Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
Today we take a solemn and somber pause.
A few minutes ago, we learned the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning Monarch in British history.
I join with Leader McConnell, with my Senate colleagues, and with all Americans to offer deepest sympathies and prayers to the Royal Family and to the people of the United Kingdom.
I never had the honor of meeting Her Majesty the Queen myself, but I admired much about her until the very end.
It’s hard to fathom that today we have to say goodbye, because after all, most Americans—to say nothing of the British people—have never lived in a world without Her Majesty the Queen.
It is a marvel to think that in the same year of Her Majesty’s coronation, Harry Truman was still in the White House. The world was still coming out of the shadow of the Second World War, entering a bold, uncertain, uncharted future.
In her time, she came to know 15 different prime ministers, fourteen US presidents, travelled to well over 100 countries, and made over 200 official state visits. She was the first British Monarch ever to address a joint session of Congress, and thanks to her, the special relationship between the United States and the U.K. gained even more special significance.
Her reign saw the dawn of the atomic age, the age of the internet, the fall of the Soviet Union, an unprecedented global pandemic. She didn’t just witness the great turns of history, she helped shape them over the seven decades - seven decades - of her reign.
And every step of the way, she was precisely the kind of leader the moment demanded.
In times of hardship, she was both strong and comforting. In times of joy she was gracious and dignified. She was a rock, the living embodiment of the virtues that lie at the core of the nation she so proudly led. I dare say we will never see a leader quite like her for as long as we live.
So today, we join with the people of the U.K. and the Royal Family in mourning the loss of Her Majesty the Queen. May she rest in peace.