Icelandic politicians took to Twitter last night to pay their respect to Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away yesterday. Among those who paid tribute was President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson who referred to Elizabeth as “the greatest monarch of our times.”
A historic reign comes to an end
Queen Elizabeth II died yesterday at her Scottish estate in Balmoral. Her death at the age of 96 marks the end of a historic 70-year reign. As noted by the BBC, the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social changes.
Following news of her passing, Icelandic political leaders offered condolences to the royal family, the people of the UK, and the Commonwealth via Twitter. Among those who paid their respect were President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson; PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir.
“Where is the forest?”
In June of 1990, Queen Elizabeth II visited Iceland, meeting with political leaders and President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. During her stay, the Queen toured Thingvellir and stopped by “the Friendship Forest” in Kárastaðir, where she provided an apt commentary on the relative triviality of Icelandic forests (excerpt from Iceland Review):
“The red, white and blue of Union Jacks and Icelandic flags fluttered over Reykjavik as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II toured the city on the first day of her visit, June 25, when she was introduced to some of the treasures of Icelandic art and culture … at lunch with the Prime Minister at Thingvellir, the cradle of Iceland’s democracy, the Queen referred to the visit made to Thingvellir in 1874 by her great-great-grandfather, Christian IX of Denmark, when he granted the Icelanders their first modern constitution, the first step on their road to renewed independence. Following lunch and a brief visit to Thingvellir Church, the royal party made their final stop of the country tour to plant trees at the “Friendship Forest,” which was inaugurated this spring at Karastadir. “Where is the forest?” asked Her Majesty in some surprise, as she and the president walked through the low-growing shrubs, which were planted earlier this year by the staff of the various foreign embassies in Reykjavik. Assured by President Finnbogadottir that this would become a true forest given time, the Queen went on to dig in a birch sapling of a healthy size.”
(Photos: Páll Stefánsson)