(CNN) — US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Thursday, along with leaders from around the world, mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II who “defined an era.”

The Queen, the longest-reigning British monarch whose rule spanned seven decades, died earlier Thursday at the age of 96, according to Buckingham Palace.

“Today, the thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief,” the White House statement said. “We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are not only mourning their Queen, but their dear mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.”

The first couple, in their statement, called the Queen “a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her.”

“Supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She endured the dangers and deprivations of a world war alongside the British people and rallied them during the devastation of a global pandemic to look to better days ahead,” the White House statement continued.

The Queen, the Bidens added, “was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.”

“She helped make our relationship special,” the statement said, referring to the United Kingdom’s “special relationship” with the United States — a term coined by Winston Churchill. The Bidens also said they look forward to continuing “a close friendship” with King Charles III and the Queen Consort.

Recalling their time spent together, the Bidens wrote that they first met Queen Elizabeth in 1982 as part of a Senate delegation traveling to the UK.

Biden and the Queen last met last met during the President’s visit to the United Kingdom in June 2021, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier Thursday.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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