Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other British political leaders paid tribute to “remarkable” Queen Elizabeth on Thursday ahead of four days of celebrations next week to honour her 70 years on the throne.
In a “humble address” to the Queen, Mr Johnson expressed hope the nation would come together to reciprocate the “love, devotion and leadership” she had shown it. He added: “No monarch, by her efforts, dedication and achievement, better deserves the attribute of greatness. For me, she is already Elizabeth the Great.”
Mr Johnson acknowledged the joyous milestone would be “tinged with sadness” without her beloved husband Prince Philip by her side.
He added: “I hope we can further comfort and reassure her. And with every bonfire, concert, street party and aerobatic display, reciprocate the love, devotion and leadership she has shown the country over seven decades.”
Mr Johnson said Prime Ministers are not supposed to relay conversations with the Queen.
But he added: “Her knowledge of politics and world affairs is profound. There have been times I’ve been scrabbling to remember a date or the name of some African capital and she’s got there first.
“And when it comes to anything equestrian, I’m simply nowhere.”
He said in the 25,677 days she had been queen, Elizabeth had carried out more than 21,000 official engagements in more than 100 countries, and given her assent to some 4,000 pieces of legislation under 14 prime ministers.