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Queen Elizabeth II remembered by President Biden and other world leaders

President Biden and leaders from other countries have released statements acknowledging the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Video Transcript


RACHELLE AKUFFO: All right. Well, back to the big breaking news of the day-- Queen Elizabeth II has died at 96 years old. Now, you're looking at live pictures at the moment of both the White House and Buckingham Palace, the flags there flying at half staff to honor Britain's longest-serving monarch. President Biden issuing a statement earlier saying the Queen was a steadying presence and a source of pride for generations of Britons.

I know that, obviously, she's the only monarch that I've ever known. And I was obviously just back home there in August. So this is tough. It's been very tough talking about her in the past tense being that she's got-- she's, you know, she's such a big presence and has been for so long. I mean, she was there before the European Union started and, you know, Brexit afterwards. So it's a lot. It's a lot, for sure, Seana.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, it certainly is, the longest-ever reigning monarch ruling Britain here for 30-- or excuse me-- 70 years. And through that time, 15 prime ministers serving under the Queen. I also just think speaking-- and we talked about this with a guest earlier in the program, just her commitment, her hard work, the length of her run, how that, in fact, won some deep admiration not only from those within the UK, but really from across the globe.

She held on to tradition, but she wasn't scared to make some changes. One of those, of course, being the change that she made in terms of the rules of succession, overturning that 300-plus year rule that stated that the firstborn son inherited the throne. Now it was the first born child, regardless of gender, would eventually become monarch.

And this, of course, also happening, Dave, as the UK has a new prime minister. Liz Truss becoming prime minister earlier this week. So certainly, a number of changes here for the UK, for Britain in particular, over this past week, over the last couple of days.

DAVID BRIGGS: Yeah, a very tough time there as they're looking at the likelihood of a coming recession and ushering in a new prime minister. But what I'm struck by-- and we talked to this Rob Shuter earlier in the program, we said we lost a steady hand that guided the ship for 70 years I'm struck by how divisive our politics have become, and we had 14 US presidents over her 70-year reign, how she stayed out of the fray, how she was a unifying force for 70 years in this day and age is astounding. It is flat-out remarkable.

It is likely we will never see anything like this ever again, unfortunately. I wish we could model our political system somewhat over the way she was viewed, and maybe that's with electing our first female president at some point in the near future.

Do want to mention, we're going to talk to "New York Times" best-selling author Jane Green, who's a close friend. She was born in London. She's written about the royal family, spent much of her life in London, and just adores the royal family. So we'll get some reflections from Jane at 4:30 Eastern time, Rachelle.