- Queen’s coffin reaches final resting place in Windsor
- Monarchs and leaders gather in London for royal funerals
- Thousands line roads to show pomp and spectacle
- Queen Elizabeth was widely respected in Britain and beyond
- Death comes as Britain threatens economic crisis
WINDSOR, England, Sep 19 (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrived at her final resting place at Windsor Castle on Monday, after a day of matchless competition that drew world leaders to her funeral and hundreds of thousands of people to say farewell. took to the streets for For a respected emperor.
Well-wishers lined the route that took her body from London, throwing flowers, cheering and clapping as it passed from the city to the English countryside that she so loved.
In a fitting tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, thousands more flocked to the capital to watch the procession and funeral, who won global respect during his 70 years on the throne.
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Inside the majestic Westminster Abbey where the funeral was held, nearly 500 presidential prime ministers, foreign royal family members and dignitaries including Joe Biden of the United States, 2,000 attended the congregation.
Later attention turned to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where some 800 guests attended a Commitment Service before his burial.
It ends with the crown, orb and scepter – symbols of the emperor’s power and rule – removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.
The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official of the royal household, then breaks his ‘Wand of Office’, which signals the end of his service to the sovereign, and places it on the coffin.
Later in the evening, at a private family service, Elizabeth’s coffin and her husband of more than seven decades, Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99, will be buried together in the same chapel where her mother -Father and sister, Princess Margaret, comfort too.
At the funeral, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told attendees that the grief felt by so many in Britain and the wider world reflects the late monarch’s “abundant life and loving service”.
“His Late Glory famously announced on his 21st birthday broadcast that his entire life would be dedicated to the service of the nation and the Commonwealth,” he said.
“Seldom has such a promise been kept so well. Few politicians receive the shower of love that we have seen.”
The music played at the Queen’s wedding in 1947 and her coronation six years later. The coffin entered the lines of scripture prescribed for the score to be used at every state funeral since the early 18th century.
Following the funeral, his flag-wrapped coffin was pulled on a gun carriage by sailors through the streets of London in one of the largest military processions to be seen in Britain, attended by thousands of formally dressed armed forces. Were.
They walked step by step from marching bands to funeral music, while in the background the city’s famous Big Ben trolled every minute. King Charles and other senior royals followed him on foot.
The coffin was taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and transferred in a chariot to travel to Windsor, where larger crowds waited patiently.
Amidst the crowds coming from Britain and beyond, people climbed on lampposts and lined up on barriers and stairs to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.
Some wore smart black suits and dresses. Others wore hoodies, leggings and tracksuits. A woman with dyed green hair stands next to a man in a morning suit as they wait for the procession to begin in London.
The public holiday declared for the occasion was watched by millions on television at home, marking the first time the funeral of a British monarch was televised.
“I have been coming to Windsor for 50 years,” said 72-year-old Baldev Bhaker, a jeweler from the nearby town of Slough, speaking outside Windsor Castle.
“I saw her several times over the years; it felt like she was our neighbor and she was just a lovely lady; a beautiful queen. It was nice to say one last goodbye to our neighbor.”
Elizabeth died on 8 September at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in the Scottish Highlands.
Her health was declining, and for months the monarch who had hundreds of official engagements well into her 90s was withdrawn from public life.
Although photographed just two days before she died, in line with her sense of duty, she looked weak but smiling and holding a stick as she appointed Liz Truss as her 15th and last prime minister. did.
Such was his longevity and such an inextricable connection with Britain that even his own family found him going through a shock.
“We all thought she was invincible,” Prince William told well-wishers.
The 40th sovereign in a line that traces her lineage to 1066, Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 and became Britain’s first imperial monarch.
He saw his nation trying to make a new place in the world, and he was instrumental in the emergence of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is now a grouping of 56 nations.
When she succeeded her father, George VI, Winston Churchill was her first prime minister and Joseph Stalin headed the Soviet Union. She met with prominent figures from politics to entertainment and sports, including Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Pele and Roger Federer.
Despite being reputedly 5 feet 3 inches (1.6 m) tall, she dominated the rooms with her presence and became a huge global figure in death admiration from Paris and Washington to Moscow and Beijing. National mourning was observed in Brazil, Jordan and Cuba, countries with which they had no direct ties.
“Loving people are rare in any walk of life,” Welby said during the funeral. “Leaders of loving service are still rare. But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered while those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten.”
The abbey’s tenor bell – the site of the coronations, weddings and burials of English and then British kings and queens for nearly 1,000 years – has been tolled 96 times.
Among the hymns selected for service were “The Lord’s My Shepherd”, sung at the wedding of the Queen and her husband Prince Philip at the Abbey in 1947. Following the coffin in the abbey in the royal group was the queen’s great-grandson and the future king, Prince George, aged nine.
In addition to dignitaries, the congregation included honorees of Britain’s highest military and civilian medals for gallantry, representatives of charities supported by the Queen and those making “extraordinary contributions” to combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the end of the service, the church and the whole country fell silent for two minutes. The trumpet sounded before the congregation sang “God save the king”. Outside, the crowd joined in and when the national anthem ended there was thunderous applause.
The Queen’s Piper ended the service with a lament called “Sleep, Dear, Sleep”, which faded into silence.
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Reporting by Michael Holden and Kate Holton in London and Hamza Jilani in Windsor; Additional reporting by William James, Kylie McClellan, Estelle Shirban, Andrew McAskill, Paul Sandle, Muviza M, Sachin Ravikumar, Farooq Suleman, Angus McSwan, Richa Naidu, Peter Hobson, Julia Payne, Natalie Grover, Lindsay Dunsmuir, Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mike Collett-White and Janet Lawrence
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