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World leaders have started to pay tribute to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II after her family announced her passing Thursday at the age of 96.
Elizabeth’s 70-year reign ended as she passed peacefully in her Scottish home of Balmoral, surrounded by her family. Her son King Charles III said the Queen’s passing was a moment of “the greatest sadness” for the Royal family, and that her death will be “deeply felt” by “countless people around the world.”
U.S. House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali, ordered flags flown at half-staff in response to the Queen’s passing.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KT, said that “the British people’s loss is the entire world’s loss.”
“Americans join our friends in prayer, in grief, and in gratitude for such a remarkable leader and such a successful reign,” he wrote in a statement, adding that the Queen was a “shining example” of “sterling character.”
Former President Donald Trump spoke of his “tremendous loss and sadness” upon learning of the Queen’s passing and sent condolences to the Royal Family and people of the U.K. during their “great sorrow and grief.”
“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,” he continued. “She guided venerable institutions through modern times using timeless virtues like duty, dignity, and sacrifice.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the Queen “a good friend” of the United Nations, noting two visits she made to speak at the New York headquarters. He added that she was “a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change.”
“She was deeply committed to many charitable and environmental causes and spoke movingly to delegates at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow,” Guterres wrote in his statement. “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.”
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the Queen leaves behind “an unparalleled legacy of leadership and service,” adding, “May her memory be for a blessing!”
President of Israel Isaac Herzog said, “HM Queen Elizabeth II was known far and wide simply as The Queen. Her passing is the end of an era. Together with the Israeli people, I grieve her loss and extend my deepest sympathies to the British people and all nations of the Commonwealth, who have lost their matriarch.”
“In her life and in her service to her people, the Queen embodied a spirit of integrity, duty & ancient tradition,” Herzog added. “My late mother and father had several audiences with the Queen over the years. Her fond welcome and warm hospitality left a profound impression down the generations.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he learned of the Queen’s death “with deep sadness” and that he extended “sincere condolences to the Royal Family” and the entire United Kingdom for the “irreparable loss.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said he remembered the Queen as “a friend of France,” and that she “left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”
This is a developing story.