- White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre learned of the Queen’s death during a press briefing.
- She said “our hearts and our thoughts go to the family members of the Queen” and the people of the UK.
- Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday afternoon, marking an end to her 70-year reign.
A video clip captured the moment White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre learned of Queen Elizabeth II’s death during a routine press briefing.
Jean-Pierre was answering a reporter’s question on the Inflation Reduction Act on Thursday afternoon when journalists at the briefing notified her that the Queen had died.
“Okay, so that’s been confirmed?” she asked after a brief pause. The reporters affirmed the news.
“Our hearts and our thoughts go to the family members of the Queen, goes to the people of the United Kingdom,” she said.
“I don’t want to get ahead of what the president is going to say, I want you all to hear from him first, so I don’t wanna get ahead of that,” she added.
Jean-Pierre described the UK as one of America’s closest allies and that both countries have a relationship that’s “grown stronger and stronger.” The press secretary ended the briefing immediately afterward.
—Reuters (@Reuters) September 9, 2022
An hour later, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden released a statement expressing their “deepest condolences” to the Royal Family of the UK.
“Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world,” the statement read.
Biden ordered all US flags to be flown at half-staff to mark the Queen’s passing.
Queen Elizabeth II was 96 when she passed away on Thursday afternoon. She “died peacefully” at her Balmoral estate in Scotland, according to Buckingham Palace. She was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, having inherited the crown from her father in 1952.
With her death, her son, King Charles III, has automatically ascended to the throne.