Live updates: Queen Elizabeth II dies, Charles becomes king
BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed condolences to the British royal family over the death of Queen Elizabeth II.…
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.
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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.
“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 added.
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.
John’s concert was part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, billed as his final tour.
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.
“And over the course of a remarkable seven decades, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change,” he said. “Through the noise and turbulence of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.”
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,” her intimate knowledge of and the stability she brought “across the fluctuations and upheavals of politics, a permanence with the scent of eternity.”
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” and that her passing was greatly mourned by everyone in the city-state.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro decreed three days of mourning and tweeted that she “wasn’t the queen for the British only; she 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” dedicated to serving the people of the UK and the Commonwealth.
The foreign affairs minister for Myanmar’s National Unity Government, an underground parallel government spearheading the fight for democracy in Myanmar against its military-led government, posted her condolences on Twitter.
“I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of @NUGMyanmar and the people of Myanmar, I extend our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” wrote Zin Mar Aung.
Myanmar, then called Burma, gained independence from British colonial rule in 1948.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia have offered their condolences over the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Statements carried early Friday in Saudi state media quoted King Salman as saying that Queen Elizabeth was “a model of leadership that will be immortalized in the history.”
He added: “We recall with appreciation the efforts of the deceased in consolidating the friendship and cooperation relations between our two friendly countries, as well as the high international status that Her Majesty enjoyed throughout the decades during which she acceded to the throne of your friendly country.”
His young son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, similarly offered his condolences, saying that the queen was “an example of wisdom, love and peace.”
He added: “The world remembers today the great impact and deeds that she had throughout her reign.”
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters she was awoken a little before 5 a.m. by a police officer shining a torch into her bedroom to tell her the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
Under New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements, the queen was also New Zealand’s monarch and head of state.
“The last days of the queen’s life captures who she was in so many ways,” Ardern said. “Working until the very end on behalf of the people she loved.”
Ardern said the queen was an extraordinary woman who she’d remember for her laughter. Ardern said that like many other people, she was feeling not only deep sadness but also deep gratitude.
“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, and her people included the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.”
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.
LONDON — Several sporting events in Britain were called off as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The BMW PGA Championship golf event immediately suspended play Thursday and the course and practice facilities will be closed Friday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said Friday’s play in the second test between England and South Africa at the Oval would not take place.
Horse racing meetings in Britain were suspended on Thursday night and Friday, and domestic rugby matches in England and Scotland were called off on Thursday and games will not be played over the weekend, either.
Friday’s stage in cycling’s Tour of Britain was canceled, with a decision on the final two stages over the weekend to be taken in due course.
In New York, a moment of silence was held before the U.S. Open women’s semifinals Thursday night. “We would like to pause to remember Queen Elizabeth II,” the stadium announcer said. “Our thoughts are with the people today of the United Kingdom. Remember to be part of us in a second of silence.”
For more AP coverage of Queen Elizabeth II: https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii
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