over Buckingham Palace flew at half-staff Thursday in honor of Gerald Ford, as the former US president was remembered around the world as a leader who brought calm to a tumultuous era. A spokesman for the palace, the central London home of Queen Elizabeth II, said the British monarch was saddened by Ford's death. She had met Ford during a state visit to the United States in 1976. The Guardian newspaper remembered Ford as an "experienced, personally modest and mostly wise politician," a man who helped the United States heal after the wounds of Watergate. In France, President Jacques Chirac conveyed his sorrow at the passing of a "great statesman" and noted his "great moral qualities and his political courage." The Spanish daily El Pais said "the United States needed at its fore a doctor capable of healing the wounds opened in American society and it found in Ford the perfect surgeon." In the headline for a story on Ford, the Dutch daily De Volkskrant summed up the former president as a "Loyal healer of the nation after the 'nightmare' of Nixon." However it added that Ford's decision to grant Nixon a pardon cast "a shadow that would always hang over him." In Germany, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung described Ford in its headline as "the great stabilizer." The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper described him as the "president of healing." In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard said Ford will be remembered as a forthright man who safely led his country through domestic and international troubles.