Live updates: Queen Elizabeth II dies, Charles becomes king
BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at a joint news conference in Brussels with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, noted that all 30 NATO member flags are flying at half-staff to honor Queen Elizabeth.
“She was a strong supporter of the transatlantic alliance, of our armed forces and our values,” Stoltenberg said, adding that she knew and worked with every one of his predecessors since NATO was founded. “I will always remember her wisdom, her warmth, and her strong personal interest in transatlantic unity.”
Blinken, meanwhile, paid homage to the “truly extraordinary life of Her Majesty Elizabeth II.”
He said she had personified “a sense of stability and continuity during turbulent times” and among “unprecedented challenges” faced by both Britain and the world. “She was a source of comfort and resilience to people from all walks of life.”
— Prince Charles became king upon his mother’s death
— Will Charles be loved by his subjects, like his mother was?
— Queen Elizabeth II, a monarch bound by duty, dies at 96
— Elizabeth has been the only monarch most people in Britain know
— ‘A constant in my life’: World mourns Queen Elizabeth II
— Biden is 13th and final US president to meet Queen Elizabeth II
— Find more AP coverage here: https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “deep sadness” and a sense of “emptiness” after the passing of the monarch and praised her “great affection for France.”
Macron said in a video message that the queen mastered “our language, loved our culture and touched our hearts.”
Macron described her as a “great head of state,” and said that with her, Britain and France share “a warm, sincere and loyal partnership.”
Speaking in English, the French president said: “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was THE Queen.”
KYIV, Ukraine — In Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, people laid flowers outside the British Embassy in honor of Queen Elizabeth.
Anatolii Zakletskyi, a 75-year-old Kyiv resident, said he wanted to express his admiration for the monarch.
“First, as a symbol of devotion to the motherland. Secondly, an absolute sense of duty before, as she herself said, God and the people. And thirdly, to all of Britain for being true friends of Ukraine,” Zakletskyi said. “My deep condolences to the entire British nation.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy started his nightly address to the nation late Thursday with condolences “to the royal family, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”___
LONDON — Prime Minister Liz Truss says the death of Queen Elizabeth II has caused a “heartfelt outpouring of grief” in Britain and around the world.
Truss spoke at the start of a special session of Parliament paying tribute to the queen.
Truss called the monarch “the nation’s greatest diplomat” and said her devotion to duty was an example to everyone.
The prime minister was officially appointed by the queen on Tuesday, just two days before her death. Truss said at the meeting, “she generously shared with me her deep experience of government, even in those last days.”
Normal business in Parliament has been suspended and lawmakers will spend two days offering their memories and reflections on the queen, who died Thursday after seven decades on the throne.
Senior lawmakers will also take an oath to King Charles III, the new monarch.
LONDON — Bells tolled across Britain on Friday in honor of Queen Elizabeth II as the nation started 10 days of mourning for its longest-serving monarch.
In imposing city cathedrals and small-town chapels, the bells began ringing at noon (1100 GMT) as part of a long-planned, carefully organized series of events to mark the queen’s passing.
At the same time, the British Parliament opened a special session to pay tribute to the queen.
An hour later, a special gun salute is planned with 96 shots, one for each year of Elizabeth’s nearly-century-long life.
Her son, now King Charles III, was en route from Balmoral Castle in Scotland where Elizabeth died Thursday for London, where he will meet the prime minister and give an address to the nation.
LONDON — The Premier League has postponed its upcoming round of matches as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
That adds to the cancellation of high-profile golf, cricket and horse racing events across Britain on Friday.
England’s top-flight clubs held a meeting on Friday and said they wanted to “pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and unwavering service to our country.”
The English Football League — the three divisions below the Premier League — also called off games scheduled for the weekend.
LONDON — King Charles III on his first full day of duties has left Balmoral in Scotland to head to London. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed just days earlier, and deliver a speech to the nation.
The king spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role. He takes the throne at a time when many Britons are preoccupied with an energy crisis, the soaring cost of living, the war in Ukraine and the fallout from Brexit.
Britain has begun a 10-day mourning period, with bells tolling around the country and 96-gun salutes planned in London — one for each year of the queen’s long life.
TOKYO — Hong Kong and its residents are also mourning Queen Elizabeth II. May Lam, who is studying in Japan, said she heard the news in Friday’s early hours and was too shocked to go back to sleep.
Lam was born before Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997 and grew up seeing the queen in everyday life, including on stamps and coins. “In my mind or in my memories, Queen Elizabeth was so special,” said Lam, who made a two-hour trip to the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Hong Kong was ruled by Britain for 156 years. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth visited Hong Kong twice — in 1975 and in 1986 following a visit to China.
LONDON — The death of Queen Elizabeth II has left many wondering what will happen to British money that bears her image, and whether it would be replaced by portraits of the new King Charles III.
Financial authorities sought to reassure people that there would be no big changes right away, but said little else.
“Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender,” the Bank of England said on its website. “A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed.”
The Queen was the first monarch to feature on British bank notes after the Treasury gave the central bank permission to use her image for a new 1 pound note issued in 1960.
