Sep 8, 2022 - World

The world reacts to Queen Elizabeth II's death

 The Union flag is lowered on Windsor Castle as a rainbow covers the sky.
The Union flag is lowered on Windsor Castle as a rainbow covers the sky. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II passed away at age 96 on Thursday after more than 70 years of leading the United Kingdom and its commonwealth realms.

The big picture: The queen was Britain's longest-serving monarch, having worked with 15 U.K. prime ministers during her tenure. She recently scaled back her duties due to her advanced age.

What they're saying: Multiple world leaders, officials, celebrities and lawmakers responded to the queen's passing Thursday.

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Thursday ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.
King Charles III
  • “The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family," the King said in a statement.
  • “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.
  • “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss
  • "Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built," she said in a statement. "Our country has grown and flourished under her reign."
  • "In the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of services," she added.
  • "It is a day of great loss, but Quen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy. God save the king."
President Biden
  • "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era," the president and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement.
  • "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," they said.
"Today, the thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief. We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are not only mourning their Queen, but their dear mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world."
— President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
  • "Our hearts and our thoughts go to the family members of the queen, goes to the people of the United Kingdom," she said at a press conference.
United Nations António Guterres
  • "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," Guterres said in a statement.
Former President Trump
  • "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 in a Truth Social post.
  • "Our thoughts and prayers will remain with the great people of the United Kingdom as you honor her most meaningful life and exceptional service to the people," he added . "May God bless the Queen, may she reign forever in our hearts, and may God hold her and Prince Philip in abiding care."
Former President Obama and Michelle Obama
  • "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has captivated the world," the Obamas said, per CSPAN.
  • "Like so many, Michelle and I are grateful to have witnessed Her Majesty's dedicated leadership, and we are awed by her legacy of tireless, dignified public service," the Obamas said. "Our thoughts are with her family and the people of the United Kingdom at this difficult time."
Former President George W. Bush
  • "Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark moments with her confidence in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow," Bush said in a statement emailed to Axios.
  • "Our world benefitted from her steady resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign," he added. "Americans in particular appreciate her strong and steadfast friendship. Laura and I join our fellow citizens in sending our heartfelt condolences to the Royal family and the British people."
Taoiseach Micheál Martin
  • "The Queen’s reign was one of historic duration, immense consequence and a focus of respect and admiration around the world. Her dedication to duty and public service were self-evident and her wisdom and experience truly unique," Martin said in a statement.
  • "To her grieving family and people, the Irish Government join with you in mourning the loss of an exceptional woman who led by quiet and dignified example and who touched so many lives over her exceptionally long reign.
  • "Our world is a poorer place for her passing but a far richer and better place as a result of her long life and enduring contribution."
Canada 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," Trudeau tweeted.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard
  • "Our thoughts and condolences to the people and government of the UK," Ebrard tweeted.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
  • "I had memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during my UK visits in 2015 and 2018. I will never forget her warmth and kindness. During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture," Modi tweeted.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
  • "Queen Elizabeth II led her people, and at times the world, through historic events with the utmost dignity, grace, and valor," Abbott said in a statement.
  • "Queen Elizabeth II was also more than a leader of one of the greatest monarchies in history and a close United States ally; she was a mother, a grandmother, and a wife who showed a deep devotion to her family and to her nation.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin
  • "I am heartbroken to learn of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II," Manchin said. "The Queen has been revered around the globe for her devotion to service and her steadfast leadership through the decades. Gayle and I are praying for the Royal Family and the people of the Commonwealth."
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • "Queen Elizabeth II led an incredible life of service to her country and the world. For generations, she has been an example of leadership and resilience. My thoughts are with the British people today," she tweeted.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins
  • "For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has been a source of strength & stability for one of America’s greatest allies," Collins said in a tweet. "Her historic reign was defined by her dignity, character, & devotion to duty. She will be deeply missed, but her faithful service & leadership will be long remembered."
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer
  • "It's hard to fathom that today we have to say goodbye, because after all, most Americans to say nothing of the British people have never lived in a world without Her Majesty the Queen," he said Thursday.
U.S. Secret Service
Amazon U.K.
  • "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Royal Family at this time," the company said in a statement.
British Airways
  • "We are deeply honoured and proud to have flown Her Majesty on a number of occasions, moments which we will always cherish," the company said in a statement.
  • "Her Majesty has for so long shown immense resilience and encouraged us to stand together to face difficult times, so now we proudly stand together with the United Kingdom, to thank her for her service and bid her a final farewell."
Author J.K. Rowling
  • "Most British people have never known another monarch, so she’s been a thread winding through all our lives," Rowling tweeted. "She did her duty by the country right up until her dying hours, and became an enduring, positive symbol of Britain all over the world. She’s earned her rest."
Singer Ozzy Osbourne:
  • "I mourn with my country the passing of our greatest Queen," the singer tweeted. "With a heavy heart I say it is devastating the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II," he said.

Go deeper: Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96

Editor's note: This is a developing story and will be updated.

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