First lady Laura Bush paid tribute Tuesday to the Queen Mother Elizabeth, praising her as a remarkable woman who served her family, her nation and the world.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in London, the first lady — who was among those attending the queen mother's funeral Tuesday — said she and President Bush offered "the condolences of the American people" to Queen Elizabeth II and her family.

"The queen mother was noble in every sense of the word, serving her family, her nation and the free world from the dark days of World War II through the dawn of the new millennium," the first lady's statement said.

U.S. Ambassador William Farish said his staff observed two minutes of silence as a mark of respect for the queen mother, an act repeated in schools, streets, shopping centers and airports throughout Britain.

"This nationwide tribute was a fitting complement to the funeral service in Westminster Abbey. It was also a striking symbol of the profound love and respect we all feel for a grand lady, who, over almost a century of service, won so many hearts in Britain, America and around the world," Farish said in a statement.