On Thursday’s “The Late Late Show,” host James Corden kicked off the show with a lengthy tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died earlier in the day at 96.
Celebrating Elizabeth as “a shining example of leadership” and “a guiding light,” Corden said he is “sad tonight, but also so thankful, and grateful.” Corden, who is English, also described the deceased monarch as an egalitarian “as beloved and respected by the President as she was by the guy who lives down the street.”
The clip, released in advance, can be viewed at the top of the page. The full transcript is below.
We of course hear the news that Queen Elizabeth had passed away at age 96. I, like the rest of the world, am so sad tonight, but also so thankful, and grateful to the queen for the most incredible service and leadership that she has shown during all of our lifetimes.
All day, you will have been hearing statistics about her reign as the longest-ruling monarch in British history. She served on the throne for 70 years. She is the only queen most of us have ever known. She has seen 14 US Presidents during her reign, and on Tuesday, just on Tuesday, welcomed her 15ht Prime Minister.
We viewed her as immortal, an essential part of the fabric of our world. There is of course an outpouring of grief and love across the globe, she was universally adored. She represented good in this world, living a life of honor, a life dedicated to service, dedicated to bettering the lives of others. And it’s always felt as if she was there for all of us.
For 70 years she never waivered, 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 the 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.
Today, we live in a world of uncertainty. There are wars, and divisions, fights, all over the globe. People are dealing with changes in the climate, changes in governments, pandemics, there is squabbling, unrest, bitterness wherever you look. There’s so much instability. But the Queen was always the Queen. A guiding light. 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 was unique. A life’s work never to be repeated. Every person at home in the United Kingdom and many across the globe will remember today. They’ll remember where they were when they heard the news, news that will change our country forever.
We will always celebrate her life, and remember what she stood for. And we will always be thankful for her sacrifice.