Queen Elizabeth II: How is Europe reacting to the death of Britain's longest-reigning monarch?

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By Lauren Chadwick  & Matthew Holroyd
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II travels in a carriage to parliament for the official State Opening of Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II travels in a carriage to parliament for the official State Opening of Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Leaders from across Europe paid tribute to Britain's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen reigned for 70 years and died peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday.

European leaders mourned the Queen and paid tribute to the historic duration of her reign and her history of service to the United Kingdom.

"Our thoughts are with the royal family and all those who mourn Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and worldwide," tweeted European Council President Charles Michel.

"Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the Queen's death left a "sense of loss in the lives of many" in the UK and throughout the world.

"Her courage and devotion to serving her country was a source of great strength to many and an anchor of stability in the hardest times.

"The Queen's steadfast dedication to her country, love of family and of her people informed every day of her long reign," she continued.

"Few have shaped global history like Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," said European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

"Her unbreakable commitment to duty and service was an example to all," said Metsola, who tweeted a photo of the Queen addressing the European Parliament.

The EU's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said: "Queen Elizabeth Il’s remarkable reign oversaw key events of the 20th and 21st century.

"The EU pays tribute to her unique contribution to building peace & reconciliation."

Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin conveyed his "deepest sympathy" to the Royal Family and the UK government on the loss of Queen Elizabeth II.

"The Queen’s reign was one of historic duration, immense consequence and a focus of respect and admiration around the world," said Martin.

"Her dedication to duty and public service were self-evident and her wisdom and experience truly unique."

Martin added that she was popular with the Irish people.

"In particular, I recall the warmth of the welcome she received from the public in Cork during her walkabout at the English Market," said Martin.

AP Photo/Pool
Fishmonger Pat O'Connell shows his wares to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the English Market in Cork, Ireland, May 20, 2011AP Photo/Pool

French President Emmanuel Macron remembered "a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century."

He said she had "embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years."

In a statement on the Élysée Palace website, the French remembered her also as someone who lived through World War II and who became a mechanic and paramedic in the British army.

"Rarely have subjects identified so much with a sovereign...she was one with her nation: she embodied a people, a territory, a common will," the Élysée statement said.

"She had a special status in France and, in the hearts of the French, a singular place. No other foreign sovereign had climbed the steps of the Élysée more often than she, who made France the honour of six state visits and met each of its presidents."

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez sent his condolences "to the entire Royal Family, the government and the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II."

He called her "a figure of global significance, witness and author of British and European history."

Spanish King Felipe VIshared a note sent to King Charles III, expressing the "most heartfelt condolences" of the Spanish government and people.

"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has undoubtedly witnessed, written and shaped many of the most relevant chapters in the history of our world during the last seven decades," he wrote.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has undoubtedly witnessed, written and shaped many of the most relevant chapters in the history of our world during the last seven decades.
Spanish King Felipe VI

"Her sense of duty, commitment and a whole life devoted to serving the people of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland set an example for all of us and will remain as a solid and valuable legacy for future generations."

"Queen Letizia and I send Your Majesty and the whole Family our love and prayers. You are all in our hearts and thoughts. We will miss Her dearly."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called her "a role model and inspiration for millions, including here in Germany."

"Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will not be forgotten. She will be missed, not least her wonderful sense of humour," Scholz tweeted.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the Queen was "a key figure in world history over the last seventy years."

Draghi called her a "beloved symbol of her country" who garnered respect from around the world.

"She ensured stability in times of crisis and kept the value of tradition alive in a society undergoing continuous and profound change.

"Her spirit of service, her dedication to the United Kingdom and to the Commonwealth and the immense dignity with which she carried out her role for such a long time have been an endless source of admiration for generations."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Netherlands remembered Queen Elizabeth II "with the deepest respect".

Rutte called her a "beacon of calm and stability for her country and the world, even at moments of the greatest historical upheaval."

"Queen Elizabeth combined a strong sense of duty and unflinching resolve with a light touch and a sense of humour."

"Queen Elizabeth combined a strong sense of duty and unflinching resolve with a light touch and a sense of humour."
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

"The characteristic manner with which she discharged her heavy responsibilities made a profound impression on everyone who met her."

Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix said they would remember Queen Elizabeth II with deep respect and great affection.

"Steadfast and wise, she dedicated her long life to serving the British people.

"We feel a strong bond with the United Kingdom and its royal family, and we share their sorrow at this time."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the Queen had "devotedly served her nation throughout her life."

"And she has served us by her example as a self-sacrificing, wise and prudent leader who knew how to lead her country through any storm."

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that she was "profoundly saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II" and that Estonia mourned alongside the Royal Family.

"Her sense of service and dedication to public duty were unparalleled. It's the end of an era but her legend will live on and inspire," Kallas said.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that "Queen Elizabeth II personified an entire era in world history, was an example of leadership and service to her people."

"Ukraine will warmly remember Her Majesty's invaluable support."

Slovenia's President Borut Pahor expressed his "deep sadness and condolences".

"She ruled the United Kingdom but belonged to the whole world."

Belgium's King Philippe and Queen Mathilde said it was with great sadness that they learned of Queen Elizabeth II's death.

She was an extraordinary personality.
Belgium's King Philippe and Queen Mathilde

"Each of our encounters will remain etched in our memories forever. The United Kingdom has lost an exceptional monarch who left a deep mark on history," they added.

Montenegro's Prime Minister, Dr Dritan Abazovic, tweeted a photo of Queen Elizabeth at Titograd (Podgorica) Airport during a state visit to Yugoslavia, then a communist state before its disintegration, in 1972.

"On behalf of the People of (Montenegro), I express our deep sadness," he said.

Robert Abela, the prime minister of Malta, said the Queen was "loved by all".

"We will remember her fondly especially living here as a young princess," he wrote on Twitter.

Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammertweeted that it was the end of "a 70-year era in which she stood for stability through the decades to this day".

Additional sources • Alice Tidey, Jorge Liboreiro, Sophia Khatsenkova