Honors quickly poured in after news that Elizabeth II died early Thursday afternoon at the age of 96, hours after her doctors announced a deterioration in her health.
• Also read: Key Statements by Queen Elizabeth II
• Also read: [EN IMAGES] Queen Elizabeth II as you’ve never seen her
• Also read: [EN DIRECT] Queen Elizabeth II dies at the age of 96
“It is with a heavy heart that we learn of the passing of Canada’s longest-serving sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter at noon during a news conference.
The Prime Minister called the Queen a “permanent presence” in the lives of Canadians and will remain an “important part of our history”.
“She had an obvious and deep affection for all Canadians. She has served us with strength and courage for 70 years,” he said at a tearful press conference.
“She was one of my favorite people in the world and I will miss her dearly,” added Mr. Trudeau, turning his thoughts to members of the royal family.
The Queen’s representative to Canada, Governor General Mary Simon, recalled that for many Canadians she was “the only queen we know of”.
“Her Majesty the Queen was compassionate, devoted, humble, caring and thoughtful at the same time. Nothing was more important to her than serving her people, and she inspired so many with her devotion to the Crown.
Note that 12 Canadian prime ministers and 13 governors-general succeeded each other during the sovereign’s reign.
“Queen Elizabeth II lived a life of history and duty. She was also a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. My thoughts today go to his family who have lost a true pillar in their lives,” wrote New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh, one of the first to respond.
Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet also paid tribute to the late monarch.
“On behalf of all elected officers, teams and members of the Bloc Québécois, I offer our sincere condolences to the people of England and to Her Majesty Elizabeth II’s family. She will have been at the heart of a century of troubles with a desire to be a positive force there,” he said.
The interim leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, Candice Bergen, also expressed her condolences to the royal family.
“As a proud Commonwealth country, it is with unspeakable sadness that we mourn the loss of our oldest Sovereign. Her Majesty’s sense of duty to Canada was both ingrained and demonstrated in her actions,” she said in a statement.
She also highlighted the role of the monarch in Canadian history.
“She not only witnessed our historical development as a modern, self-confident and confident nation – she actively helped shape it.”
Quebec pays tribute to him
Quebec Premier Francois Legault, meanwhile, decided to pause his campaign for the rest of the day on Thursday, postponing his planned announcements.
“She ruled her country for almost 70 years, she was a woman who had a sense of public duty, she supported her people in difficult times,” he said in a hurry.
As head of government, Mr Legault must address the leaders of the other parties to indicate that there will be no election announcement.
The President of the National Assembly, François Paradis, announced the immediate half-mast of the Québec flag on the tower of the Parliament building until the day of the funeral.
Liberal leader Dominique Anglade argued that the sovereign was a significant figure in history.
“[Elle] dedicated his life to public service. She will have gone through several key moments of our time, always with great dignity. All my thoughts are with his family and the British people,” she said on Twitter.
“I think this is very sad news for everyone, it’s also historic. […] She was a woman who was quiet and moderate,” Conservative leader Éric Duhaime said shortly after his speech to members of the Metropolitan Montreal Trade Committee.
The leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, was content to offer his condolences at the end of a meeting with the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA), but decided to continue the campaign.
“Beyond our political opinions, the fact remains that a death on a family and human level is a time when we must extend our sympathy and condolences. He’s someone who shaped England and the rest of the world,” he said.
“Queen Elizabeth II will have shaped her era. I would like to offer my condolences and wish his loved ones a peaceful grief,” responded Solidarity leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
“I will remember from Her Majesty all the devotion, self-sacrifice and integrity with which this great lady discharged her royal duties during the longest reign in the history of the British monarchy,” Quebec’s lieutenant governor said in a brief statement. J Michel Doyon.
Lots of reactions around the world
The world mourned Britons on Thursday after the death of Elizabeth II, “a queen of hearts” whose “dignity” and “unwavering sense of duty” caused a flurry of unanimous tributes.
Addressing “their thoughts” to the royal family and their people, leaders said they were personally affected by the death of the sovereign, who in 70 years of reign has struck almost every great leader on the planet.
A minute’s silence at the United Nations, flags at half-mast on the Capitol but also in the Sultanate of Oman, days of mourning in Brazil or Jordan, signs of respect have multiplied in all parts of the world.
“grace”, “dignity”, “duty”
Joe Biden praised “a stateswoman of unparalleled dignity and steadfastness.” Elizabeth II was “more than a monarch. She embodied an era,” added the American President, who last saw her in June 2021.
Barack Obama added that his reign was marked by “grace, elegance and an unwavering sense of duty”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also stressed Elizabeth II’s “grace, dignity and devotion”.
“There are no words that can even partially appreciate this Queen’s paramount importance, her sense of duty, her moral integrity, her devotion and her dignity,” said former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Rarely did the death of Elizabeth II bring even the worst of enemies to condescend.
“Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects and authority on the world stage for many decades,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his “deep sadness” and lamented “an irreparable loss”.
In the United States, former Republican President Donald Trump agreed with Democrats Joe Biden and Barack Obama in praising a sovereign who he says is leaving “an extraordinary legacy of peace and prosperity.”
“I cherish the memory of a friend of France, a Queen of Hearts who forever shaped her country and her century,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.
She was also “a remarkable friend of Ireland” according to President Michael D. Higgins, but also “a constant presence” in the lives of Canadians who she “will always cherish,” according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Deeply sad,” said Pope Francis, he prayed for Elizabeth II and Charles III.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of the sovereign.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said he was “painful at his disappearance”. The Argentine government has expressed its “sorrow”.
The King of Belgium Philippe and his wife on Thursday paid tribute to “an extraordinary monarch who has left a deep mark on history” with their “extraordinary personality”.
King Felipe VI of Spain even judged that she had “written the most relevant chapters in history” in the past seven decades.
Queen Elizabeth II symbolizes “reconciliation” with Germany and helps to heal the “wounds” of the Second World War, emphasized the German head of state, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
His death leaves a great void for Pakistani President Arif Alvi, the memory of which “will remain engraved in golden letters in the annals of world history.”
“His life and legacy will be remembered around the world,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised Elisabeth II as “a prime example of continuity”, “whose calmness and dedication have given many people strength”.
“Throughout her rich career she has been a source of inspiration and nobility,” added the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid judged that this “extraordinary figure” “symbolizes devotion and love for his homeland”.
From Joe Biden, who first met her in 1982, to Angela Merkel, who spoke one last time at the end of her term in office last year of the “honor to receive her,” several personalities shared their memories of the Queen, including in unexpected additions.
Since her stay in Brazil in 1968, where she had attended a game in the crowded Maracana stadium, the soccer player Pelé turned out to be the sovereign’s “great admirer”.
“We will always remember her fondly as she lived here when she was a little princess,” tweeted Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela.