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Washington mourns death of Queen Elizabeth II

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World leaders honor Queen Elizabeth's historic reign
World leaders honor Queen Elizabeth's historic reign 02:03

Washington, D.C., marked the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday with lowered flags and lengthy statements lauding the queen's leadership through the decades. The queen died peacefully Thursday afternoon at her official residence in Scotland, Buckingham Palace said. She was 96. 

President Biden was scheduled to speak on the nation's response to COVID-19, but the White House abruptly canceled his remarks. Mr. Biden met with the queen on a number of occasions during his time in public office, most recently last year.

"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era," Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement. "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. ... 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."

Mr. Biden ordered flags at half-staff through sunset on the day of Queen Elizabeth's internment. 

Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff tweeted that "Queen Elizabeth II lived an incredible life of service and had a profound impact on countless lives and historic events."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff, and the House will take up a bereavement resolution on Friday. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office posted a photo of him, his wife Elaine Chao, former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush meeting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2007.

The United Nations held a moment of silence on Thursday. 

 

Blinken says Queen Elizabeth II "personified a sense of stability"

Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death Thursday.

"Her influence extended well beyond the Commonwealth," Blinken said in a statement. "As queen, she visited more than 120 countries, including the United States, where she made a point of meeting not only with leaders, but with people from all walks of life.  She was the embodiment of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and a symbol of the enduring alliance that has seen our nations through the greatest tests of the 20th and 21st centuries."

By Faris Tanyos
 

Biden signs U.K. embassy condolence book

President Joe Biden visited the British embassy in Washington and signed the condolence book. 

image.jpg
President Joe Biden signed a condolence book at the British embassy.  White House
By Caroline Linton
 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Menendez remembers Queen's visit to Congress

Sen. Bob Menendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recalled Queen Elizabeth's visit to the U.S. in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial and her address to a joint session of Congress in 1991.

Her meaningful engagement with American leaders from President Truman to President Biden and her commitment to our countries' Special Relationship greatly contributed to the enduring friendship between our nations," Menendez said. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Harris honors Queen's "incredible life of service"

Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff tweeted a statement honoring Queen Elizabeth's "incredible life of service."

By Caroline Linton
 

Bill Clinton calls Queen Elizabeth a "source of stability, serenity and strength"

Former President Bill Clinton said the queen was a "source of stability, serenity and strength."

"Hillary and I mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and we join with people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and all around the world, in giving thanks for her extraordinary life," Clinton said in a statement. "Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity, and genuine care for the welfare of all its people.  In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity, and strength."

By Caroline Linton
 

Obama says he and Michelle were "lucky" to know Queen Elizabeth

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama issued a statement saying they "join so many others who are celebrating her life and mourning her passing." 

Obama also noted that Queen Elizabeth, when she was still a princess, became the "first-ever female royal to serve on active military duty."  "And through periods of prosperity and stagnation—from the moon landing, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the dawn of the digital age—she served as a beacon of hope and stability for the people of the United Kingdom and the world," he said. 

Queen Elizabeth with President Obama in 2016
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, pose for a photograph ahead of a private lunch at Windsor Castle on April, 22, 2016.  JOHN STILLWELL/AFP via Getty Images

Obama added that she "wore her lofty titles with a light touch—as willing to act in a comic sketch for the London Olympics as she was to record steadying messages for the people of the UK during the COVID-19 lockdowns."

"Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us," Obama said. "Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance."

By Caroline Linton
 

Pelosi orders flags at Capitol to be flown half-staff

Following the announcement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered that the flags at the Capitol be flown at half-staff, according to her spokesperson. The House will pass a bereavement resolution for the queen on Tuesday. 

"Today, Americans join the people of the United Kingdom in mourning the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II," Pelosi said in a statement. "Over her seven decades on the throne, Her Majesty was a pillar of leadership in the global arena and a devoted friend of freedom. On behalf of the United States Congress, I extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the Royal Family during this sad time."  

By Caroline Linton
 

McConnell honors queen's "steady leadership"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell paid tribute to the queen's leadership, spanning decades of tumultuous world history. 

"For 70 long years, from the aftermath of World War II well into the 21st century, across 15 different Prime Ministers, through great triumphs and great challenges, the Queen's steady leadership safeguarded the land she loved," McConnell said in a statement. "Despite spending nearly three quarters of a century as one of the most famous and admired individuals on the planet, the Queen made sure her reign was never really about herself — not her fame, not her feelings, not her personal wants or needs. She guided venerable institutions through modern times using timeless virtues like duty, dignity, and sacrifice. She offered our contemporary world a living master class it needed badly."

McConnell's office also tweeted out a photo of him, his wife Elaine Chao, former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush meeting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2007.

By Caroline Linton
 

Schumer says on Senate floor that Queen Elizabeth was "rock"

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ont he Senate floor that Queen Elizabeth "didn't just witness the great turns of history, she helped shape them over the seven decades, seven decades of her reign."

He noted that she was "precisely the kind of leader the moment demanded. In times of hardship, she was both strong and comforting. In times of joy, she was gracious and dignified."

"She was a rock, the living embodiment of the virtues that lie at the core of the nation she so proudly led. I dare say we will never see a leader quite like her for as long as we live," Schumer said. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Trump: "There was nobody like her!"

Former President Donald Trump issued a statement on his social media platform Truth Social, writing that "there was nobody like her!"

"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," he wrote. "What a grand and beautiful lady she was—there was nobody like her!"

By Caroline Linton
 

McCarthy: "The Queen's steady leadership safeguarded the land she loved"

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement saying "today all Americans stand with our great friends across the Atlantic in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

McCarthy noted the queen's meeting with various presidents, starting with Harry Truman when she was a 25-year-old princess. 

""For 70 long years, from the aftermath of World War II well into the 21st century, across 15 different Prime Ministers, through great triumphs and great challenges, the Queen's steady leadership safeguarded the land she loved," McCarthy said. "Despite spending nearly three quarters of a century as one of the most famous and admired individuals on the planet, the Queen made sure her reign was never really about herself — not her fame, not her feelings, not her personal wants or needs. She guided venerable institutions through modern times using timeless virtues like duty, dignity, and sacrifice. She offered our contemporary world a living master class it needed badly."

By Caroline Linton
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