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‘A momentous life’: New England politicians react to the death of Queen Elizabeth II

"Queen Elizabeth II was an adept leader who changed with the times, yet still managed to be timeless."

Boston, MA - 7/11/1976: Queen Elizabeth II meets Boston mayor Kevin White, July 11, 1976. (Ted Dully/Globe Staff) --- BGPA Reference: 170106_EF_005

Local leaders bridged the gap between England and New England as they reacted to the death of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the death of the monarch Thursday afternoon after raising concern for her health that morning. The queen was 96 years old, and died “peacefully” at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Here’s what local politicians had to say about the queen’s passing.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu issued a statement Thursday afternoon on behalf of the city, praising the queen’s “grace and steadfast leadership.”

Nearly every state governor across New England issued a statement mourning the history-making monarch.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont praised Queen Elizabeth’s “stability and stoicism,” adding that his state “is often referred to as the Gateway to New England and home to New London and New Britain.”

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee had a similar sentiment, applauding the queen’s “strength and sincerity.”

Governor Chris Sununu spoke on behalf of the people of New Hampshire.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott referred to the monarch as a “unifying figure.”

Maine Governor Janet Mills looked back across Queen Elizabeth’s “historic reign.”

Other politicians also expressed their condolences for the loss of the leader.

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“Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for her life of service, dedication to her country, and commitment to peace. The world has lost a historic leader,” Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal said. “May Her Majesty rest in peace.”

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Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern said the Queen’s commitment to the British public was “unmatched.”

“For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her life to her country and public service,” Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark said. “She was a symbol of strength and grace, and her role as a female leader on the world stage has forever changed us. I send my condolences to the royal family & the entire United Kingdom.”

Massachusetts Rep. Bill Keating offered his “sincere condolences,” and named the queen as the “one constant” in an ever-changing world.

Some leaders highlighted the United States’ strong relationship with Great Britain. Maine Senator Susan Collins praised the United Kingdom as “one of America’s greatest allies.”

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy added that Queen Elizabeth “helped midwife the special relationship between Britain and the United States.”

Other leaders praised the resiliency of the British public in a tumultuous time.

“A momentous life & era have ended,” Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said, praising the queen’s “enduring model for perseverance & devotion to duty & service.”

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New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who is also chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, released a statement detailing the queen’s influence throughout history.

“She took the throne at an age when most people are beginning their adult lives and was tasked with the immense responsibility of leading her nation in the aftermath of World War II,” Shaheen wrote. “In her 70 years on the throne, she bore witness to the most consequential events that our world has ever seen and helped foster the close and important relationship that the United States shares with the United Kingdom.”

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said that the monarch “reigned through some of Britain’s darkest times.”

In a statement, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy spoke of his personal encounter with the vigor of the British people.

“As a longtime member of the British-American Parliamentary Working Group, I recently traveled to London to take part in our annual conferences,” he wrote. “The respect in which Queen Elizabeth was held was evident in all I met, and the outpouring of emotion worldwide today, is tribute to her steady presence as head of state.”

Similarly, New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan said that Queen Elizabeth’s character “epitomizes the resiliency & strength of the British people.”

New Hampshire Rep. Chris Pappas said the queen will be remembered “for her strength and resoluteness through decades of service, including some of her nation’s—and the world’s—most tumultuous moments. I join all those remembering her and mourning her loss.”

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Politicians praised the queen’s tenacity. Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin described her as “a force to be reckoned with.”

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed added, “As a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was an adept leader who changed with the times, yet still managed to be timeless. Now she belongs to history and the ages. We join her countrymen and people across the globe in mourning her passing and celebrating her life.”

Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka said that Queen Elizabeth “used the powers of her office to help people in the United Kingdom and across the world.”

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