Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama released a statement in celebration of the Queen’s 96 years of life.

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“Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us,” the former president wrote. “Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity.”

He added, “Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.”


You can read the full statement below.