Barack Obama said it was ‘harder than you think’ to keep composed when meeting Queen as he pays heartfelt tribute

The former US President described Her Majesty as a "gift" to the UK and the world

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Barack Obama has described the Queen as a “gift” as he paid a heartfelt tribute to Her Majesty.

The Queen began her Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier today, marking 70 years of reign.

And speaking out about the monarch, the former US President said he found it “harder than you think” to keep his composure when he met her.

Her Majesty was present during the first day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Her Majesty was present during the first day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Mr Obama said: “When you're President of the United States, you meet a lot of remarkable people, and you try under all circumstances to retain your composure.

“But that's harder than you think when you're visiting Her Majesty.

"Before I took office, Michelle (Obama) and I hadn't been to too many palaces,

“So, we weren't sure what to expect on our first trip to Buckingham.

"But we shouldn't have been worried. Her Majesty put us at ease with her grace and generosity.

“So much so that I walked away thinking she actually reminded me a little bit of my grandmother.”

He continued: “I like to think Her Majesty and I have formed a special relationship of our own,' Obama said in his tribute to the Queen.

“Certainly, I can say that getting to know her was one of the great privileges of my years in office.

“And I learned so much from seeing the example she set for all of us who have the privilege to serve.”

“Your Majesty, it would be an understatement to say the world has changed a bit in the seven decades since you first came to power.

“But your character never has. Your steadfast stewardship of one of our most important democracies has made the world safer and more prosperous through war and peace, times of adversity, and times of prosperity.

“Your life has been a gift, not just to the United Kingdom, but for the world.

“It is with gratitude for your leadership and the kindness you've shown me and my family that I say: May the light of your crown continue to reign supreme.”