World leaders express ‘deep sadness’ following death of the Queen

·4-min read
The nation is mourning the Queen, who died aged 96 on September 8. (Getty Images)
The nation is mourning the Queen, who died aged 96 on September 8. (Getty Images)

Political leaders across the world have expressed their sadness as they paid tribute to the Queen following her death.

The Dalai Lama led global tributes to the Queen yesterday, writing a deeply personal letter to King Charles.

The spiritual leader and former head of state of Tibet told of his "deep sadness".

The 14th Dalai Lama, known as Gyalwa Rinpoche to his people, added: "Her reign, as Britain’s longest-serving monarch, represented celebration, inspiration and a reassuring sense of continuity for so many people alive today.

"Your mother lived a meaningful life with dignity, grace, a strong sense of service and a warm heart, qualities we all should treasure."

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn also sent a message of condolence to Charles, writing that the Queen had “truly dedicated her life to serving the people”.

In a message, he wrote: “Queen Suthida, members of the Thai royal family, and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“The people of Thailand join with the people of Great Britain in mourning this great loss of the head of state, and together remember Her Majesty’s royal grace and royal duties which Her Majesty had carried out as Queen…

“The people of Thailand and I still remember with much pride and warmth the two historic state visits made by Your Majesty in 1972 and 1996, as guests of my beloved father, His late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

“May I, on behalf of the people of Thailand, express to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and the British people our heartfelt sympathy and condolences.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “As Queen of New Zealand, Her Majesty was loved for her grace, calmness, dedication, and public service.

“Her affection for New Zealand and its people was clear, and it was an affection that was shared.

“Her Majesty was an important part of all our lives throughout her reign – but she was first and foremost a daughter, a sister, a mother, and a grandmother.

“You have our deepest sympathies for her loss but also our gratitude for her extraordinary life of service.”

Across the world, there has been an extraordinary outpouring of grief, sadness and shock over Her Majesty’s passing.

Australia, a Commonwealth country visited 16 times by the Queen, had the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House lit up with an image of her smiling face. She had been present when the building was opened in 1973. The tribute paid to honour her as a "model of strength and stability".

The Nasdaq Billboard in Times Square, New York, showed a smiling picture of Her Majesty and the Empire State Building nearby by was lit up in purple.

The city’s Tea & Sympathy British restaurant became a shrine, with mourners clutching flowers while ordering cups of tea as a way of paying their respects.

President Joe Biden signed the condolence book at the British Embassy in Washington while the US Ambassador Jane Hartley said: "We grieve with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

"There has been no greater steward of the alliance of friendship and cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom than Queen Elizabeth. Her dedication to public service is an example to us all.

"Throughout her reign, she was always received in the United States with great respect and adoration, embodying everything we love most about the British - their humour, humility and grace.

"The Queen’s life of service has been a gift, not just to her people, but to the world."

The national flag flew at half-mast in Kuwait City, the statue of Christ The Redeemer bore the colours of the Union Jack while the Elysee Palace in Paris paraded the British flag.

The Eiffel Tower, usually illuminated, went dark in tribute and French President Emmanuel Macron signed a condolence book at the capital’s British Embassy.

Both the Union Jack and Israel’s national flag were projected on the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Members of the Armed Forces in New Zealand performed a ceremonial Maori haka at the Auckland War Memorial.

In Berlin, flowers and candles were laid outside the British Embassy, while in Venice God Save The Queen was played outside the city’s Festival Buildings.

The National Anthem rang out at the Venice Film Festival as Hollywood stars, including Brad Pitt and Ana de Armas arrived on the red carpet.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Queen had "an obvious deep and abiding love for Canadians".

He added: "Her steady grace and resolve brought comfort to us all. I will miss our chats where she was thoughtful, wise, curious, helpful, funny and so much more. She was one of my favourite people in the world, and I will miss her so."

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered "sincere sympathies" and added: "Her passing is a great loss to British people."