Hillary And Bill Clinton Share Touching Tribute To Queen Elizabeth

While the United States may have seen no less than 14 presidents between 1952 and 2022, Britain had just one queen, Elizabeth II. NBC News notes the strength of the relationships Buckingham Palace forged with residents of the White House, which in turn strengthened ties between the United States and Britain. 

One of those relationships was formed with former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, who NBC says had made several trips to the UK during his eight years in office. Clinton first met the Queen in 1994 during the 50th anniversary of World War II's D-Day, and both he and Hillary stayed on HMS Britannia overnight.

Clinton took to social media to share his thoughts on Queen Elizabeth's passing in a message shared on both his and former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary's accounts. Bill Clinton wrote: "Hillary and I mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and we join with people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and all around the world, in giving thanks for her extraordinary life.

"Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity, and genuine care for the welfare of all its people. In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity, and strength."

The Clintons had declined an invitation for tea at Buckingham Palace

Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth's relationship wouldn't be remembered because of an overnight stay, but because of an event that didn't happen: Clinton once turned down an invitation to tea at Buckingham Palace. Per CNN, when the Clintons returned to Britain, then-newly minted Prime Minister Tony Blair had wanted to ensure the trip was "a public relations success." One way to do that would be to arrange for the presidential family to have tea with the queen — but Her Majesty's invitation was declined. As Blair's then private secretary put it, "The Americans said that the President and Mrs. Clinton were very grateful for HM The Queen's invitation to tea at the Palace, but would wish to decline politely." The reason: the Clintons wanted to play tourist. But all was not lost, because a more intimate meeting would happen in 2000, before Clinton stepped down the same year.

Clinton references that in his tribute, saying: "We will always be grateful for the kindness she showed us through the years, particularly during our visits to Buckingham Palace in 1995 and 2000, and for all she did to deepen the Special Relationship," per Twitter, and ends, saying: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and all the people Her Majesty inspired throughout her lifetime of service."