Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral marks climax of national mourning

Following a major state funeral at Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II completed her journey to her final resting place in Windsor, as world leaders joined Britons in mourning the country’s longest-reigning monarch.

The Queen was buried with her late husband Prince Philip in a private ceremony at the King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor at 7.30pm on Monday, ending a 10-day national mourning.

Crowds filled the route as the Queen’s coffin traveled from the abbey through Ceremony London to Wellington Arch, before being taken to West Windsor Castle for delivery services at St George’s Chapel.

The state funeral, the first in Britain since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965, was the culmination of a period of mourning as the country united to commemorate a dislocated moment in its history, but also one of unity and continuity. time.

The Queen’s coffin was transported from the cavernous silence of Westminster Hall to the Abbey on Monday morning, where she rested for four full days. Her bed rest ended at 6.30am on Monday morning.

Hundreds of thousands joined the “queue” – a procession that stretches five miles along the Thames – to pay tribute to the Queen who has been on the throne for 70 years. Those in line spoke of a rare sense of responsibility and camaraderie.

Ahead of the funeral, King Charles said he was “deeply touched” by the support he received from around the world. As the ceremony began, his eyes were fixed on his mother’s coffin as the congregation sang the national anthem, “God Save the King.”

The Queen’s coffin is carried into St George’s Chapel in Windsor © Getty Images

The climax of the public ceremony was when the Queen’s coffin, still draped in royal standards, was lowered below the chapel at St George’s and into the royal vault, from where she was transferred on Monday night to lie with her husband, parents and sister in George’s Chapel . Six Memorial Church.

It came after a solemn ceremony at St George’s Chapel, when the Queen’s barge captain and a sergeant removed the tools of the state – the crown, orb and scepter used in coronation – from the top of the coffin.

The imperial crown is removed from the late queen’s coffin at St George’s Church © via REUTERS

The moment represents the completion of a cycle that began after the death of the late Queen’s father, King George VI, when the instruments were removed from his coffin and later presented to her at her coronation in 1953.

Finally, the head of the royal family, Lord Chamberlain, broke his office wand, symbolizing the end of his service to the late monarch, and placed it on the queen’s coffin, alongside the flag.

An extraordinary group of world leaders attended the state funeral, with the order of their services and hymn agreed after consultation with the late Queen, in honour of a woman who ruled across Britain’s post-war era.

While most visiting dignitaries arrived by bus, U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife came in in an armored vehicle — but were stuck in traffic near Marble Arch. Their late arrival meant they were seated a few rows back, behind the Polish president and in front of the Czech Republic prime minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, on their first trip since their accession to the throne in 2019, joined European royals at the monastery, where the late queen was married and crowned.

Around 200 key staff and volunteers were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours Roll in June, and they were also invited to 2,000 events. The leaders of Russia, Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela were not on the guest list.

The choreographed 10 days of mourning are designed to provide ample space for grief, while also marking the role of the British Royal Family as a source of continuity in the life of the nation. Westminster Abbey has been the site of royal coronations since William I the Conqueror in 1066.

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks at his funeral at Westminster Abbey © PA

The queen’s great-grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined the king and other members of the royal family as the coffins were processed through the convent. The event is expected to be watched by one of the largest live audiences in the world.

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, noted in his sermon that while service-minded people are “rare in all walks of life”, service-minded leaders are “still even rarer”.

He said the late monarch enjoyed a “rich life”, adding that “those who served” were remembered longer than “those who cling to power and privilege”, a remark that may cause some to gather in The resonance of the monastery’s politicians.

About 10,000 police officers and 1,500 soldiers were on duty at the event.

Ahead of this week’s ceremony, the media had been debating whether Britain’s somber and unified response to the Queen’s death, and the spectacular ceremony, was a reminder of the nation’s greatness or a distraction from its many problems.

But while many world leaders will gather at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, the Gothic chapel at Westminster Abbey was briefly the focus of global power on Monday as the world commemorated the late Queen.

Some mourners wiped away tears at the funeral, which began with a hymn chosen by the queen herself: “Lord, the days you gave are over”.

Video: Queen Elizabeth II: Farewell to the monarch

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