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Herzog pays respects to Queen Elizabeth as she lies in state in London

President eulogizes monarch as a true ‘woman of valor,’ attends royal reception for world leaders alongside many Arab heads of state

President Isaac Herzog views the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, September 18, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)
President Isaac Herzog views the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, September 18, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)

President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, paid their final respects to the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, passing by her coffin as she lay in state at the British Parliament in London.

Herzog is one of many world leaders who arrived in London ahead of the queen’s funeral on Monday.

“On behalf of the State of Israel, its citizens, and the Jewish People, I paid respects to HM Queen Elizabeth II at her Lying-in-State,” Herzog tweeted. “The Queen was a true ‘woman of valour,’ as we say in the Jewish tradition, a beacon of stability and a historic figure. We grieve with Britain.”

Herzog later signed a condolence book for the queen at Lancaster House in London.

In an English-language video message, Herzog offered his condolences on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

“She was truly a leader that transcends time, intergenerational, she saw where the world was 70 years ago and how it is today. Her reign was truly majestic and she truly personified the word majesty,” he said.

“In fact, she showed stability, strength, and wisdom which was radiated throughout the world.”

The “amazing” scenes outside as Britons mourned the queen were something, Herzog said, “we will never forget.”

“The people of Israel and the people of Britain are really close friends and our nations are closer than ever,” he said.

Herzog also wished the new king good luck in his role:

“I would like to wish King Charles III a long reign of peace, justice, stability and dignity. May he succeed and God bless the King,” he declared.

On Sunday evening the Herzogs attended a state reception for the visiting world leaders, hosted by King Charles.

Guests included US President Joe Biden, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Also on the guest list were many heads of Arab states, among them King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tarik, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.

Kuwait Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, were also at the event, described in British press as “the reception of the century.”

President Isaac Herzog, left, and his wife Michal, arrive at Buckingham Palace in London for a reception hosted by King Charles III, Sept. 18, 2022. (Markus Schreiber/AP)

It was the largest such British royal reception for world leaders since the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI, in 1952.

A state funeral will be held Monday for the queen at Westminster Abbey, the imposing location for royal coronations, marriages and funerals for more than 1,000 years.

After the funeral, the flag-draped coffin of the queen, topped with the majestic Imperial State Crown, will be taken west to Windsor Castle, where she will be laid to rest.

The last state funeral to be held in Britain was in 1965 for the country’s wartime prime minister Winston Churchill.

AFP contributed to this report.

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