Georgia’s top officials, including its former U.S. president, joined world leaders Thursday in expressing condolences in the death of Queen Elizabeth II, one of history’s longest-serving heads of state.
The 96-year-old monarch died peacefully Thursday at Balmoral, her country residence in Scotland, surrounded by members of the Royal family, including her children and heirs.
The queen’s passing comes 17 months after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, who died April 9, 2021. The couple’s oldest son Charles, 73, now ascends the throne as king.
Former President Jimmy Carter, the oldest living U.S. president at age 97, called the queen an “inspiration.”
“Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the citizens of the United Kingdom,” President Carter said in a statement released by the Carter Center in Atlanta. “Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration, and we join the millions around the world in mourning a remarkable leader.”
Gov. Brian Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens each issued statements acknowledging the contributions of the 96-year-old monarch.
“Today the world mourns the passing of one of history’s longest-serving and most admired heads of state,” Kemp tweeted. “Thrust into the role when her nation was rapidly changing, the global landscape ever shifting, she demonstrated maturity and wit beyond her years to meet the challenges of her time. In the decades that followed, Her Royal Majesty provided a steady hand to her nation and its people both through times of crisis and prosperity.
“On this solemn day,” Kemp went on to say. “The people of Georgia stand with their friends in the United Kingdom and join them in celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth, now reunited with her husband, while continuing to honor her memory.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens extended his “thoughts and prayers” to the Royal Family and the United Kingdom also via Twitter.
“The city of Atlanta joins the world in mourning the loss of the Queen. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family, the people of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms. The Queen served her country for 70 years and her loss will be greatly felt around the globe,” Dickens said. “I send my condolences to the British Consulate General Atlanta, the UK residents who now make their home in Atlanta and the residents of our sister city, Newcastle Upon Tyne.”
Georgia has had a long relationship and history of trade with the United Kingdom. The state has two sister-city agreements in the UK: Atlanta is the sister city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and LaGrange is a sister city to Craigavon.
Atlanta is home to the British Consulate General, which represents the UK government in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. The UK has had a consular presence in Georgia since 1804. (Georgia – the last of the 13 British colonies – was the only colony overseen remotely by a board of trustees back in London, according to the History Channel.)
In 2020, Georgia exports to the United Kingdom totaled $1.13 billion, making the U.K the seventh largest export market for the Peach state. Georgia imports from the UK totaled $3.46 billion that same year. More than 100 Georgia companies have operations in the UK and 583 UK firms have operations in Georgia.
In 2019, the latest available data, nearly 112,000 British tourists visited Georgia spending more than $200 million.
Crowned in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-serving British monarch in September 2015 when she surpassed her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria.
Header photo: President Jimmy Carter attended a Summit Dinner with other world leaders on May 7, 1977. Queen Elizabeth II and her consort Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh hosted the group at Buckingham Palace. (Credit: Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum/NARA)
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