LONDON - Condolences poured in from around the world Thursday after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who became a global icon of calmness and fortitude through decades of political upheaval and social changes at home and abroad.
Elizabeth, who had been on the throne since 1952, when the nation was still rebuilding from the destruction of World War II, died Thursday afternoon at age 96 at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland.
Here are some reactions to her death:
In India, once a British colony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called her "a stalwart of our times."
"She personified dignity and decency in public life," Modi tweeted.
"She lived history, she made history. And with her passing, she leaves a magnificent, inspirational legacy," Israeli President Isaac Herzog said.
President Joe Biden was informed of her death by senior advisers during a meeting in the Oval Office.
Elizabeth, who the White House said had met with 14 American presidents, "was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States," he and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement, saying she "she defined an era."
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Elizabeth's eldest son, now known as King Charles III.
"For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage. I wish you courage and perseverance in the face of this heavy, irreparable loss."
At the United Nations, the Security Council stood in silent tribute at the start of a meeting on Ukraine. France's U.N. Ambassador Nicolas De Riviere, the council president, sent condolences on behalf of its 15 members.
Queen Elizabeth II presided "over a period of historic changes both for her country and the world," he said. "Her life was devoted to the service of her country."
Elizabeth was mourned across the 54-nation Commonwealth, a group built around Britain and its former colonies.
"For most Canadians, we have known no other sovereign," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. He called her "a constant presence in our lives — and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country's history."
Elizabeth, who is Canada's head of state, visited the country 22 times as monarch.
The queen's death comes as a growing number of British territories in the Caribbean seek to replace the monarch with their own heads of state amid demands that Britain apologize for its colonial-era abuses and award its former colonies slavery reparations.
Still, Caribbean leaders from Bermuda to Dominica and beyond mourned her death.
"Her passing ends an iconic 70-year reign and is a profound loss for the commonwealth of nations and the world," tweeted Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica's prime minister.
Bermuda Premier David Burt noted that her reign "has spanned decades of such immense change for the United Kingdom and the world."
Elton John said in a tweet that she was "an inspiring presence to be around, and lead the country through some of our greatest, and darkest, moments."
The acclaimed musician reworked his hit "Candle in the Wind" as a tribute to Princess Diana when she died unexpectedly in 1997.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump said on his social media platform that Elizabeth "will always be remembered for her faithfulness to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow countrymen and women."
"Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the queen, and never forget Her Majesty's generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor. What a grand and beautiful lady she was - there was nobody like her!"
In Washington, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine recalled how Elizabeth had joked with him when she visited Virginia in 2007 while he was governor.
He asked the queen's security detail whether he should offer the queen his arm while going up a steep set of Capitol steps. They assured him she'd be fine. But when she arrived a few weeks later, she looked at him and deadpanned, "they expect me to go up this?"
The remark momentarily flustered Kaine.
"She was just pulling my leg. She just walked up just as fast as can be," Kaine said.
The queen's visit came not long after a gunman at a Virginia university, Virginia Tech, killed dozens of people. The queen asked to meet with people from the university and well as grieving family members.
"That really meant a lot," Kaine said.
Praise even came from the fictional Paddington Bear, the beloved British children's book character. The bear shared tea with the queen in a video shown in June during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
"Thank you Ma'am, for everything," said a statement Thursday on the Paddington Bear Twitter feed.