Great Britain and the United States have shared a “special relationship” for many decades. Particularly during WWII and its aftermath, the two nations forged a long-lasting bond.
Following the Nov. 30 passing of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and a WWII veteran, that long and fruitful relationship between the world’s greatest allies was on full display.
Town & Country reported that Queen Elizabeth II promptly issued a statement after learning of the former president’s death: “It was with sadness that I learned of the death of President George H W Bush last night. President Bush was a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom.”
“He was also a patriot, serving his country with honor 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.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with President Bush’s family and the American people.”
While her remarks were very kind, the trademark restraint of the queen’s statement hid some of the closeness of the pair’s relationship.
According to People, that 1991 trip she mentioned proved a history maker, as it marked the first time a British monarch had set foot in the Lone Star State.
The queen also knighted Bush in 1993, but because he was an American citizen, he didn’t have to kneel before her.
She wasn’t the only member of the royal family to honor the late president. Harper’s Bazaar reported that Prince Charles traveled to the U.S. to attend the funeral, the first time he has set foot on American soil in four years.
The 70-year-old Prince of Wales attended with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. He came in an official capacity, representing the queen, whose advanced age is restricting her travel.
Observers reported that he spoke with Vice President Mike Pence. He also sat with other European dignitaries such as former British Prime Minister John Major.
However, one suspects that Charles would’ve attended even if the queen hadn’t requested it. He too had a history with the Bush family.
He met with Bush in 1985 when he was still married to Princess Diana, though his visits continued through 2005 when he was at a state dinner with the president.
Bush also made visits on the prince’s behalf, including a ceremony at the American Air Museum in Britain in 2002.
So when it comes to shared history, the United States and Britain have far more that unites than divides them. May George H.W. Bush rest in peace — and “may God save the Queen.”
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