French President Emmanuel Macron

PARIS – France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Friday paid a sentimental tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, saluting her “strength and courage” on behalf of the French people.

In a three-minute video statement, shared on his Twitter handle, Macron said to the British people, “she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen. She will be with all of us forever.”

He remembered Elizabeth as a “great head of state” and “very close ally.”

He said the French are grateful for her deep affection for France, which had the privilege of welcoming her many times.

“Elizabeth II mastered our language, loved our culture, and touched our hearts.”

Since becoming the president in 2017, Macron has met the queen on three occasions – twice in 2019 in the UK during the 75th anniversary of the Landings in Portsmouth in June and in December at Buckingham Palace on the sidelines of the NATO summit, and last year for the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall.

Macron said France and the UK shared not just an “entente cordiale” (a friendly understanding) but a warm, sincere, and loyal partnership.

“We will remember and perpetuate the values of moral fortitude of democracy and freedom,” he said.

Macron also visited the British Embassy in Paris in the morning to pay his respects.

Earlier on Thursday, the Elysee issued a lengthy statement mourning the end of an “Elizabethan era.” (Anadolu)