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Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrives at Windsor Chapel before burial

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrived at Windsor Castle, her final resting place, on Monday after an unparalleled day of competition, drawing world leaders to her funeral and hundreds of thousands of people. took to the streets to bid farewell to the venerable king.

Wise men lined the path her hearse traveled from London, throwing flowers, cheering and clapping as it made its way from the city to the English countryside she so loved.

Thousands more flocked to the capital to witness the procession and funeral, paying tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who has earned global respect during his 70 years on the throne. yellow.

Inside the majestic Westminster Abbey, where the funeral was held, some 2,000 prime ministers, foreign royals and dignitaries, including Joe Biden of the United States, were among the 2,000 in attendance.

A hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is escorted along the Long Road towards Windsor Castle during the funeral, on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s national mourning and burial, in Windsor, England, September 19, 2022

Paul Childs | Reuters

Attention then turned to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where some 800 guests attended the pledge ceremony before her burial.

It ends with the crown, orb and scepter – symbols of the king’s power and rule – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.

Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal family, then broke his ‘Office Wand’, signifying the end of the sovereign’s service, and placed it on the coffin.

Late in the evening, in a private family ceremony, the coffins of Elizabeth and her husband of more than seven decades, Prince Philip, who passed away last year aged 99, will be buried together in the same coffin. chapel where her parents and sister, Princess Margaret. , also rest.

At the funeral, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, told those present that the grief of so many across England and the wider world reflected “life in abundance and loving service”. of the late king.

He said: “Her late Queen famously announced on her 21st birthday broadcast that she would devote her whole life to serving the nation and the Commonwealth.

“Very few promises are kept so well. Few leaders receive the love we’ve seen.”

The music played at the queen’s wedding in 1947 and her coronation six years later played again. The casket with the inscription has been used in all state funerals since the early 18th century.

After the funeral, her flag-clad coffin was dragged by sailors through the streets of London on a gun carriage in one of the largest military processions seen in Britain, attended by thousands of townspeople. members of the armed forces wear ceremonial attire.

They danced to funeral music from the marching bands, while the city’s famous Big Ben charged every minute. King Charles and other high-ranking royals walked in tow.

The coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and loaded onto a hearse to Windsor, where larger crowds waited patiently.

Among the crowds that came from across England and beyond, people climbed to lampposts and stood on railings and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.

Some wore elegant black suits and skirts. 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 in London to begin.

Millions more watched on television at home in a holiday announced as the occasion, the first time the funeral of a British monarch was televised.

Baldev Bhakar, 72, a jeweler from the nearby town of Slough, speaking outside Windsor Castle, said: “I’ve been coming to Windsor for 50 years.

“I’ve seen her many times over the years; it feels like she’s our neighbor and she’s just a lovely woman; a beautiful queen. It’s good to say goodbye once in a while. last with our neighbor.”

‘Invincible’

Elizabeth died on 8 September at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in the Scottish highlands.

Her health declined, and for months, her monarch, who had made hundreds of official engagements in the 90s, withdrew from public life.

However, in keeping with her sense of responsibility, she was photographed just two days before her death, looking weak but still smiling and holding a cane as she appointed Liz Truss as the 15th prime minister and also was his last prime minister.

Such is her longevity and her close association with England, that even her family finds her going through a shock.

“We all thought she was invincible,” Prince William told the wise.

As the 40th monarch in a line that dates back to 1066, Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952 and became Britain’s first post-imperial monarch.

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Abbey in London, England, September 19, 2022.

Rowan Griffiths | Reuters

She oversaw her nation trying to forge a new place in the world, and she was instrumental in the formation of the Commonwealth of Nations, now a grouping of 56 countries.

When she succeeded her father, George VI, Winston Churchill was her first prime minister and Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union. She has met major figures from politics to entertainment and sports including Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Pele and Roger Federer.

Though said to be 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall, she dominates the rooms with her presence and has become a towering global figure, hailing from Paris, Washington to Moscow and Beijing. National mourning was held in Brazil, Jordan and Cuba, countries with which she had little direct contact.

Welby said at the funeral: “Lovely servants are rare in any walk of life. “Leaders who serve lovingly are still rarer. But in any case, those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privilege are long forgotten.”

The abbey’s tenor bell – the site of coronations, weddings and burials of British and later British kings and queens for nearly 1,000 years – has played 96 times.

Among the hymns chosen for the ceremony was “The Lord my Shepherd,” sung at the wedding of the queen and her husband Prince Philip at the Abbey in 1947. The royal group followed the coffin into the Monastery. convent is the great-grandson of the queen and future king, 9-year-old Prince George.

In addition to the dignitaries, the congregation includes recipients of Britain’s highest civilian and military medals for valor, representatives from charities supported by the queen, and those with “contributions.” extraordinary” in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the end of the ceremony, the church and much of the country were silent for two minutes. Trumpets sounded before the congregation sang “God Save the King.” Outside, the crowd joined in and burst into applause as the song ended.

The queen’s Piper ended the service with a lament entitled “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep” that faded into silence.

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