Live updates: Charles back in London as king; queen mourned

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela offered condolences to the United Kingdom on Friday following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death was headline news in several Latin American countries.

British Ambassador to Ecuador Chris Campbell said, “there are not just the British people missing her today, not just the British people are remembering her life and her legacy, but also people all over the world.”

A book of condolences is available for those who wish to offer their sympathies in a message to the Royal Family.

British embassies expressed their gratitude for all the expressions of affection and condolences to the Queen and opened the so-called book of condolences for those who wish to express their condolences and send a message to the Royal Family.

In Chile, flowers and cards were left on the British residence walls as a show of solidarity with the British people.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

— 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

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

LONDON — Britain’s King Charles III told Prime Minister Liz Truss that losing his mother was the day he had been dreading and that he must “try and keep everything going.”

Their meeting happened Friday in Buckingham Palace after the king flew from Scotland to London.

Queen Elizabeth II had appointed Truss to the role just two days before her death.

And Truss praised the queen during the start of a special session of Parliament, calling her “the nation’s greatest diplomat” and said her devotion to duty was an example to everyone.

Normal business in Parliament has been suspended and lawmakers will spend two days offering their memories and reflections on the queen.

Senior lawmakers will also take an oath to King Charles III, the new monarch.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he planned to attend the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.

Biden was the 13th and final U.S. president to meet the woman whose reign spanned seven decades. The queen had met every American president since Dwight Eisenhower, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson. That’s because Johnson did not visit Britain during his presidency.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden said the queen’s “legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.”

Every living former U.S. president — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — joined Biden in mourning her passing and sending condolences to her family.

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ATHENS, Greece – Greece’s former King Constantine has described Queen Elizabeth II as “a beacon of dignity and humility for the whole world.”

Constantine lived in London for years after the Greek monarchy was abolished and is close to the British royal family.

“We have been through so much together and I will never forget the love and support she showed me and my family,” he said in a statement Friday. “To King Charles III, I wholeheartedly wish an equally successful service to his country.”

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LONDON — King Charles III has expressed his love for his son, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan, in his first speech to the nation since taking the throne.

Charles, who became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, wishes the couple well “as they build their life overseas.’’

Meghan, 41, and Harry, 37, have been in a tense relationship with Britain’s royal family since they stepped away from royal duties and left the U.K. in early 2020, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

The comment came during a recorded speech before a memorial service honoring the late monarch, who died Thursday.

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LONDON — King Charles III says he feels “profound sorrow” at the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, and has vowed to carry on her “lifelong service” to the nation.

Charles is making his first address to Britain and the Commonwealth as monarch. He became king on Thursday after the queen’s death.

“That promise of lifelong service I renew to all today,” he said.

His speech was broadcast on television and streamed at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where some 2,000 people were attending a service of remembrance for the queen. Mourners at the service included Prime Minister Liz Truss and members of her government.

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Flags were flying at half-staff on landmarks in Australia on Friday as people expressed sadness at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Australian Governor-General David Hurley and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed condolence books in Canberra.

“There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: ‘Grief is the price we pay for love.’” said the Australian prime minister.

New Zealanders also mourned the passing of Queen Elizabeth II with tributes around the country on Friday. At the Auckland War Memorial, a group of young people performed the Haka, a ceremonial dance in Māori culture. Flags flew at half-staff around the country.

Under New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements, the queen was also New Zealand’s monarch and head of state.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had moved into a period of official mourning, and would hold a state memorial service after the official funeral in Britain.

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ABUJA, Nigeria — The death of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II was frontpage news in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, biggest economy and former British colony.

Nigeria’s President Mohammodu Buhari offered his condolences and expressed sadness on hearing of the queen’s passing, according to his spokesman.

That sentiment was echoed by one man, Musa Adamu, at a news stand in the capital Abuja. The civil servant urged the British people to “exercise patience and endure the pain,” noting that “God will bless you all of you now.”

The flag flew at half-staff outside the British High Commission.

On a daily morning TV talk show, presenter Mohammed Jinadu and pundit Linda Claudia discussed the role Queen Elizabeth II played in holding the United Kingdom together.

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GIBRALTAR — Gibraltarians were mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II with several dozen queueing from the early hours of Friday to sign a book of condolences and lay flowers.

Gibraltar has lowered the flags of official buildings, entered a period of national mourning and cancelled celebrations on Saturday of its National Day.

On Friday morning the governor and Chief Minister also signed the condolences book that the residents had been writing in.

