The president and first lady Jill Biden offered their condolences at the British embassy in Washington, where they stopped temporarily to sign a letter of condolence.
“We mourn all of you. She is a great lady. We are very happy to meet her,” the president told embassy staff.
The first lady also presented a bouquet of flowers to Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the United States, who was greeted by Pierce at the embassy.
The president and first lady said in a joint statement earlier that the Queen – the longest-reigning British monarch whose rule spanned seven decades – “defined an era”.
“The thoughts and prayers of all Americans are with the grieving British and Commonwealth people today,” the White House statement said. “Our deepest condolences go out to the Royal Family, who mourn not only their Queen but also their dear Mother, Grandmother and great-grandmother. Her legacy will be seen in the pages of British history and the stories of our world.”
American flags at the White House, other federal buildings, military installations and embassies overseas will be flown at half-staff “until the day of internment,” according to President Biden’s announcement on the Queen’s death.
In a statement, the first couple described the Queen as “a source of stability, comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who would never have known their country without her”.
“Queen Elizabeth II has always led with grace, unwavering responsibility and the unparalleled strength of her example, supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years. She has endured the dangers and deprivations of a world war with the British people, and unite them to look to better days ahead amid the devastation of the global pandemic,” the White House statement continued.
The Bidens added that the Queen “was a statesman of unrivaled dignity and steadfastness who deepened the cornerstone alliance between Britain and the United States.”
“She helped make our relationship special,” the statement said, referring to Britain’s “special relationship” with the United States – a term coined by Winston Churchill. The Bidens also said they looked forward to a continued “close friendship” with King and Queen Charles III.
Recalling the time they spent together, the Bidens wrote that they first met Queen Elizabeth in 1982, when they were part of a Senate delegation to Britain.
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said earlier on Thursday that Biden and the Queen last spoke and met during the president’s visit to the UK in June 2021.
world leaders mourning
condolences from Leaders from the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world poured in after hearing of the Queen’s death.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Queen was “loved and admired” by the people of Scotland.
“In every way, Her Majesty is seldom happier than when she was in Scotland at her beloved Balmoral,” Sturgeon continued, referring to the castle where the Queen died.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Queen is “Continuously present in our lives – her service to Canadians will always be an important part of our nation’s history.”
“If we look back on her decades of life and her reign, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion and warmth,” he continued.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote in a statement that the Queen “has dedicated her life to duty, family, faith and service”, noting that “it is clear that Her Majesty has a special place in her heart for Australia.” As a nation Head of State, the Queen has visited Australia 16 times.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand recalled the Queen in a national address after her death, saying she had begun to define “the concepts of service, charity and consistency”.
Ardern also announced that New Zealand would enter an official period of mourning. The flag will be flown at half mast. Preparations are underway for the National Memorial, which will take place after the Queen’s official funeral in the UK.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement that he had an “unforgettable meeting” with the Queen, writing: “During one meeting she showed me what Mahatma Gandhi gave her at her wedding. handkerchief. I will always cherish this gesture.”
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin called her death “the end of an era”, saying her “devotion to duty and public service is self-evident and her wisdom and experience are truly unique.”
In an open letter to the new king, Pope Francis praised the queen as a “firm witness to the faith in Jesus Christ”.
“Salute her noble soul to the benevolence of our heavenly Father, and I assure His Majesty that God Almighty will support you with his eternal grace as you now assume your noble duties as king,” the pope wrote.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote that the Queen “embodies the continuity and unity of the British nation for more than 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind Queen who left a deep impression on her country and her century. impression.”
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the people, we extend our sincere condolences to @RoyalFamily, the entire UK & Commonwealth,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. “
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the Queen “was a role model and inspiration for millions, also in Germany. Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will be unforgettable. She will be missed, Especially her wonderful humor.”
“The most important events in recent British history are inseparable from Her Majesty’s name,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a press release.
“For decades, Queen Elizabeth II has rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage,” Putin continued. “I hope you have courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy and irreparable loss.”
Dozens of other countries, from Panama to Pakistan, have issued statements of condolences.
The former US president sends condolences
After her death, the former US president also expressed condolences.
George W. Bush, who welcomed the Queen to the US during his tenure, recalls spending time at Buckingham Palace and meeting her famous corgi.
“Spending time at Buckingham Palace and having tea with Her Majesty – and her corgi – is one of our fondest memories of our presidency,” Bush wrote. and vision for a better tomorrow, has deftly led England through dark times. Our world has benefited from her unwavering determination and we thank her for her decades of service as monarch.”
Donald and Melania Trump wrote in a statement, “Her leadership and enduring diplomacy ensured alliances with the United States and countries around the world. However, her loyalty to her country and unwavering dedication to her fellow citizens will Always remembered. And women.”
“(We) will always cherish our time with the Queen and will never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom and wonderful sense of humour. What a great and beautiful lady she is – no one like her So!” Trump wrote.
The Obamas remember the Queen as a leader who made the role “her own.”
“Her Majesty the Queen took on the daunting task of leading one of the world’s greatest democracies at the age of 25. She will continue to play the role of Queen for decades to come – her reign defined by grace, grace and tireless work ethic that defies expectations and expectations of women of her generation,” they wrote.
Bill and Hillary Clinton commemorated her passing, remembering her “always grace, dignity and genuine concern for the well-being of all people”.
This is a groundbreaking story and will be updated.
CNN’s Dan Merica, Sam Fossum, Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, Nicola Ruotolo, Niamh Kennedy, Xiaofei Xu, Angus Watson, Uliana Pavlova, and Philip Wang contributed to this report.