Biden pays respects to 'honourable' Queen Elizabeth before funeral

Biden pays respects to
# 18 September 2022 20:18 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. President Joe Biden paid emotional tribute to Queen Elizabeth on the eve of her state funeral on Sunday, saying Britain and the world had been lucky to have such a dignified and dedicated servant on the throne for 70 years, APA reports citing Reueters.

Biden, among scores of dignitaries and royals from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas who have arrived in London for Monday's funeral, said the queen's death at 96 years of age had left a giant hole on the global stage.

"To all the people of England, all the people in United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you," Biden said after he signed a book of condolence and visited her lying-in-state in Westminster. "You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years, we all were. The world's better for her."

He said he had consoled the queen's heir, King Charles, that the queen would be "with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment and that's a reassuring notion".

Hundreds of thousands of people have descended on London to bid farewell to Britain's longest-reigning monarch, with people from all walks of life from around the country and overseas queuing for hours to file past her coffin in a solemn stream.

Biden followed other world leaders in appearing on a balcony overlooking the coffin in the vast historic Westminster Hall, making a sign of the cross and briefly placing his hand on his heart in reverence.

The U.S. president later joined Charles and other leaders for an evening reception ahead of the state funeral.