Our Statement on the Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Photo by Pete Souza

From the day of her coronation 70 years ago — the first one ever televised — to this very moment, as countless tributes are being posted online in her honor, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has captivated the world. Today, Michelle and I join so many others who are celebrating her life and mourning her passing.

Her Majesty was just 25 years old when she took on the enormous task of helming one of the world’s great democracies. In the decades that followed, she would go on to make the role of Queen her own — with a reign defined by grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic, defying the odds and expectations placed on women of her generation.

During World War II, she became the first-ever female royal to serve on active military duty. And through periods of prosperity and stagnation — from the moon landing, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the dawn of the digital age — she served as a beacon of hope and stability for the people of the United Kingdom and the world.

Her Majesty worked with 15 Prime Ministers and countless foreign heads of state. She listened deeply, thought strategically, and was responsible for considerable diplomatic achievements. And yet, she wore her lofty titles with a light touch — as willing to act in a comic sketch for the London Olympics as she was to record steadying messages for the people of the UK during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us. Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.

Like so many, Michelle and I are grateful to have witnessed Her Majesty’s dedicated leadership, and we are awed by her legacy of tireless, dignified public service. Our thoughts are with her family and the people of the United Kingdom at this difficult time.

Photo by Pete Souza

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Dad, husband, President, citizen.