Queen Elizabeth II's passing on Thursday was a shock to the world, including here in Texas. The 96-year-old British monarch died at her Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
The queen was remembered by many in Texas, where she visited with her late husband, Prince Phillip, in 1991. That trip included stops in Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.
President Reagan laughs following a joke by Queen Elizabeth II, who commented on the lousy California weather she has experienced since her arrival to the States. The British Queen is delivering a brief address during a state dinner held at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. (Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott noted the passing with a statement.
"The First Lady and I are truly saddened to hear of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and our hearts and prayers go out to her family and the entire United Kingdom as they grieve the loss of one of the greatest leaders in history," Abbott said. "In her unrivaled, impressive reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen Elizabeth II led her people, and at times the world, through historic events with the utmost dignity, grace, and valor. Queen Elizabeth II was also more than a leader of one of the greatest monarchies in history and a close United States ally; she was a mother, a grandmother, and a wife who showed a deep devotion to her family and to her nation. The entire world is better to have had a strong, steady leader like Queen Elizabeth II, and we are forever honored to have had her as an ally to the United States and to Texas."
Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born 10 June 1921, in Greece. He served in the British Royal Navy and fought in WWII. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King VI. He served as Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth II until his death on April 9 2021, months short of his 100th birthday. His funeral takes place today at Windsor Castle with only 30 guests invited due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
And, of course, the world mourned her death:
- "For my whole life Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has always been there. In my childhood I can recall watching her wedding highlights on TV," wrote Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones. "I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much-beloved grandmother of the nation. My deepest sympathies are with the Royal family."
- "There is nothing more noble than to devote your life to the service of others," wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook. "We stand with the people of the UK and Commonwealth in honoring the life and dedication to duty of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace."
- "I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracanã," wrote soccer legend Pele.
- "Most British people have never known another monarch, so she's been a thread winding through all our lives," wrote author J.K. Rowling. "She did her duty by the country right up until her dying hours, and became an enduring, positive symbol of Britain all over the world. She's earned her rest. Some may find the outpouring of British shock and grief at this moment quaint or odd, but millions felt affection and respect for the woman who uncomplainingly filled her constitutional role for 70 years."
- "I am proud to be an Elizabethan," wrote Helen Mirren, who portrayed the monarch in the film "The Queen." "We mourn a woman, who, with or without the crown, was the epitome of nobility."