World pays tribute to 'kind-hearted' Queen who 'defined an era'

8 September 2022, 20:56 | Updated: 9 September 2022, 10:19

The world has paid tribute to the Queen.
The world has paid tribute to the Queen. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Leaders around the world have expressed their grief at the death of Queen Elizabeth and paid tribute to Britain's longest-serving monarch.

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They offered all in the UK their condolences as the nation mourns the passing of the royal.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said the Queen was "more than a monarch" and that she "defined an era".

A White House statement said: "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.

"An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.

"She was the first British monarch to whom people all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection - whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around their televisions for her coronation, or watched her final Christmas speech or her platinum jubilee on their phones.

"She, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service."

US Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted: "Queen Elizabeth II lived an incredible life of service and had a profound impact on countless lives and historic events.

"We send our condolences to the Royal Family and join the people of the United Kingdom and all those around the world who mourn her loss."

Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron said her remembered the monarch as a "kind-hearted queen".

"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years," he said.

"I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century."

Read more: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96, Buckingham Palace confirms

Read more: Charles says death of Queen Elizabeth II 'is a moment of the greatest sadness' for Royal Family

World leaders pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

It comes after British politicians were shared their tributes to the monarch.

Newly-appointed PM Liz Truss said she was a "personal inspiration" to her.

Speaking outside Downing Street, she added: "She was the very spirit of Great Britain, and that spirit will endure.

"Her life of service stretched beyond most of our memories. In return, she was loved by the people of the United Kingdom and all around the world."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Today, we mourn the passing of a remarkable sovereign.

"It is a deep, private loss for the Royal Family and all our thoughts are with them at this time. The nation shares in their grief.

"We will always treasure Queen Elizabeth II's life of service and devotion to our nation and the Commonwealth; our longest-serving and greatest monarch.

"Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon. As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world.

"So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen's memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.

"For seventy years, Queen Elizabeth II stood as the head of our country. But, in spirit, she stood amongst us."

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid tribute to the Queen
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid tribute to the Queen. Picture: Alamy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada's longest-reigning Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"She was a constant presence in our lives – and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history."

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose government has become close with Britain’s due to London’s support for his country in fending of Russia’s invasion, said: "It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"On behalf of the Ukrainian 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."

Despite the tensions over the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin reached out to King Charles III in a telegram.

He wrote: "The most important events in the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty.

"For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.

"I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss.

"I ask you to convey the words of sincere sympathy and support to the members of the royal family and all the people of Great Britain."

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: "Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and all those who mourn Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and worldwide.

"Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment."

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, tweeted: "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our times.

“She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise.

"My thoughts are with her family and people of UK in this sad hour."

Sanna Marin shared a message in memory of the monarch
Sanna Marin shared a message in memory of the monarch. Picture: Alamy

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands remember the Queen "with the deepest respect".

"During her especially long reign, she was a beacon of calm and stability for her country and the world, even at moments of the greatest historical upheaval... Today our thoughts are first and foremost with her children and grandchildren."

Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin sent her "deepest condolences the Royal Family, people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth", while President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed called the Queen "a close friend".

"I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the people of the UK," he tweeted.

"Her Majesty was a close friend of the UAE and a beloved & respected leader whose long reign was characterised by dignity, compassion & a tireless commitment to serving her country."

Emmanuel Macron said her remembered the monarch as a "kind-hearted queen".
Emmanuel Macron said her remembered the monarch as a "kind-hearted queen". Picture: Alamy

Former US President Barack Obama said he and wife Michelle had been "awed" by the Queen's "legacy of tireless, dignified public service".

He said her Majesty had "captivated the world", adding: "Her Majesty was just 25 years old when she took on the enormous task of helming one of the world's great 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 placed on women of her generation."

Mr Obama added that the Queen had been "responsible for considerable diplomatic achievements", but also paid tribute to her willingness to take part in a comedy sketch at the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012.

"Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us," he said.

"Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity.

"Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humour and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance."

Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro said the country would be holding three days of official mourning in honour of the Queen.

He described the monarch as not just the Queen of England but a "Queen to all of us", adding that she was an "extraordinary and unique woman, whose example of leadership, humility and love for (her) homeland will continue to inspire us and the whole world until the end of time".

Crowds gather to pay respects to the Queen

A-listers were also quick to pay tribute to the monarch, with James Bond star Daniel Craig saying the Queen leaves "an incomparable legacy and will be profoundly missed".

In a statement, he said: "I, like so many, was deeply saddened by the news today and my thoughts are with the Royal Family, those she loved and all those who loved her.

"She leaves an incomparable legacy and will be profoundly missed."

The Rolling Stones offered their "deepest sympathy" to the Royal Family following the death of the Queen.

The British rock band shared a photo of the monarch in her youth as well as in her later days as they paid tribute on Twitter.

They wrote: "The Rolling Stones extend their deepest sympathy to the Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who was a constant presence in their lives as in countless others."

Andrew Lloyd Webber described the Queen as "an inspiration to the world for her lifetime of service".

He paid tribute on behalf of him and his wife Madeleine, writing: "For the whole of my life, the Queen has been the constant anchor of not just Britain and her beloved Commonwealth, but an inspiration to the world for her lifetime of service.

"Her legacy will be remembered as a selfless beacon for love, understanding and the celebration of fellow human beings all over the world, no matter their race or creed.

"Madeleine and I are deeply saddened by this news, and our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty The Queen's family."

Queen Elizabeth II life in pictures

Crowds have gathered outside royal residencies across the country to pay their tributes to the Queen too.

One visitor from Australia said she felt "blessed" to be outside Windsor Castle as the Queen's death was announced.

Denise Speck, from Perth, said: "I didn't think it was going to happen so quickly after seeing her [on television] a couple of days ago.

"I just feel very blessed to be here at this time because I'm on holiday from Australia ... to actually be here at this time is very special.

"My family back in Australia won't even know yet because it's the middle of the night."

Ms Speck also predicted that the Queen's death could cause a rift between Britain and Commonwealth countries like Australia.

She said: "I think it will be a new era now ... the Queen was something that everyone admired even though they didn't necessarily want to be part of the British system.

"It's the Queen that was the glue that kept it all going."

A group of work colleagues outside Buckingham Palace told LBC: "We're all from different places – I'm from South Africa – and she impacted us globally.

"No matter where you were you knew who she was and I think that’s the biggest statement of them all."

Read more: 'Long live the King': Liz Truss says Queen Elizabeth was 'rock' of modern Britain who was 'loved around the world'

Read more: 'An unparalleled life of service and devotion': Britain mourns after Queen Elizabeth II dies peacefully aged 96

Artem Genne - a 29-year-old Ukrainian who fled war in his country, arriving in Birmingham during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee - said: "I came here just three months ago, it was exactly the second day of the Jubilee celebrations.

"The first place I came, when I arrived here was on this square, watching the celebrations on the big screen where it was broadcast from London.

"And for the first time with my own eyes, I realised how important the Queen and the monarchy is to this country.

"Apart from being eternally grateful to this country and to this people for hosting us, at this time of trouble, I want to say my condolences to all the people who care and to the royal family.

"Basically it's the end of an era.

"Now it's always going to be something new. It's a sad moment, but that's life."

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