Barack Obama leads Platinum Jubilee tributes to the Queen from around the world as the Pope & Macron send messages
BARACK Obama has said the Queen “reminds me of my grandmother” as leading figures around the globe congratulate the monarch on her record-breaking 70 years on the throne.
The 96-year-old is the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee and royal fans worldwide have sent their best wishes as the UK bursts into four days of celebrations.
In a touching message, former US President Obama hailed the Queen’s reign and her “grace and generosity”.
He said: “When you’re president of the United States, you meet a lot of remarkable people. You try under all circumstances to maintain your composure.
“But that’s harder than you think when you’re visiting Her Majesty.
“Before I took off, Michelle and I hadn’t been to too many palaces. So we weren’t sure what to expect on our first trip to Buckingham – but we shouldn’t have been worried.
“Her Majesty put us at ease with her grace and generosity, so much so that I walked away thinking she actually reminded me a little bit of my grandmother.”
The ex-US leader said he hoped he and the Queen had formed a “special relationship” of their own.
He added: “Certainly I can say getting to know her was one of the great privileges of my years in office, and I learnt so much from the example she set for all of us who had the privilege to serve.
“Your Majesty, it would be an understatement to say the world in the seven decades since you came to power. But your character never has.
“Your life has been a gift, not just to the United Kingdom but to the world.
“And it is with gratitude for your leadership and the kindness you’ve shown me and my family, that I say may the light of your crown continue to reign supreme.”
Fresh President Emmanuel Macron hailed the Queen as the “golden thread” binding France and the UK in a video message.
He said: “Madame. During the past 70 years, the President of the French Republic has relied on very few constants at the international level.
“Times have changed, Europe has evolved, our continent is again experiencing war.
“Through these transformations, your devotion to our alliance and to our friendship has remained, and has helped build the trust that brought freedom and prosperity to our continent.
“Since your first state visit to France, when you were welcomed to Paris by a generation who, alongside your Army, Navy and Air Force, had fought for the freedom we now enjoy, you have visited us many times.”
Macron said the monarch has shared “our joys” and “seen the deep affection and admiration that the people of France have for you”.
He added: “You have also visited the graves where so many of your young men lie and seen the respect and honour we constantly pay to those who sent from your homes to protect ours.
“You are the golden thread that binds our two countries. The proof of the unwavering friendship between our nations”
Pope Francis commented: “On the joyful occasion of Your Majesty’s birthday, and as you celebrate this Platinum Jubilee year, I send cordial greetings and good wishes, together with the renewed assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will bestow on you, the members of the Royal family and all the people of the nation blessings of unity, prosperity and peace.”
US secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent congratulations on behalf of the country as he commended the UK’s “special relationship” with America.
He said: “Her Majesty’s unprecedented 70 years of service to the United Kingdom are an inspiration to Americans, who deeply admire the Queen and are grateful for her decades of friendship with the United States.
“Through our special relationship, common history, and shared values, we work together to uphold democracy, human rights, and the rule of law worldwide.
“Our countries collaborate closely on virtually every significant challenge and opportunity the world over precisely because we have no closer partner.
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“The United States joins the British people in celebrating this historic and joyous occasion.
“I send my heartfelt wishes for peace, prosperity, and good health to Her Majesty and all the people across the United Kingdom.”
The Queen has thanked well-wishers for their remarks and all those involved in the celebrations.
She said: “Thank you to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbours and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee, in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.
“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee party kicked off early as thousands of people swamped the Mall last night in scenes not witnessed since Prince William and Kate’s wedding.
In an extraordinary display of patriotism, excited crowds packed the Union Jack-lined road that leads to Buckingham Palace.
Royal commentators said it showed the nation’s celebration of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is set to be “biggest royal party of all time”.
All week royal superfans have set up tents and been camping out near the Palace in a bid to claim the best spots for today’s Trooping the Colour and RAF flypast.
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