Britain and world say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II

The hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022.

The hearse carrying the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

As millions tuned in to broadcasts or lined the streets of London and as world leaders and royalty looked on, Britain said its final goodbyes to its longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s funeral started at 11 a.m. at Westminster Abbey when her body was brought from Westminster Hall, in the British Parliament complex, where it had been lying in state for over four days.

The last time a monarch’s funeral was held in the 11th Century Abbey was over 250 years ago — for King George III in 1760. The Queen was both married at the Abbey in 1947 and crowned in it, in 1953.

Monday marked the end of a 10-day period of mourning, when the country seemed to have stepped back, momentarily, from the pressing issues it faces — a cost of living crisis, inflation, the possibility of a recession and the working out of a plan to combat energy costs. The Queen had been involved in the design of her funeral. She did not want a “long, boring” service, according to the former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

The funeral was one- hour long, with faith leaders of different backgrounds, assembled in the Abbey to receive the coffin which was followed by the Queen’s children, some grandchildren and great grandchildren. British Prime Minister Liz Truss did a reading at the ceremony — the Prime Minister was among the last people to see the Queen, having been appointed officially by the monarch two days before her death on September 8.

Among the guests were President Droupadi Murmu, U.S. President Joe Biden, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and French President Emmanuel Macron. President Murmu had earlier met with Ms. Hasina and Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan. On Sunday, she attended a reception for foreign leaders, hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

Following Monday’s service, as the Queen’s cortege approached Wellington Arch for its final departure from London, a hush fell upon the crowd who watched silently, but with mobile phones out to capture the moment. The gun carriage draped in the Royal Standard rolled passed, in a procession of guards, with some members of the Royal family following it. There the coffin was transferred to the State Hearse — a Jaguar Land Rover, an iconic British company, now a subsidiary of Tata Motors for the journey Windsor Castle — where the Queen spent a lot of time, including during the pandemic. Video broadcasts showed people lining the streets, clapping, throwing flowers as the convey made its way to Windor.

A committal service was held there. The Queen will be buried besides with her husband, Prince Philip , who died last year, and her sister, Princess Margaret and their parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2022 7:54:48 am |