Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, following her death on Thursday, describing her as a “model of leadership”.
Queen Elizabeth died at her home in Scotland aged 96. The world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952, when she was just 25.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
King Salman sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Britain’s King Charles III, saying: “We have learned with great sadness the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
“Her Majesty was a model of leadership that will be immortalized in the history. We recall with appreciation the efforts of the deceased in consolidating the friendship and cooperation relations between our two friendly countries, as well as the high international status that Her Majesty enjoyed throughout the decades during which she acceded to the throne of your friendly country.”
“We send to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy, hoping that you do not see any harm.”
The Crown Prince also sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to King Charles III to mourn the passing of the treasured monarch.
In his cable, the Crown Prince said: “I am saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who devoted her life to serve her country.”
“Her Majesty was an example of wisdom, love and peace. The world remembers today the great impact and deeds that she had throughout her reign.”
“I express to Your Majesty, the Royal Family and the friendly people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland deepest condolences and sincere sympathy, wishing you permanent good health and safety, and that you may never see any unpleasant thing.”
Elizabeth’s eldest son Charles, 73, automatically became King of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His wife Camilla becomes Queen Consort.
News that the queen’s health was deteriorating emerged shortly after midday on Thursday when her doctors said she was under medical supervision, prompting her family to rush to be by her side at her Scottish home, Balmoral.
The queen had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace has called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.
Her last public engagement came only on Tuesday, when she appointed Liz Truss prime minister – her 15th premier.
At her palaces and at government buildings across London, flags were lowered to half-mast.