Prince Charles Makes First U.S. Visit in Nearly 4 Years for George H.W. Bush's Funeral
The heir to the British throne, 70, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 71, were among the many dignitaries in attendance at the former president’s memorial at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the Queen shared her condolences with “the people of America.”
“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of President George H.W. Bush last night,” she said in a statement shared on the royal family’s official website. “President Bush was a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom. He was also a patriot, serving his country with honour and distinction in Office and during the Second World War.”
“Prince Philip and I remember our days in Texas in 1991 with great fondness,” the Queen concluded. “My thoughts and prayers are with President Bush’s family and the American people.”
In 1991, the Queen traveled to Texas with her husband, becoming the first British monarch to visit the state, according to the Associated Press. Then in 1993, the Queen knighted the elder Bush at Buckingham Palace. He did not need to kneel before the Queen since he was an American citizen, according to an AP report at the time.
And the pair’s connection went deeper: In the 1980s, genealogists determined that Bush and the Queen were 13th cousins, The New York Times reported.
Queen Elizabeth previously had Charles represent her at former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s funeral in 2004.
In a presidential proclamation, Trump declared that Wednesday would be dedicated to Bush’s memory and that flags should be lowered to half-staff in his honor for 30 days.
Bush died last Friday at age 94. Longtime Bush spokesperson Jim McGrath confirmed the news in a statement that read, “George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings.”
“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush,” the statement said.