Queen Elizabeth II

‘Unmatched Dignity': Biden, Other World Leaders React to Death of Queen Elizabeth II

The flag over Buckingham Palace was lowered to half staff

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Buckingham Palace said Thursday that Queen Elizabeth II had died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, prompting an outpouring of condolences from leaders around the world.

President Joe Biden called the Queen “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.”

In a statement, Biden and first lady Jill Biden wrote that “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era.”

Later, the Bidens went to the British Embassy to offer condolences.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the UK embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to sign the condolence book for Queen Elizabeth II

The president sat at a desk and signed the condolence book; the first lady brought a bouquet of flowers. She stood next to him before she, too, wrote in the book.

The president then spoke with embassy staff and could be overhead saying of the former British monarch, “We mourn for all of you. She was a great lady.”

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted Thursday that the queen “embodied continuity and the unity of the British nation over 70 years. I retain the memory of a friend of France, a queen of hearts who marked as never before her country and her century.”

Katalin Novak, the president of Hungary, noted the Queen's "unwavering service" in a tweet.

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, expressed sadness at the news, tweeting: “Germany remains forever grateful that she stretched out her hand to us in reconciliation after the terror of World War II.”

Italian Premier Mario Draghi in a condolence message hailed the queen as having been “the absolute protagonist of world history of the last 70 years.” Draghi, who is now acting in a caretaker role ahead of Italian parliamentary elections later this month, said Elizabeth had represented the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth “with equilibrium, wisdom, respect for institutions and for democracy.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the death of Queen Elizabeth II is a time of mourning for the people in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

In a statement, he said she is the only reigning monarch most Australians have known and the only one to ever to visit their country.

“And over the course of a remarkable seven decades, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change,” he said. “Through the noise and turbulence of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.”

The British monarch is Australia’s official head of state, although these days the role is considered primarily ceremonial.

The queen’s death comes as a growing number of British territories in the Caribbean seek to replace the monarch with their own heads of state amid demands that Britain apologize for its colonial-era abuses and award its former colonies slavery reparations.

Still, Caribbean leaders from Jamaica to Bermuda and beyond mourned her death.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that for many years she visited the island every decade.

“Undoubtedly, she formed a special bond with the people of Jamaica,” he said. “We are saddened that we will not see her light again, but we will remember her historic reign.”

Bermuda Premier David Burt noted that her reign “has spanned decades of such immense change for the United Kingdom and the world.”

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