Fabian Picardo, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory bordering southern Spain, said “May Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second rest in eternal peace. Long live the King.”

In a statement sent to media and posted online, Picardo also added: “The People of Gibraltar will mourn Her Majesty as a monarch who has reigned wisely and with incomparable dedication throughout the period of our post-war emergence as a part of the British family of nations.”

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BELFAST, EDINBURGH — A series of special gun salutes across the United Kingdom fired 96 shots on Friday, one for each year Queen Elizabeth II lived, a near century-long life.

Bells also tolled across the nation in honor of Queen Elizabeth II as the nation started 10 days of mourning for its longest-serving monarch.

King Charles III, who spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role, planned to meet with the prime minister and address a nation grieving the only British monarch most of the world had known.

He takes the throne in an era of uncertainty for both his country and the monarchy itself.

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ABERDEENSHIRE, Scotland — People paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at the gates of her Balmoral residence where she died.

Despite the rain on Friday, mourners from all walks of life came to lay down flowers or simply say goodbye to the British monarch they loved and respected.

“I just wanted to say thank you to the Queen,” said Christy Asalor.

“She has been a symbol of strength and stability, she has been so selfless and she’s given herself, literally sacrificed her whole life serving us until two days before she passed and the least we could do is just say thank you.”

Other people said they were feeling a lot of sadness at the passing of the only queen they ever knew.

Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning British monarch, at 70 years of service.

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LONDON — U.S. climate envoy and former U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth, describing her as the “calm in the storm” and a “great stateswoman.”

In brief comments to The Associated Press in London, Kerry said his thoughts were with the royal family and noted the sense of loss that people were feeling around the world.

Kerry also praised what he described as the queen’s “great sense of direction.”

“Never any any vitriol, never any political commentary, always on values, always on the bigger picture,” he said.

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LONDON — “The Crown,” Netflix’s acclaimed series about Queen Elizabeth II and her family, has paused production due to the monarch’s death.

A spokesperson for the series said production was paused on Friday “as a mark of respect” and will also be suspended on the day of the queen’s funeral.

The show is in production on its sixth season. Its first two seasons starred Claire Foy as the young Princess Elizabeth ascending to the throne and gradually growing into her role as monarch, and seasons three and four featured Olivia Colman as a more mature queen.

The show, which has won 22 Emmy Awards so far, has gradually moved closer to current events. Netflix recently revealed casting of the actors who are playing Prince William and his wife Kate in the sixth season.

Its fifth season, with Imelda Staunton playing the queen, will premiere in November.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus – In ethnically divided Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades offered condolences for the Queen’s passing, posting on his official Twitter account, “our thoughts are with the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom.”

But for many Greek Cypriots, those thoughts hark back to a bloody, four-year guerrilla campaign that was waged in the late 1950s against British colonial rule and a perceived indifference the Queen demonstrated over the plight of nine individuals whom British authorities executed by hanging, despite appeals for their death sentences to be commuted.

Yiannis Spanos, president of Association of National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) told the Associated Press that “we respect the dead even if in life they proved to be our enemies.”

Spanos said the Queen was “held by many as bearing responsibility” for the “island’s tragedies,” particularly for not granting pardons, even for some of the condemned for whom there was no definitive evidence to merit a death sentence even under colonial law.

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LONDON — King Charles III has arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time as Britain’s monarch.

The king flew to London from Scotland on Friday and was driven to the royal residence in an official Bentley. A large crowd cheered as the car arrived at the palace gates.

He got out of the car to greet well-wishers and look at some of the huge pile of floral tributes left to honor his mother Queen Elizabeth II. Some called “Thank you Charles” and “Well done, Charlie!” as he shook hands with the crowd. Several shouted “God save the King!”

A few broke into a rendition of Britain’s national anthem, which is now titled “God Save the King.”

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LONDON — British prime ministers who served during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II are sharing personal tributes to the late monarch.

There were 15 prime ministers during the queen’s reign, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, who was appointed just this week. The leaders held weekly private meetings with the monarch.

Truss’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, said in the House of Commons that when he saw the queen on Tuesday to offer his resignation, “she was as radiant and as knowledgeable and as fascinated by politics as ever I can remember, and as wise in her advice as anyone I know, if not wiser.”

Johnson called the queen “the keystone in the vast arch of the British state” and said “we are coming to understand in her death the full magnitude of what she did for us all.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May said the queen was “the most remarkable person I have ever met” as well as the most impressive.

“I doubt we will ever see her like again,” May said. “May she rest in peace and rise in glory.”

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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.”

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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.”

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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