Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Lord Doug Emhoff joined a number of Washington dignitaries Wednesday at a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II at the Washington National Cathedral.
The service was organized by the British Embassy to honor Britain’s longest reigning monarch. The service featured the United Kingdom’s national anthem, “God Save the King,” and the U.S.’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other politicians and Washington public figures were among those in attendance.
“The Queen was a great friend and admirer of the United States,” said Dame Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the United States. “He made a total of six official visits – many more to Kentucky barns – addressed Congress and talked to presidents and went to football and baseball games and commemorations such as America’s bicentennial and the 400th anniversary of Jamestown.”
Pierce, who is the UK’s first female ambassador to the US, added: “The Queen wanted to move with the times. She really was the archetypal Bond girl, parachuting into the London Olympics. She threw tea for Paddington Bear and heads of state. And here in the US she was honored with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award for Women in Leadership in December 2021, in what we believe is one of the rare times the Queen has accepted a non-state award.
Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, said the Queen had visited the cathedral four times, once as a princess and three times as a monarch. He noted that many of the flowers that decorated the interior of the cathedral for the service were sourced from the grounds of the British Embassy, including a cutting from the Regal Prince Oak tree planted by the Queen during her visit to Washington in 2007.
The National Cathedral has hosted four funerals for former presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George HW Bush. Earlier this year, the Cathedral hosted the funeral of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and President Joe Biden spoke at the service.
On Monday, Biden joined one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in modern times, the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II inside London’s Westminster Abbey. The queen, whose reign spanned seven decades, died on September 8 at the age of 96.