Queen Elizabeth II is among the leaders mourning George H.W. Bush after the former president died at age 94 on Friday.
“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of President George H W Bush last night,” the Queen, 92, said in a statement on Saturday.
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“President Bush was a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom. He was also a patriot, serving his country with honour and distinction in Office and during the Second World War,” she continued.
“Prince Philip and I remember our days in Texas in 1991 with great fondness,” the Queen concluded. “My thoughts and prayers are with President Bush’s family and the American people.”
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To mark the Queen’s 1991 stop at the White House, she and her husband gave the first couple a horseshoe set and the book America Is Lost, The New York Times reported. In return, Bush and his wife Barbara Bush, who died at age 92 in April, gave the royals a crystal flower bowl featuring lines by William Shakespeare.
The Queen also joined Bush at an Orioles game in Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun reported.
During the 1991 visit, she shared a memorable conversation with George W. Bush, according to The Washington Post. She asked the future president, who was wearing boots emblazoned with the words “God Save the Queen,” if he was the black sheep of the Bush family.
“I guess so,” he replied.
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In 1993, the Queen knighted the senior Bush at Buckingham Palace. He did not need to kneel before the Queen since he was an American citizen, according to an Associated Press report at the time.
The Queen’s connection with Bush went deeper: In the 1980s, genealogists determined that Bush and the Queen were 13th cousins, The New York Times reported.
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The Queen has met every president since Harry Truman other than Lyndon Johnson, according to The New York Times.
She met Truman when she was still a princess and went on to schmooze with Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, the elder Bush, Bill Clinton, the younger Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump over the decades of her reign.