BERLIN — Germany’s president has highlighted Queen Elizabeth II’s contribution to healing the wounds left by World War II during her long reign.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says that “Britain held out the hand of reconciliation to Germany, and the hand of reconciliation was also the queen’s hand.”
He says a state visit by the queen to West Germany in 1965 was “one of the most important and powerful symbols” of post-war friendship. “For the young Federal Republic of Germany, this trip was a pricelessly important signal of reconciliation after two disastrous world wars, after the great guilt that my country had heaped upon itself.”
LONDON – The head of the Anglican church says the death of Queen Elizabeth II is a moment of enormous change for Britain and the world.
The queen – who was monarch and supreme governor of the Church of England — died Thursday at 96 after 70 years on the throne.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says that for many people, “a part of our lives we’ve taken for granted as being permanent is no longer there.”
He says that with her death “there is an enormous shift in the world around us, in how we see it and how we understand ourselves.”
NEW DELHI — The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Friday expressed his deep sadness over the death of Queen Elizabeth II and offered his condolences to her family and the British people.
In a letter to King Charles III, the Dalai Lama said “I remember seeing photographs of her coronation in magazines when I was young in Tibet.”
He added that “your mother lived a meaningful life with dignity, grace, a strong sense of service and a warm heart, qualities we all should treasure.”
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, whose 50-year reign is now Europe’s longest, called Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II “a towering figure among European monarchs and a great inspiration to us all.”
“We shall miss her terribly,” Margrethe said in a statement released by the Danish royal household. Elizabeth died Thursday at 96 after 70 years on the British throne.
In neighboring Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf said the British monarch had “an outstanding devotion and sense of duty” and Norway’s King Harald said Elizabeth devotedly “accompanied the British people through joys and sorrows, in good times and bad times.”
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto said Elizabeth “witnessed and shaped history like few others. Her sense of duty and devotion to service are an example to us all.”
BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed condolences to the British royal family over the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
He noted in the statement Friday that Elizabeth was the first British monarch to visit China, which she did in 1986. “Her death is a great loss to the British people.”
The statement added that China was willing to work with King Charles III as an opportunity to promote bilateral relations and benefit the two countries and their people.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also sent a message of condolence to British Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The queen’s death Thursday comes amid tensions between Britain and China over human rights, trade and China’s relentless crackdown on free speech and the political opposition in the former British colony of Hong Kong.
The Queen’s death was a top trending topic on Chinese social media, with many people saying her death marks the end of an era.
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed his profound sadness Friday over the queen’s death saying she “exemplified to the world a true monarch’s great dignity, commitment to duty, and devotion to all those in her realm.”
“We, together with many Filipinos living and working in England, though not subjects of the Queen, have found ourselves having developed a great sense of affection for her as a Queen, as mother, and as a grandmother,” Marcos Jr. said in a statement posted on Facebook. “The world has lost a true figure of majesty in what she demonstrated throughout her life and throughout her reign as Queen.”
CANBERRA, Australia — Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of a failed campaign to have an Australian president replace the British monarch as Australia’s head of state and who later became prime minister, came close to tears on Friday in paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
Turnbull was chair of the Australian Republican Movement in 1999 when Australians voted at a referendum against the nation becoming a republic, severing its constitutional ties to the queen. He was prime minister between 2015 and 2018, during which time the queen gave him a photograph of herself with her husband Prince Philip.
Turnbull’s voice trembled as he recalled looking at the photo on Thursday night before he and his wife Lucy Turnbull went to bed with a sense of dread because of news from Buckingham Palace of the queen’s failing health.
“I took the portrait of the queen out and set it up and we just thought, ‘What an amazing life. What amazing leadership,’” Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
TORONTO — Elton John paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at his concert in Toronto on Thursday night, saying he was inspired by her and is sad she is gone.
“She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace and decency and genuine caring,” John said.
“I feel very sad that that she won’t be with me anymore, but I’m glad she’s at peace,” he said. “I’m glad she’s at rest and she deserves it. She worked bloody hard.”
The singer-songwriter then performed his 1974 track “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.”
John was knighted by the queen in 1998, a year after the death of his friend Princess Diana. Prince Charles also anointed the musician and charity patron as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honor last year.
Condolences poured in from around the world following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese mourned Queen Elizabeth II as the only only reigning monarch most Australians have known and the only one to ever to visit their country.
The British monarch is Australia’s official head of state, although these days the role is considered primarily ceremonial.
President Joe Biden signed the condolence book at the British Embassy in Washington, and his wife, Jill Biden, brought a bouquet of flowers. The president was overheard telling embassy staff, “We mourn for all of you. She was a great lady.”
French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the queen’s “immutable moral authority.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who announced this year the British commonwealth intended to become fully independent, said: “We are saddened that we will not see her light again, but we will remember her historic reign.”
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Queen Elizabeth II was “the very heart and soul of the United Kingdom.”
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro decreed three days of mourning and said Elizabeth “was a queen for all of us.”
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol tweeted their condolences, and Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah mourned the queen on Facebook as “a towering figure.”