In a moving speech in English the French President Émmanuel Macron pays tribute to Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Here is his speech in full:
Some have greatness thrust upon them
“Queen Elizabeth II has just passed away. The United Kingdom will forever bear the seal of she who embodied it for seventy years with unwavering strength and moral authority. France pays tribute to she who marked the History of her country, our continent and her century.
“The young girl who, like all her compatriots, faced the bombing of London during the war, would soon also become the heir presumptive, Elizabeth of York, who, at eleven years old, was a serious and impassive onlooker at her father’s coronation. Later, she would become Honorary Junior Commander Elizabeth Windsor, a mechanic and ambulance driver in the British armed forces during the Second World War. As well as wife and mother. Then all these faces, all these names gave way to a single title, and a single profile printed on stamps, coins and the imagination of the whole world, on the day the Archbishop of Canterbury placed on her head the crown her father had left too soon.
Stability in a changing world
“ ‘Her Majesty Elizabeth II, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith’, was born. Or simply, and these two words were sufficiently evocative: ‘The Queen’.
“From that point, she gave her all to her Kingdom. Rarely have subjects identified themselves so much with their Sovereign, enthralled by their every glance and word, their outfits and gestures, representing both the legacy of the past and confidence in the future. She was one with her nation: she embodied a people, a territory, and a shared will. And stability: above the fluctuations and upheaval of politics, she represented a sense of eternity.
The Queen loved France
“She held a special status in France and a special place in the hearts of the French people. No foreign sovereign has climbed the stairs of the Elysée Palace more often than she, who honoured France with six state visits and met each of its presidents. For her, French was not a mere relic of Norman ancestry that persisted in so many customs, but an intimate, cherished language. The Queen of sixteen kingdoms loved France, which loved her back. This evening, the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth are mourning their Queen. The people of France join them in their grief.
“She who stood with the giants of the twentieth century on the path of history has now left to join them. The French Republic and the people of France extend their long-standing friendship and deep sorrow to His Majesty the King, to the Royal Family, to His Majesty’s Government and to the British people.”