Monarchies across Europe pay tribute to the Queen

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Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96. She served her country and the Commonwealth for 70 years and her death has led to tributes from around the world.

Spain’s King Felipe has sent a telegram with condolences to the British Royal Family. Felipe, who called the late monarch “Dear Aunt Lilibeth”, said in the message: “You are all in our hearts and thoughts. We will miss Her dearly.”

Felipe and Queen Letizia joined the late monarch in March at a Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London.

The Spanish king was invested as a Supernumerary Knight of the Garter in 2019.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium said in a statement: “It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“She had an extraordinary personality. We will always keep fond memories of this great Lady who, throughout her reign, showed dignity, courage and devotion. Each of our encounters will remain etched in our memories forever.”

The statement continued: “The United Kingdom has lost an exceptional monarch who left a deep mark on history. We extend our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and the British people.

“Rest in peace, Your Majesty, with your beloved husband.”

They too joined Queen Elizabeth II at the Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip.

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King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands described the late Queen as steadfast and wise.

They said in a statement: “We 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.

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“We are very grateful for our countries’ close friendship, to which Queen Elizabeth made such an unforgettable contribution.”

A statement released on behalf of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa read: “The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess are deeply moved and saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a monarch deeply attached to the friendship between our two countries and a faithful friend of the Grand Ducal family.”

The Norwegian royal family said in a statement its members felt deeply saddened to receive the news while King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said: “With sadness, my family and I have today received the news that my dear relative, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away.

“The Queen served Her countries and the Commonwealth with an outstanding devotion and sense of duty. She has been a constant presence, not only in British society but internationally.

“In addition, she has always been a good friend to my family and a link to our shared family history.”

Faith and world leaders have also paid tribute to the Queen, including Pope Francis who said he felt deeply saddened by the news of her death.

Pope Francis said on Thursday he was deeply saddened by the death of Queen Elizabeth II and offered his condolences to her family and her successor, King Charles.

The Pontiff, in a telegram to King Charles III, said: “I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth.”

US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill 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.

“Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history and in the story of our world.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was with the heaviest of hearts the world learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning Sovereign.

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.”

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