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Late-night hosts took moments out of their Thursday night shows to remember Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away at the age of 96.
The royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday. After 70 years of rule, she will be succeeded by her firstborn son, Charles.
The Late Late Show‘s British host James Corden expressed that despite feeling sad over the news of her death, he was “also so thankful and grateful to the queen for the most incredible service and leadership that she has shown during all of our lifetimes. ”
“She is the only queen most of us have ever known,” Corden said. “We viewed her as immortal and [an] essential part of the fabric of our world.”
The late-night host went on to reflect on how Queen Elizabeth II was “universally adored.” He said, “She represented good in this world, living a life of honor, a life dedicated to service, dedicated to bettering the life of others. And it’s always felt as if she was there for all of us, for 70 years she never wavered. She was never political. She didn’t need us to hear her opinions. She never gave an interview, she never posted on social media. It was never for her about her own PR, and maybe that’s why she was as beloved and respected by a president as she was by the guy who lives down the street, and she would treat both of them equally too. It didn’t matter who you were, she was there for you.”
Amid living in “a world of uncertainty” and “instability,” Queen Elizabeth II was “always the queen” and “a guiding light,” said Corden. “She was always gracious, always dignified, always a shining example of leadership. She represented stability in a world where so often it feels like the floor is shaking. Queen Elizabeth is unique. A life’s work never to be repeated.”
Corden described the news of the queen’s death as something that will “change our country forever” and ended his thoughts by thanking the queen for her “sacrifice.” “We will always celebrate her life, remember what she stood for and we will always be thankful for her sacrifice,” he said.
Over at The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah, who was born in South Africa, a country that was once part of the British Empire, began his comments about the queen by discussing the varied reactions to her death.
“It’s been interesting to see how varied the reactions to this news have been,” Noah said. “You know the full spectrum of emotions — everything from ‘How will the kingdom carry on?’ all the way to ‘You shouldn’t have colonized India, bye bitch.'”
Regardless of what people may think of Queen Elizabeth II, the late-night host pointed out that it’s impressive how long she sat on the throne. Her Majesty came to power in 1952, making her one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.
“That means she’s seen Adam West as Batman, Michael Keaton as Batman, Christian Bale as Batman, Ben Affleck as Batman, survived that, and then saw Robert Pattinson as Batman,” Noah joked. “And look, I’m sure there’s a better way to measure time than in Batman, but you get it. She’s been in the game for a minute.”
The host went on to say that she was a real queen, teasing that the word gets thrown around way too much nowadays. “You just post a photo of your smoothie online, and everyone’s like ‘Yeah, self-care queen,'” he said. “No, that doesn’t make you a queen. You’re a duchess of self-care at best.”
Noah ended his segment on the queen by touching on Charles and how he’s going to take the throne now, joking that it’s “weird” he’s 73 and had the same title as his grandchildren until now.
“The world wasn’t made for an old prince,” he continued. “I can tell you now there’s no one in a Disney movie who’s, like, ‘Someday my prince will come, and he’ll wear orthopedic shoes and eat cottage cheese for every meal.’ Charles is so old, he’s gonna be the first royal to ascend the throne in one of those motorized stairlifts.”
Jimmy Kimmel also dedicated a part of his opening monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss the news. He compared the queen’s death to what it would be like if Kris Jenner died. “The queen is known as England’s rock and we don’t have a rock. The closest thing we have to a rock in America is the Rock,” he said.
He went on to credit the queen for having a “pretty good run” after dying at the age of 96. “I feel like if you die anywhere on the FM radio dial…my goal is to make it to a hot 97 or maybe even power 106, who knows,” he joked.
Kimmel then reflected on how many people Queen Elizabeth II met over her 70-year rule, including Lady Gaga, Bill Clinton, JFK, Jennifer Lopez, the Blue Man Group, the Beatles and the Spice Girls. “She stood up to fascists and she stood behind them,” Kimmel added before showing a photo of her behind Donald Trump.
The late-night host finished his thoughts with a joke about the viral video that appeared to show Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine during the Don’t Worry Darling screening at the Venice Film Festival: “This week she saw Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine and said, ‘OK, I’ve had enough.'”
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon briefly addressed the “sad news” after his monologue during a segment at his desk.
Fallon recalled how he “always” said his “dream guest” would be Queen Elizabeth.
“I’ve always been a fan,” he said. “I’ve admired the way she conducted herself always with class, grace and dignity but also she had a great sense of humor. She was very funny. And I loved that about her. She leaves behind a great legacy and she’ll be missed but not forgotten.”
CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert was taped before the news of the queen’s death, which the show noted via a title card at the beginning of the program.
In tribute to the late monarch, the message continued, “Our thoughts are with her family and her subjects.”
Sept. 9, 7:24 a.m. This story has been updated with tributes from Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
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