Queen Elizabeth’s funeral: Britain bids an emotional farewell to the monarch

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Westminster Abbey and along the 25-mile (40-kilometer) procession route from central London to Windsor, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sovereign’s flag-draped coffin as it makes its final carriage ride. resting place in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle grounds.

Although the death of Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, had been anticipated and carefully planned for years — the funeral arrangements, code-named “London Bridge”, had long been the subject of speculation — the magnitude of this moment of mourning and the emotions The public outpouring has still caught many by surprise. Even for non-royal fans, his death marks the end of an era, a shift in the national landscape.

At 96, the Queen has become an almost mythical symbol of stability amid constant change. His 70-year rule was punctuated by war and pandemics, punctuated by uncertainty about Britain’s role on the world stage. He came to power as the sun began to set on the British Empire, and his death has renewed the conversation about the country’s dark colonial past. It comes at a time of great political and economic upheaval, not just in the UK but around the world.
Presidents, prime ministers, princes, emperors and empresses and other public figures will sit side by side in the pews of Westminster Abbey to pay their last respects, a testament to her allure and skillful diplomacy. The funeral, which serves as both a state service and a religious service, will honor the Queen in the way she used to promote the royal family and the “Britain brand” throughout her life.
The funeral service is held in the same nave of the abbey where, 69 years ago, the Queen was crowned and where, 75 years ago, Prince Philip, who died last year, married her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. A sovereign who knew the soft power of spectacle, his coronation, at his request, was televised for the first time, bringing the splendor of the monarchy to millions around the world. On Monday, all eyes are on him again.
Head of State of 15 Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, his appeal lay in his extreme sense of duty, diligent work ethic and ability to appear neutral but friendly. Admiration of the Queen has sidelined a significant reckoning of the crown’s brutal legacy in the former colonies — including its historical links to the slave trade — but that appears to be changing as some Commonwealth countries seek to break away. Last week, Antigua and Barbuda announced plans to hold a referendum on whether to become a republic, and last November, Barbados became the first kingdom in nearly 30 years to oust a British monarch as head of state.

Many of the Queen’s subjects felt they knew her: the woman who appears on coins and postage stamps, polls show that she appears most often in people’s dreams.

People line up to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state.
An almost familial sense of loss was palpable among mourners lining the south bank of the River Thames over the past four days from Westminster Hall, where the monarch’s body lay in state. In British fashion, thousands lined up to bid farewell to the Queen, waiting up to 20 hours for her coffin to pass.
Queen Elizabeth’s children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, entered the cavernous chamber on Friday, heads bowed, joining the guards to stand silent vigil over the velvet hearse carrying her coffin, adorned with the sovereign’s jewel-encrusted crown. , orb and scepter. A day later, Princes William and Harry, dressed in military uniform, held their sombre vigil, alongside the Queen’s six other grandchildren.
On Monday morning, the King and other members of the royal family will follow the coffin as it is carried from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, carried in the same hearse used at the funerals of the Queen’s father, King George VI, and Winston Churchill. , the first of 15 British Prime Ministers.
The Queen's children hold a silent vigil for their matriarch at Westminster Hall on Friday.

Dean of Westminster David Hoyle will lead the service. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen two days before her death, will read the lessons at the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver the sermon. The service will conclude with a 2-minute silence and the hymn “God Save the King”, played by the Queen’s piper.

Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral: how the royal family will say goodbye to their matriarch

The day’s events are a display of centuries-old rites: a royal cavalcade of guards in braided uniforms, kilt-makers and drummers, streets lined with soldiers saluting the coffin as it passes. Minute guns will be fired in Hyde Park and Big Ben will go to Wellington Arch in procession, where the hearse will be loaded into a hearse and taken to Windsor.

At Monday evening’s committal service, attended by members of the royal family and former and current members of the Queen’s household, her coffin will be lowered into a royal vault in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Later in the evening, at a private funeral, she will be joined by her husband of 73 years, “her constant strength and guide”, the Duke of Edinburgh. The couple will be buried together in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, an annexe to St George’s Chapel, which also houses the remains of the Queen’s father, the Queen Mother and her sister Princess Margaret.

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