Queen Elizabeth II’s death is devastating news. She will be sorely missed on both sides of the Atlantic and across the free world.
Her sudden passing at the age of 96 was a shock to the British nation, and particularly heartbreaking for the tens of millions of Britons who had spent their entire lives in the second Elizabethan Age. For many in the United Kingdom, a world without the Queen is simply unimaginable. Such was her constant presence in the hearts and minds of the British people since she ascended to the throne in 1952, when Winston Churchill was prime minister in his second term of office.
We cherish the memory of a truly great leader who lived her life for the sake of her nation with a tremendous sense of dedication, public service, and sacrifice. The Queen will continue to inspire future generations. She will be remembered as a monarch who admirably led her nation through decades of tremendous change on many fronts, from the end of Empire in the 1950s and 1960s through to the Brexit era of the 2020s.
Over the course of 70 years, 15 British premierships and 14 U.S. presidencies, the Queen has been a unifying force and a titan on the world stage. She was also the embodiment of the Anglo-American Special Relationship, greatly strengthening the ties between the U.K. and the U.S., which speaks to her immense popularity among the American people.
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My former boss, Margaret Thatcher, forged a powerful partnership with the Queen as the two most powerful women in the world in the 1980s. Indeed, their friendship with President Ronald Reagan cemented the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, the very beating heart of the free world. Lady Thatcher had immense respect for Queen Elizabeth II and the institution of the Monarchy. And the Queen recognized Thatcher, Britain’s first woman prime minister, as a principled politician dedicated to serving her nation with conviction and relentless drive and determination.
The Queen will be revered as one of the greatest leaders of the modern era, and her life of selfless duty and service has left the world a better place. Her leadership over seven decades has also left the British Monarchy in great health, with public support for the Royal Family remaining robust and steadfast.
Her son and successor, King Charles III, must now lead the British people. He should follow the example of his mother, whose heart was always filled with a spirit of hope and optimism, as well as faith in God and the greatness of the British nation.
This piece originally appeared in Fox News