‘Huge shock’: Reactions to death of Queen Elizabeth II

The queen spent more than seven decades on the throne as the United Kingdom rebuilt following the second world war.

Tributes from around the world poured on Thursday after Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning monarch and the United Kingdom’s figurehead for seven decades, had died aged 96.

The queen’s reign began in 1952, and she had been seen as bringing stability and continuity to the UK through the many changes of the last half of the 20th and into the 21st century.

The Palace said she died at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland, where members of the British royal family had rushed to her side after her health took a turn for the worse.

Here are some of the reactions from across the world:

British Prime Minister Liz Truss
“The death of her majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world. Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”

US President Joe Biden
“She defined an era. 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. … Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special.”

French President Emmanuel Macron
“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.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
“As the United Kingdom’s longest-lived and longest-reigning Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II was widely admired for her grace, dignity, and dedication around the world. She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth.

“Queen Elizabeth II was a good friend of the United Nations, and visited our New York Headquarters twice, more than fifty years apart. She was deeply committed to many charitable and environmental causes and spoke movingly to delegates at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.

“I would like to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II for her unwavering, lifelong dedication to serving her people. The world will long remember her devotion and leadership.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
“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.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“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.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
“As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped us make sense of who we are through decades of extraordinary change in our world, nation and society.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
“It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the UA 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.”

European Council President Charles Michel
“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.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
“We mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a role model and inspiration for millions, also here in Germany. Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will remain unforgotten. She will be missed, not least her wonderful humour.”

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