President Biden remembers Queen Elizabeth as a 'steadying presence' as world leaders remember late British monarch
President Joe Biden and world leaders have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth and her influence across the globe following her death on Thursday (08.09.22).
The American leader, politicians from the Commonwealth and European royalty spoke of their sadness at the “irreparable loss” of the British monarch.
Shortly after Her Majesty’s passing at Balmoral, Scotland, at the age of 96, President Biden saluted the stability and constancy she brought to Britain and an uncertain world.
He also said he was ready to build on his relationship with her son Prince Charles, who will now succeed his late mother on the throne and become King Charles III.
President Biden 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.
“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.”
President Biden met the queen for the first time as a senator in 1982 and it’s understood was told of her death during a meeting at the Oval Office.
He had been scheduled to deliver remarks on COVID-10 vaccines at the White House but the event was pulled minutes after Buckingham Palace announced the queen had died “peacefully” at her Balmoral home.
President Biden met Prince Charles in 2021 in Glasgow on the sidelines of a major United Nations climate conference, where they shared worries over climate change.
President Biden, 79, added that he looks forward to America's “special relationship” with the UK continuing through King Charles and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla.
He said: "In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort.
“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.”
Biden's most recent meeting with the Queen was also in 2021 during a visit to the UK for a G7 summit of world leaders.
Among the globe’s other presidents, prime ministers and monarchs past and present speaking of their sorrow at the queen’s death was Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who first met her 45 years ago as a boy when his father was Canadian Prime Minister.
He said: “She was a constant presence in our lives – and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.
“As we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion, and warmth. Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time.”
The queen ruled over Canada for nearly half of the country’s existence, visiting the nation 22 times.
Former US President Barack Obama also recalled his and his wife Michelle’s bond with the queen, saying: “Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us.
“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.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said the queen “embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years”, adding: “I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”
Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said: “Germany remains forever grateful that she stretched out her hand to us in reconciliation after the terror of World War II.”
Ireland’s PM Michael Martin was among the first of the world leaders to pay tribute after the queen’s death was announced.
He praised her state visit to Ireland in 2011 as marking “a crucial step in the normalisation of relations with our nearest neighbour”, adding: “That visit was a great success, largely because of the many gracious gestures and warm remarks made by the Queen.”
Ukraine’s embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky said he felt “deep sadness” at the “irreparable loss” on behalf of all Ukrainians.
Dutch King Willem-Alexander remembered his fellow monarch as “steadfast and wise”, saying: “We feel a strong bond with the United Kingdom and its royal family, and we share their sorrow at this time.”
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said Queen Elizabeth II ”has always been a good friend to my family and a link to our shared family history”.