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Tributes pour in for Queen Elizabeth II after her death at 96

“Britain is the great country it is today because of her,” Liz Truss, who became British prime minister Tuesday, said in a speech outside No. 10 Downing St.
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British Prime Minister Liz Truss led the tributes to Queen Elizabeth II on Friday as the United Kingdom — and the world — reacted to her death at the age of 96. 

Truss, who took office Tuesday after succeeding Boris Johnson, remembered the queen as “the rock on which our country was built.”

In a speech outside No. 10 Downing St., she said that everyone was “devastated” after a “huge shock to the nation and the world.”

“Britain is the great country it is today because of her,” she added. “Her devotion to duty is an example to us all.”

She said Britain would offer King Charles III “our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much to us for so long.”

Her predecessor called the queen’s passing “our country’s saddest day.”

“In the hearts of every one of us there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss — far more intense, perhaps, than we expected,” Johnson said in a statement. “She seemed so timeless and so wonderful that I am afraid we had come to believe, like children, that she would just go on and on,” he added.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, also paid his respects. In a statement, he said the U.K. was mourning “the passing of a remarkable sovereign.” As Britain changed rapidly, he said, the queen’s “dedication became the still point of our turning world.”

England’s top religious authority, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said his prayers were “with the king and the royal family,” while Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called Elizabeth’s death “a profoundly sad moment.”

President Joe Biden was quick to pay tribute to the monarch, saying in a statement that she was “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.”

His predecessor, Donald Trump, also paid his respects, saying in a statement that her “remarkable reign left a tremendous legacy of peace and prosperity for Great Britain.”

“Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor,” he added.

Former President Barack Obama said the relationship he and his wife, Michelle, formed with the queen “meant a great deal to us.”

"Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance," he said in a statement.

In Canada, a member country of the Commonwealth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that “it was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning Sovereign."

“She was a constant presence in our lives — and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history,” he added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply saddened,” by the queen’s passing, tweeting that she “exemplified selfless leadership and public service.”

European leaders including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid tribute, tweeting that her death was an "irreparable loss."

French President Emmanuel Macron offered his condolences. Alongside a portrait of Elizabeth, he tweeted that she was “a friend of France,” while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took to social media to say that her “commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will remain unforgotten.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared fond memories of the monarch, tweeting that he would “never forget her warmth and kindness.”

“During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding,” he wrote, referring to the Indian independence leader. “I will always cherish that gesture.”