PARIS (Reuters) -The Eiffel Tower’s lights went dark early on Thursday night in tribute to Queen Elizabeth, with Parisians recalling a British monarch who anchored her country through upheaval with poise and grace for longer than many have lived.
The 1997 death in Paris of Princess Diana prompted Elizabeth to endure some of the darkest days of her 70 years on the throne, when the palace appeared disconnected from the outpouring of public grief.
At the Flame of Liberty monument above the underpass where Diana was killed, some passers-by paused to remember Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
“She was the person who defined Britain,” said optician Salima Gersa.
Another woman, Valerie, a museum worker, said Elizabeth’s death marked “the end of an era”, describing her as “an extraordinary woman who saw the world around her crumble.”
Others paid tribute to a monarch who remained a symbol of stability and continuity for Britons at a time of relative national economic decline, while also adapting the ancient institution of monarchy to the demands of the modern era.
“(Her death marks) a tragic moment, but she had a great life and has a great legacy,” said U.S. tourist Greg Shanon.
(Reporting by Antony Paone; Writing by Richard Lough; editing by Deepa Babington)