‘A servant queen’: World pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

A mourner leaves flowers outside the British Embassy following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in Tokyo. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
People walk along the Las Vegas Strip as an image of Queen Elizabeth II is displayed on a casino marquee Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Indonesia_Britain_Queen_25777 Newspapers fronting pictures of Queen Elizabeth II are displayed on a newsstand following her passing, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
South_Korea_Britain_Queen_24814 The national flag flies at half-mast at the British Embassy following Queen Elizabeth II's passing in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Australia_Britain_Queen_93274 The Australian and Aboriginal flags fly at half mast atop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a symbol of stability in a turbulent era for her country and the world, died Thursday, Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
South_Korea_Britain_Queen_41910 People watch a TV screen showing a news program reporting with a file footage of Queen Elizabeth II, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. The letters read "British Prime Minister Liz Truss, "Queen was the very spirit of Great Britain." Condolences poured in from around the world Thursday after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who became a global icon of calmness and fortitude through decades of political upheaval and social changes at home and abroad.
Spain_Britain_Queen_31390 Spanish newspaper's front page display the news of the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Friday 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne.
Britain_Queen_10580 Flowers are attached to the gate of Buckingham Palace in London, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Australia_Britain_Queen_50597 The Sydney Opera House is illuminated with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability in a turbulent era for her country and the world, died Thursday, Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
France_Britain_Queen_43087 French President Emmanuel Macron signs a condolence book, following the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, at the British Embassy in Paris, France, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
France_Britain_Queen_73836 The French flag flies at half-mast above the Marine Museum, at Place de la Concorde following the passing of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in Paris, France, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Germany_Britain_Queen_55375 The flags in front of the Federal Chancellery are flown at half-mast in honor of the British Queen Elizabeth II, who died yesterday at the age of 96, in Berlin, Friday Sept. 9, 2022.
Kenya_Britain_Queen_04758 Kenyan newspapers show coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, at a stand in downtown Nairobi, Kenya Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
South_Africa_Britain_Queen_53935 A portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II is seen outside St George's Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability in a turbulent era for her country and the world, died Thursday, Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Britain_Queen_Washington_85163 Flowers and cards are laid outside the British Embassy in Washington, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a symbol of stability in a turbulent era that saw the decline of the British empire and disarray in her own family, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Germany_Britain_Queen_54578 A woman lights a candle outside tthe British Embassy following Thursday's death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in Berlin, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.
Kazakhstan_Britain_Queen_17843 A couple write in the book of remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II in the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Russia_Britain_Queen_66154 People light candles and lay flowers in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Thailand_Britain_Queen_75344 In this photo release by Government Spokesman Office, Thailand Defense Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, currently suspended as Thailand's prime minister while a court decides a legal challenge against him, signs a book of condolence in front of a picture of Queen Elizabeth II at British Ambassador's Residence in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
India_Britain_Queen_11747 A condolence book is kept beside a picture of Queen Elizabeth II at the residence of British High Commissioner, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Nigeria_Britain_Queen_75865 People reads newspapers with a front page photo of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at a newsstand in Obalende Lagos, Nigeria Friday , Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Italy_Britain_Queen_44522 A woman places flower in front of the British embassy in Rome, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne.
Lebanon_Britain_Queen_01561 The national flag flies at half-staff over the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
France_EU_Britain_Queen_00701 The British flag, left, flies at half mast in front of the Council of Europe, following Britain's Queen Elizabeth II's death on Thursday at the age of 96, in Strasbourg, eastern France, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Philippines_Britain_Queen_11565 An embassy staff arranges the flag beside a picture of Queen Elizabeth II outside the British Embassy in Metro Manila, Philippines, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Across the globe, the death of Queen Elizabeth II has prompted reflections on the historic sweep of her reign and how she succeeded in presiding over the end of Britain’s colonial empire and embracing the independence of her former dominions.

Tributes to the queen’s life have poured in, from world leaders to rock stars to ordinary people — along with some criticism of the monarchy.

It was in Cape Town, marking her 21st birthday in 1947, that the then-Princess Elizabeth pledged that her “whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

The British empire soon crumbled, but Elizabeth managed to maintain a regal — if ceremonial — position as the head of the Commonwealth, the 54 nations of mostly previous British colonies.

“The Queen lived a long and consequential life, fulfilling her pledge to serve until her very last breath at the age of 96,” Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, said Friday. “She was an exemplary leader of the kind seldom seen in the modern era.”

As queen, Elizabeth was seen as endorsing the birth of democracies in former colonies in Africa where Black citizens previously had been denied basic rights, including the vote. When in glittering tiaras she danced with new African leaders in the 1960s and visited their capitals, she burnished their new institutions.

