Queen Elizabeth II, 96, died this afternoon at Balmoral Castle (per The Royal Family Twitter account). As the U.K.’s longest-serving monarch, Her Majesty’s reign spanned 70 years. In total, the Queen met with 14 U.S. presidents that served during her reign, from President Harry Truman to current President Joe Biden, as Politico reports. She also had the opportunity to meet with former President Herbert Hoover in 1957, 24 years after his term ended, but never had the opportunity to meet former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
All six living U.S. presidents wrote touching tributes to the Queen, including former President Jimmy Carter (via People Magazine). In a statement published on The Carter Center’s website, President Jimmy and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter said, “Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the citizens of the United Kingdom. Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration, and we join the millions around the world in mourning a remarkable leader.”
Per Politico, the humanitarian had left a rather lasting impression on the Queen during his 1977 visit to Buckingham Palace, and not for the right reasons. Insider reports that instead of following royal protocol and bowing to Queen Elizabeth, Jimmy Carter kissed her on the lips. Her Majesty is reported to have said, “I took a sharp step backwards — not quite far enough.” According to ABC News, the Queen was said to be displeased with Carter years after the incident.