RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia’s elected officials are sharing messages and reactions regarding Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s death, recalling her connections to Virginia and her compassionate leadership.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s statement on the queen’s death reads:
“Today, we sadly mourn the loss of a transcendent leader, Queen Elizabeth II, who admirably presided over the United Kingdom for 70 years and was deeply beloved by her people. Throughout her reign, she showed steadfast compassion toward the United States during trying times, especially during the September 11th attacks. Virginians fondly remember Queen Elizabeth II’s many visits to the Commonwealth of Virginia, including in 1957 for the Jamestown anniversary, 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial celebration and 1991 to Arlington National Cemetery. Her most recent trip in 2007 when she visited the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond, Jamestown’s 400th anniversary celebration, and Virginia Tech was a particularly important part of Virginia’s history. As governor, the Queen’s consistent tenderness for the Commonwealth and Virginians will never be forgotten.”
In U.S. Senator Tim Kaine’s statement regarding Elizabeth’s death, he said:
“Queen Elizabeth II was beloved by millions, and I mourn with the people of the United Kingdom today. Her Majesty visited Virginia in 2007 while I was Governor, two weeks after the Virginia Tech shooting, and she grieved with us then, giving us a moment to unite around during an incredibly difficult time. Her kindness and grace will be missed in the United Kingdom, in Virginia, and across the world.”
Queen Elizabeth II visited Virginia in 2007 for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Kaine was serving as Governor of Virginia at the time, and he and his wife, Anne Holton, hosted the queen and Prince Philip in Richmond.
Current Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Todd Gilbert wrote in a statement:
“The United Kingdom has lost a towering monarch, and the Commonwealth of Virginia has lost a good friend. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II exemplified grace and dignity. When she embarked on her reign, she pledged herself to her people, and served the faithfully until he last. Hers is an example all of us entrusted with public office should emulate.
Her kindness and decency, which she demonstrate so powerfully on one of our county and Commonwealth’s worst days, warmed hearts and comforted the grieving. When our Commonwealth mourned our losses at Virginia Tech, she once again reached out to Virginia in our time of grief.
In her speech to the General Assembly in 2007, Queen Elizabeth remarked on the friendship between our nation and hers, and how thankful she was for it. Virginians are thankful as well, for the friendship of such a remarkable woman.”
Queen Elizabeth II visited Williamsburg’s William & Mary University twice during her reign — once in 1957 and again in 2007.
“She was made an honorary member of the W&M Class of 2007, greeted more than 7,000 people from the balcony of the Wren Building and rang the Wren bell,” a remembrance from the university reads. “Over the course of that history, W&M has hosted a number of members of the British royal family, including King Charles III, as well as sent delegations to London.”
Nationally, President Joseph Biden issued a statement that praised the monarch who he said defined an era, and detailed interactions he experienced with the queen, in part saying: “Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special.”
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