When white-minority rule finally fell in South Africa in 1994, Elizabeth welcomed Nelson Mandela as a world leader. Her warm friendship with Mandela gave her a new relevance.

“In the years after his release from prison, (Mandela) cultivated a close relationship with the queen. He hosted her in South Africa and visited her in England, taking particular delight in exploring Buckingham Palace. They also talked on the phone frequently, using their first names with each other as a sign of mutual respect as well as affection,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said Friday.

“For Madiba, (Mandela’s clan name) it was important that the former colonial power in southern Africa should be drawn into cordial and productive relations with the newly democratic republic of South Africa.”

Fellow anti-apartheid fighter the late Anglican archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu also enjoyed good relations with the queen.

“Although ensconced in the pomp, ceremony and lifestyle of royalty and empire, in a world of profound inequality, she was a servant queen,” Tutu’s foundation and trust said Friday.

In contrast, a scathing view of the queen’s rule was issued by South Africa’s populist party, the Economic Freedom Fighters. The queen was “head of an institution built up, sustained, and living off a brutal legacy of dehumanization of millions of people across the world,” it said.

“We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history,” said the party. “During her 70-year reign as queen, she never once acknowledged the atrocities that her family inflicted on native people that Britain invaded across the world. She willingly benefited from the wealth that was attained from the exploitation and murder of millions of people.”

Some Irish soccer fans raucously cheered the queen’s death at a match Thursday, according to videos posted online that angered her supporters. The Republic of Ireland’s leadership expressed condolences and admiration for the queen.

The widespread tributes that followed her death came not only from U.S. President Joe Biden but also from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She was a “stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” Biden and first lady Jill Biden said, adding that she ”defined an era.”

Putin sent a telegram to King Charles III — Elizabeth’s oldest son who automatically became Britain’s new monarch.

“For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage. I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss,” Putin wrote.

Elizabeth was mourned across Europe. In France, Britain’s historic rival and contemporary ally, flags at the presidential palace and public buildings were lowered to half-staff on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron released a video Friday in English expressing a sense of “emptiness” after her passing. Addressing the British public, he said: “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was THE Queen, to all of us.”

In the U.S., tributes came from every living former president.

Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, said Elizabeth made “the role of queen her own — with a reign defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic.” George W. Bush called her “a woman of great intellect, charm, and wit,” and Jimmy Carter said Elizabeth’s “dignity, graciousness and sense of duty” were inspiring.

Even in places where the relationship with British monarchy is complicated, the tributes flowed. In India, once a British colony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Elizabeth “a stalwart of our times.”

The queen’s death came as a growing number of British territories in the Caribbean are seeking to replace the monarch with their own heads of state amid demands that Britain apologize for its colonial-era abuses and award its former colonies slavery reparations.

Still, Caribbean leaders mourned her. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said for many years Elizabeth visited the island every decade.

“Undoubtedly, she formed a special bond with the people of Jamaica,” he said. “We are saddened that we will not see her light again, but we will remember her historic reign.”

Bermuda Premier David Burt noted that her reign “has spanned decades of such immense change for the United Kingdom and the world.”

Elizabeth was also sovereign to 14 other countries including Jamaica, Canada, Australia, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

“Here is a woman who gave her life, utterly, to the service of others. And regardless of what anyone thinks of the role of monarchies around the world, there is undeniably, I think here, a display of someone who gave everything on behalf of her people,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was having trouble believing he’d had his last sit-down chat with Elizabeth: “I will so miss those chats,” he said. Elizabeth had visited Canada 22 times as monarch.

“For most Canadians, we have known no other sovereign,” Trudeau said, his eyes red with emotion. He said she was a “constant presence in our lives — and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who led a failed campaign to have an Australian president replace the British monarch as Australia’s head of state, came close to tears in paying tribute to Elizabeth.

“It’s the end of an era and let’s hope that the future, after the queen’s passing, is one where we will have leadership as dedicated and selfless as she has shown,” Turnbull told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

In China, Elizabeth’s death was a top trending topic on social media.

“I feel quite sad,” said Bao Huifang, a lawyer in Beijing. “She played a very important role in stabilizing Britain and the world.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences, noting Elizabeth was the first British monarch to visit China.

Elizabeth’s death comes amid increasingly tense relations between Britain and China. Xi said he was willing to work with King Charles III on promoting “healthy and stable” bilateral ties.

Rock star Elton John paid tribute at his Toronto concert, saying he was inspired by her and is sad that she is gone.

“She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace and decency and genuine caring,” John said.

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AP journalists Mogomotsi Magome in Johannesburg, Robert Gillies in Toronto, Canada, and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand, contributed to this report.

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Follow AP stories on Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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

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