task.’ When the Queen visited Ghana, it was also a British colony. The visit was controversial and there were concerns about the Queen’s safety. Just five days ago there was a bomb blast in Accra. But the queen was not discouraged. Because she had to cancel the tour once before because she was pregnant.