The American president has paid tribute to a “steadying presence, a source of comfort and pride for generations” in his fulsome and personal statement on the passing of the Queen.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” President Joe Biden wrote.
He last met the Queen when she hosted a private tea for him and the First Lady on the sidelines of the G7 summit last summer.
Emotional scenes outside Buckingham Palace – Queen’s death latest
“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special.
“She helped Americans commemorate both the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and the bicentennial of our independence.
“And she stood in solidarity with the United States during our darkest days after 9/11, when she poignantly reminded us that, ‘grief is the price we pay for love’.”
And reflecting on a number of meetings with her, President Biden said: “She charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom.”
The Queen met thirteen of the last fourteen presidents.
From Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy to Bush, Obama and Trump, she knew them all and charmed them all.
Reflecting on her passing, President Clinton said: “She led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity, and genuine care for the welfare of all its people.
“In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity, and strength.”
In his statement, President George W Bush said: “Our world benefitted from her steady resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign. Americans in particular appreciate her strong and steadfast friendship.”
President Obama said her reign was one “defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic, defying the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation”.
And President Trump reflected on meeting her: “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 humour.
“What a grand and beautiful lady she was – there was nobody like her.”
The so-called ‘special relationship’ was one she fostered through many presidencies.
On a state visit in 1991, she told President George HW Bush: “No wonder I cannot feel a stranger here. The British have never felt America to be a foreign land. Here, we feel comfortable and among friends.”
At the White House and on Capitol Hill, the Stars and Stripes was lowered to half-mast.
She was above the turbulent geopolitics of the decades she reigned through, and yet so often was forced to navigate it all.
Perhaps her diplomatic adeptness was best summed up by President Clinton who once wrote: “Her Majesty impressed me as someone who, but for the circumstance of her birth, might have become a successful politician or diplomat.
“As it was, she had to be both, without quite seeming to be either.”