“She was one of my favorite people in the world,” Trudeau said. “And I will miss her so much.”
The Queen died on Thursday at Balmoral, the Scottish estate where she spent her summer. She was 96 years old.
“For most Canadians, we have known no other sovereign. Queen Elizabeth II was a constant presence in our lives,” Trudeau said in a statement soon after, news of the death spread around the world.
The Queen worked until Tuesday when she met Liz Truss and invited Britain’s new Prime Minister to form the next government. Truss was the last Prime Minister, the fifteenth from the Sovereign, the Queen appointed during her historic 70-year reign.
Trudeau’s last meeting with the Queen took place this spring at Windsor Castle. It was her first in-person hearing since returning to work after testing positive for Covid-19 in February.
Canada’s prime minister told reporters after that meeting in early March that the queen had questions about Canada. They talked about world events, a discussion that was “useful for me, anyway,” he joked.
“I can tell you that in my conversation with her this morning, she was as insightful and insightful as ever,” Trudeau said at the time.
The Prime Minister and the Queen have a long history, which makes him unique among world leaders. Her extraordinary childhood included occasional lunches with the monarch.
And when the Queen welcomed Trudeau as Canada’s new prime minister at a Commonwealth Leaders’ Summit dinner in 2015, she jokingly thanked him for making her feel old.
The couple first crossed paths in May 1977 when Trudeau was brought to London by his father, the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, to attend a G-7 meeting.
It was on this trip that Trudeau senior, dressed in a black tie, performed a playful pirouette while walking a few steps behind the Queen on her way to a formal dinner at Buckingham Palace.
A Canadian pool photographer captured the sensational moment, catching Trudeau’s whirlwind in one of the palace’s gilded rooms with the Queen, the embodiment of tradition, in the same frame.