World leaders gather on the eve of Queen’s funeral; Labor urged to act on paid parental leave
US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on the eve of her state funeral, saying Britain and the world were blessed to have such a worthy and dedicated servant on the throne for 70 years.
Biden – who is among dozens of dignitaries and royals from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas who arrived in London for Monday’s funeral – said the Queen’s death at 96 years had left a giant hole on the world stage.
“To all the English people, to all the people of the United Kingdom, our thoughts are with you,” Biden said after signing a book of condolences and viewing the queen’s coffin in Westminster.
“You were lucky to have had her for 70 years. We all were. The world is better for her.
The US President said he had comforted the Queen’s heir, King Charles, that the Queen would be ‘with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment’.
Hundreds of thousands descended on London to bid farewell to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, with people from all walks of life queuing for hours to file past his coffin.
Biden followed other world leaders by appearing on a balcony overlooking the coffin in historic Westminster Hall, making the sign of the cross and placing his hand on his heart. French President Emmanuel Macron also appeared on the balcony.
The US President then joined Charles and other leaders for an evening reception ahead of the state funeral.