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Global leaders pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as world mourns her death

A world that for the most part knew no other British monarch expressed deep sadness Thursday at the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and awe for the expanse of her reign and the historical transformation she guided.

Leaders, many of whom were not born when Elizabeth assumed the throne, mourned the loss for Britain and wondered what the new era will hold for a nation mired in rocky politics and unrest, above which the queen often stood as a calming, unifying force.

And citizens from former parts of the once-vast British Empire, including some who oppose the monarchy, paid homage to the queen.

In Washington, President Biden canceled a scheduled speech and praised Elizabeth as a “stateswoman of unmatched dignity” and “unwavering commitment to duty.”

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch,” Biden said in a statement. “She defined an era.

“She was the first British monarch to whom people all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection,” he added, whether they heard her as a young princess speaking on the radio to children during World War II, gathered around their TV sets for her coronation or watched her Platinum Jubilee on their smartphones.

A tearful Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, choked up as he said that it was with deep sadness that he saluted her “wisdom, compassion and warmth.”

The new British prime minister, Liz Truss, on her third day on the job, stepped to a podium at 10 Downing Street and solemnly lionized the queen as the “rock upon which Great Britain is built.”

The government of Australia, where anti-monarchy sentiment runs high, said the people of Britain “will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole.”

“This is a loss we all feel, for few have known a world without Queen Elizabeth II,” the statement said. “In her seven remarkable decades on the throne, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change. Through the noise and tumult of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.”

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