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James Corden honored Queen Elizabeth II with a somber, heartfelt tribute. The British late-night host, who earned the prestigious OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) title in 2015 at Buckingham Palace, began his Thursday night broadcast of The Late Late Show with a moment of silence.
"Good evening," he began, seated at his desk. "We, of course, heard the news today that Queen Elizabeth had passed away 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."
Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday in Scotland at age 96. Her death signifies a massive shift not just for the royal family, but for the world, who have known Elizabeth as the monarch of Great Britain and its sovereign countries since Feb. 6, 1952.
"She is the only queen most of us have ever known," Corden continued his remarks. "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 life of others. It's always felt as if she was there for all of us."
"For 70 years," he added, "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 a president as she was by the guy who lived down the street. And she would treat both of them equally. It didn't matter who you were, she was there for you."
Corden noted that amid ongoing turmoil in the world, Queen Elizabeth represented a steady hand of unchanging comfort.
"There's so much instability but the queen was always the queen, a guiding light," he said. "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."
He added, "Queen Elizabeth was unique. Her 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, remember what she stood for, and we will always be thankful for her sacrifice."
Corden's words were easily the most touching of the late-night tributes to the British monarch, but it wasn't the only one.
Jimmy Fallon offered kind and thoughtful -- albeit brief -- remarks on the queen's legacy in his Tonight Show opening monologue.
"As a talk show host, you often get asked the question, 'Who would be your dream guest?' My answer was always the queen," Fallon said. "I've always been a fan. I 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 will be missed, but not forgotten."
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, host Jimmy Kimmel injected humor into his take.
"Put it in perspective for Americans, this would be like if Kris Jenner died here," he quipped. "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."
Later, he welcomed Brit Simon Cowell to the program and the pair discussed Cowell's meeting with the queen about 15 years ago at a variety show taping in the U.K.
"This was the British version of Got Talent and the winner of that show gets to perform in front of the royal family on a different show, called The Royal Variety Show," Cowell said. "And that night the Queen was there, so I went along and fortunately got to meet her backstage. I mean, it was amazing."
Cowell recalled with a laugh, "She didn't talk to me. She had no idea who I was, actually."
" I was kinda like in awe, because you're told what to say -- or what not to say, more importantly -- and not look and blah blah blah blah blah," he said, getting starry-eyed. "But it's like, 'My God, I've actually met the queen!' And it was amazing."
Cowell also said that he did develop a relationship with Prince Harry over the years, as the royal was a big fan of The X Factor.
"He used to hang out in my dressing room and watch the show," Cowell revealed, calling Harry "the sweetest, nicest guy."
Kimmel wondered allowed whether the palace didn't have cable for Harry to watch the show himself at home.
"I don't think our show was allowed, that's probably why he came down," Cowell laughed. "He's really cool and just like, really normal and polite and charming. Really nice guy."
Trevor Noah marveled at the length of Queen Elizabeth's reign, remarking that she had been around for every Batman from Adam West to Robert Pattinson.
"I'm not going to lie, it's been interesting to see how varied the reaction to this news has been. The full spectrum of emotions," he mused. "But whatever you think about the royal family or the monarchy, you've got to admit it's insane how long Elizabeth sat on the throne."
He also acknowledged, with humor, the significance of the crown.
"On top of that, she was a queen," he said. "The real deal, because these days that term gets thrown around way too much. You just post a photo of your smoothie online and everyone's like, 'Yes! Self care queen!' No, that doesn't make you a queen. You're a duchess of self care, at best."
Tributes have been pouring in for Queen Elizabeth, including a rousing round of applause in her honor at Harry Styles' Madison Square Garden concert on Thursday evening.
Following the news of her death, the newly appointed King Charles III released a statement, saying, "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family."
"We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world," the statement continued. "During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held."
For updates on Queen Elizabeth's death, check out ET's ongoing coverage and see more below.
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