Georgia political and civic leaders have begun offering their condolences for Queen Elizabeth II, whose death Thursday at 96 years old shocked and saddened citizens of the United Kingdom, where she reigned for an unprecedented seven decades.
Taking up the role as sovereign upon her father’s death in February 1952, the queen’s rule straddled two centuries and coincided with some of the most tumultuous periods in modern British history.
Gov. Brian Kemp asked Georgians to join his family in “praying for the queen’s family, the people of the United Kingdom and British Americans here in Georgia”:
“Today, the world mourns the passing of one of history’s longest serving and most admire heads of state: Queen Elizabeth II. Thrust into the role when her nation was rapidly changing and the global landscape ever shifting, she demonstrated maturity and wit beyond year years to meet the challenges of her time. In the decades that followed Her Royal Majesty provided a steady hand to her nation and its people through both times of crisis and prosperity,” Mr. Kemp said. “On this solemn day, the people of Georgia stand with their friends in the United Kingdom and join them in celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth, now reunited with her late husband, while continuing to honor her memory.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens sent the “thoughts and prayers” of Atlantans to the people of the U.K. and throughout the Commonwealth.
“The Queen served her country for 70 years and her loss will be greatly felt around the globe. I send my condolences to the British Consulate General Atlanta, the U.K. residents who now make their home in Atlanta and the residents of our sister city, Newcastle upon Tyne,” Mr. Dickens said, with the city noting that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and City Hall would be illuminated in her honor.
Jimmy Carter, who at 97 is the longest-living former U.S. president, offered his family’s condolences in a statement circulated by The Carter Center, his Atlanta-based nonprofit that has received support from the British government for public health campaigns and other initiatives around the world.
“Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the citizens of the United Kingdom. Her dignity, graciousness and sense of duty have been an inspiration, and we join the millions around the world in mourning a remarkable leader.”
A Global Atlanta Consular Conversation with new British Consul General Rachel Galloway scheduled for Sept. 15 has been postponed to a later date in accordance with a 10-day national period of mourning.
The British consulate for now pointed inquiries to a statement by King Charles III, the queen’s son, who became king immediately upon her passing. Located in downtown Atlanta, the consulate is working on plans to open a condolence book for those seeking to record their messages of solidarity and support. Details will be published on Global Atlanta as they become available.
The United Kingdom is one of Georgia’s largest trading partners, with British investors employing more than 30,000 people in the state. The nation and the state also share deep historical ties, given Georgia’s founding in Savannah as the 13th of the original British colonies that would become the United States after the American Revolution.
The queen died at her palace in Balmoral, Scotland, days after inviting new British Prime Minister Liz Truss to form a government.
The British American Business Council of Georgia had this to say on LinkedIn:
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Her dedication to duty, exemplary grace, and kind nature will not be soon forgotten.
As someone who has been around for most of our living memories, her presence will be greatly missed.
We will continue to build upon the Queen’s legacy and support the United Kingdom as King Charles III ascends the throne.
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