US President Joe Biden paid his last respects in London to Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, as time passed for ordinary mourners to see her casket ahead of the funeral.
Biden crossed and put his hands over his heart as he stood with his wife Jill on a gallery overlooking the flag-covered coffin in Westminster Hall in the cave while members of the public came to view.
After witnessing the somber scene, the leader of the United States, Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron and other heads of state from around the world proceeded to a reception with King Charles III.
Biden, who flew late on Saturday, said Charles’ mother, who reigned for a record 70 years until her death on September 8 at the age of 96, “defined an era”.
Australia’s anti-monarchy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who viewed the situation as lying and met Charles on Saturday, told Sky News Australia the queen was a “regular presence for reassurance”.
There was also a private audience at Buckingham Palace for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, the country like Australia and 12 other Commonwealth kingdoms that now consider Charles its sovereign.
“You can see that it means a lot (for Charles) to witness the sheer scale and spread of people’s love and affection for her late Queen, ‘ she told BBC television on Sunday.
But in a sign of challenges ahead for the new king, Ardern added that she expected New Zealand to renounce the UK’s monarchy “in my lifetime”.
Members of the public camped in advance to catch a glimpse of Monday’s momentous farewell at Westminster Abbey, which is expected to bring London to a standstill and be watched by billions worldwide. follow.
– ‘Glue’ of the country –
EJ Kelly, a 46-year-old teacher from Northern Ireland, secured a prime spot with friends on the route the procession would follow after the funeral.
“Watching it on television is great but here it’s something else,” she told AFP, equipped with camping chairs, warm clothes and extra socks.
“I’m probably going to get very emotional when it comes down to it, but I want to be here to pay my respects.”
Crowds also gathered around Windsor Castle, west London, where the queen’s coffin will be taken after a private burial to rest with her late husband Prince Philip, her parents and family. her sister.
Donna Lumbard, 32, manager of a local restaurant, said: ‘I’ve lived here all my life and have never seen it as busy as this.
Starting with a single call from Big Ben, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss will lead a nationwide minute of silence at 8pm (1900 GMT) on Sunday to reflect on “the life and legacy “of the queen.
Near the Scottish town of Falkirk, 96 lanterns were lowered into a “reflective tank” at the foot of the Queen Elizabeth II Canal, before the wreath was laid into the water.
Those wishing to see the flag-clad coffin have until 6:30 a.m. (0530 GMT) on Monday to reach Westminster Hall across from the abbey.
As queues continued to stretch for miles (km) along the Thames on Sunday, wait times reached more than nine hours and it is likely that the queue will close for the evening.
“To avoid disappointment, please don’t start joining the queue,” the government said.
Andy Sanderson, 46, supermarket section manager, lined up and finally made it to parliament.
“She is the glue that holds the country together,” he said.
“She doesn’t have an agenda while politicians do, so she can speak for the people.”
– Grandchildren –
As mourners slowly arrived on Saturday night, Prince William and his estranged brother Prince Harry led the queen’s eight grandchildren in a 12-minute vigil around the coffin .
Harry – who made two tours with the British Army in Afghanistan – wore the uniform of the Blues and Royals cavalry regiments he served with.
The move appears to be the latest olive branch Charles has offered to Harry and his wife Meghan after they quit their royal duties and moved to North America, later accusing the royal family of racism.
Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral, the first in Britain since the death of her first prime minister Winston Churchill in 1965, will take place on Monday at Westminster Abbey at 11:00am.
Reflecting the queen’s desire for the hour-long ceremony, the former archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said she “didn’t want what you would call long and boring services”.
“Everybody’s hearts and cockles will be warmed,” he told BBC television.
– Words from Camilla, Andrew –
Leaders of Russia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea were not invited to join the 2,000 guests.
Moscow’s Foreign Ministry last week called the decision “immoral” and “blasphemous” to the queen’s memory. China would attend at the monastery, but was banned by congressional leaders from the host country.
As their private grief plays out in front of global attention, a new poll from YouGov shows how the royal family’s popularity has grown in the UK.
William and his wife Kate topped the ranking of most loved royals while Charles has seen his approval rating rise 16 points since May.
The queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, out of anger over his connection to billionaire American pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, paid homage on Sunday to “limitless knowledge and wisdom, no boundaries or restraints” of the queen.
Camilla made her first public comments as the new queen, recalling her mother-in-law’s smile and “wonderful blue eyes”.
“For her to be a lone woman” must have been difficult in a world dominated by men, Charles’s wife said in televised comments.
“There’s no woman as prime minister or president. She’s the only one so I think she’s made up her own role.”
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