The President of the United States, Joe Biden has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death on Sept 8 commenting on her long period of duty and how her story has changed the history of the world. 

In a statement issued by the White House, on Thursday, President Joe Biden said “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era.

It continued “In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her.”

He said she first British monarch to whom people “could feel a personal and immediate connection” and praised her for “an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example.”

Biden first met Elizabeth in November 1982, when he traveled with other senators to a meeting of the British-American Parliamentary Group. However, in 2021 President Joe Biden met with the Queen. He was the 13th US President who Queen Elizabeth met during her 70-year reign. he met every sitting American president since Harry S. Truman, other than Lyndon B. Johnson.

At the time he paid her the highest compliment by comparing the Queen to his mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan. 

He said “We had a long talk. She was very generous. I don’t think she’d be insulted, but she reminded me of my mother, in terms of the look of her and just the generosity. She was very gracious.”

Upon her death, speaking about the visit, he added “She charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom."

“Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history,” Biden said, “and in the story of our world.”

Irish politicians pay tribute to the Queen

Having released a full statement on Thursday, Ireland's president Michael D. Higgins, speaking to RTE on Friday, said Queen Elizabeth held an "extraordinary gift" in her long service and her capacity to connect with the public. 

The Queen at Guinness Storehouse in 2011 with Prince Philip.

The Queen at Guinness Storehouse in 2011 with Prince Philip.

President Michael D Higgins has said Britain's Queen Elizabeth had an "extraordinary gift" in combining her long service with a capacity for connecting with people.

Higgins reflected on his state visit to the United Kingdom in 2014 when he met the Queen. He said she was enormously well informed about the contribution of the Irish community in Britain.

He said Queen Elizabeth had "never been stuck in a rut of history in a particular period".

He added "She was very conscious how Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland had changed over the years, he said, and was keen to emphasize the possibility of improved economic, social and cultural relations.

Speaking about her historic state visit to Ireland in 2011 and his trip in 2014, Higgins said the Queen was "at pains to point out the contribution that the Irish had made in relation to building England" and paid tribute to the "hundreds of thousands of families" who worked in the English health services and built roads.

He recalled that during her first trip to Ireland in 2011, that she had said of Britain's history with Ireland, "if things would have been done again, they would be done differently or perhaps not at all".

Queen Elizabeth and Mary McAleese at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, in 2011.

Queen Elizabeth and Mary McAleese at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, in 2011.

"I found during those four days, very much not just a great deal of warmth, but an exceptional regard that Ireland and Britain were in a new place," he said.

"People mightn't know, but she was very conscious that the use of the Irish language in 2011 was not accidental," he said.

Higgins said, "I think, above all else, it is the extraordinary achievement she had of giving such a long service in very, very significant conditions of change, being incredibly well informed, but also maybe I think the exceptional part of it all was combining this sense of formality in duty with a great capacity for connection with the people."

Irish leader, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Queen's most enduring legacy in would be her visit to Ireland in 2011.

"I think in the context of all that has gone on between Britain and Ireland over the centuries it definitely closed one chapter and opened up a new chapter."

He continued "The head of state of the United Kingdom coming to Ireland represented really the crowning moment for all that had gone before in terms of peacebuilding and in terms of creating a new political order."

Tánaiste (deputy leader) Leo Varadkar said Queen Elizabeth's death marked "the end of an era and the end of an extraordinary life."

He said her "historic visit" to Ireland in 2011 was "deep in symbolism".

Speaking to RTE he said, "I remember the impact that had... and it was a high point in British Irish relations and she made that possible."