Queen Elizabeth II mourned at funeral by Britain and the world – World News

UPDATE: 9:35 am

The queen who ruled the United Kingdom and served as Canada’s head of state for seven decades was carried to her final resting place on Monday after a state funeral watched across the Commonwealth and around the world.

Thousands of mourners lining the streets of London stood by in respectful silence as a procession made up of military members and Queen Elizabeth’s family carried her coffin past city landmarks at the end of her official state funeral.

The queen’s son King Charles III, her other children, grandchildren and young great-grandchildren accompanied the coffin from historic Westminster Abbey after her roughly hour-long funeral, following a military procession that bore her to her final resting place at Windsor Castle.

A crowd looked on from the sidelines, many of whom had been camped out for days for a chance to catch a glimpse of the crown-topped coffin carrying the country’s longest-serving monarch.

Members of the RCMP rode horses near the front of the procession that also included uniformed armed forces members from Canada and around the Commonwealth. A handful of the queen’s relatives who have served in the military were among those in uniform for the procession, while others were dressed in black, like many of the dignitaries who attended the service.

The procession slowly made its way past major landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, where the queen lived throughout her reign. The toll of bells rang out through the streets that were mostly silent aside from the sounds of the ceremonial march.

Farther away, outside the barricades, a booming gun salute from Hyde Park echoed in the streets, while the distant sound of a military band drifted down to those trying to find a way in or gathering around screens set up in public squares.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, officially led the Canadian delegation that was ushered into the church in the hours before the funeral got underway.

They were seated a few rows behind Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and her husband, the Canadian delegation members sitting closest to the King and other senior royals.

A procession of decorated Canadians — including holders of the Victoria Cross, George Cross and Orders of Chivalry — walked through the church on the way to their seats. Order of Canada holders actress Sandra Oh, Olympian Mark Tewksbury and performing artist Gregory Charles walked near the front of the procession.

Canada’s delegation also included former governors general Michaëlle Jean and David Johnston, as well as former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.

The United Kingdom’s first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s was filled with spectacle: 142 Royal Navy sailors drew the gun carriage carrying the late queen’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, with the King and his sons, Princes William and Harry, walking behind as bagpipers played. Pallbearers carried the coffin into the abbey, where about 2,000 people ranging from world leaders to health-care workers gathered to mourn her. Ahead of the service, a bell tolled 96 times — once a minute for each year of her life.

“Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer,” the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle, told mourners.

In his sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby paid tribute to the queen’s “loving service,” her religious faith and her ability to touch lives. Near the end, he quoted a song by Vera Lynn and echoed the closing words of the queen’s 2020 address to the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic: “We will meet again.”

Later, the King stood in silence as the congregation, including his wife and family, sang “God Save the King.”

The state funeral marked the culmination of 10 days of tributes and mourning following the queen’s death on Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

Dignitaries and everyday mourners alike have poured into London in recent days to pay tribute to the UK’s longest-reigning monarch and Canada’s longest-standing head of state.

The last leg of the queen’s final journey saw her transferred to a hearse on the way to Windsor Castle, where she was to be buried at St George’s Chapel alongside the late Prince Philip, her husband of almost 74 years.

People applauded as the hearse arrived at the castle and passed in a procession through the estate. The procession passed by one of the queen’s saddled Fell ponies and two of her pet corgis, in a nod to her well-known love of animals.

The queen’s death has prompted an outpouring of grief and affection from around the world.

In London, an entire park near Buckingham Palace has been filled with floral tributes, while people at one point were waiting up to 24 hours in line for a chance to view the queen’s casket at her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.

Tim Thompson of Fredericton was among the members of the public who camped out for the procession. He had set up a tent on the flag-lined road leading to Buckingham Palace early Sunday morning to ensure he would get a good view.

As a military member with the Cadet Instructors Cadre, he said it was worth spending a night out in the cold in order to pay his respects to Canada’s former commander-in-chief and head of state.

Thompson, who also lined up for 13 hours to attend the queen’s lying in state, said he had mixed emotions about the funeral. While the event is a sad one, he said he was proud and happy to see different nations come together to mourn the queen.

“We have a shared grief that we’re going through, so it’s nice to see that camaraderie between Canadians, Australians and British people,” he said in an interview.

Evert McLaughlin, a Toronto native living in London, said it felt “surreal” to be part of such an important moment.

“I think she still means a lot to a lot of Canadians,” he said of the queen outside the park where people were laying flowers.


ORIGINAL: 6 am

Britain and the world said a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II at a state funeral Monday that drew presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers — and crowds who massed along the streets of London to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.

In a country known for pomp and pageantry, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s was filled with spectacle: Ahead of the service, a bell tolled 96 times — once a minute for each year of Elizabeth’s life. Then, 142 Royal Navy sailors used ropes to draw the gun carriage carrying her flag-draped coffin to Westminster Abbey. Pallbearers finally bore it into the abbey, where around 2,000 people ranging from world leaders to health care workers gathered to mourn her.

The trappings of state and monarchy abounded: The coffin was draped with the royal standard and atop it sat the Imperial State Crown, sparkling with almost 3,000 diamonds, and the sovereign’s orb and scepter. But the personal was also present: a handwritten note from her son, King Charles III, that read, “In loving and devoted memory” and was signed Charles R — for Rex, or king.

“Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer,” the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle, told the mourners, as the funeral opened.

The service drew to a close with two minutes of silence observed across the United Kingdom, after which the attendees sang the national anthem, now titled “God Save the King.”

The day began early when the doors of Parliament’s 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her coffin. Many had waited for hours in line, including through cold nights, to attend the lying in state in an outpouring of collective grief and respect.

“I felt like I had to come and pay my final respects to our majestic queen. She has done so much for us and just a little thank you from the people,” said Tracy Dobson, who was among the last to join the line.

Monday was declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth, who died Sept. 8 — and hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London to participate in the historic moment. They jammed the sidewalks to watch the coffin wend its way through the streets of the capital after the service. As the procession passed Buckingham Palace, the queen’s official residence in the city, staff stood outside, some bowing and curtseying.

Millions more tuned into the funeral live on television, and crowds flocked to parks and public spaces across the UK to watch it on screens. Even the Google doodle turned a respectable black for the day.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in his sermon that “few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen” for Elizabeth.

After the passage through central London, the coffin was placed in a hearse and headed for Windsor Castle — where Elizabeth spent much of her time. Mourners threw flowers at the convoy as it passed.

There will be another procession in Windsor before a committal service in St. George’s Chapel. The queen will be laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip, at a private family service.

On the evening before the funeral, Charles issued a message of thanks to people in the UK and around the world, saying he and his wife Camilla, the queen consort, have been “moved beyond measure” by the large numbers of people who have turned out to pay their respects to the queen.

People across Britain paused for a minute of silence at 8 pm Sunday in memory of the only monarch most have ever known. At Westminster Hall, the constant stream of mourners paused for 60 seconds as people observed the minute of reflection in deep silence.

In Windsor, rain began to fall as the crowd fell silent for the moment of reflection. Some camped overnight outside the castle in order to reserve the best spots to view the queen’s coffin.

Jilly Fitzgerald, who was in Windsor, said there was a sense of community among the mourners as they prepared to wait hours to see the procession carrying the queen’s coffin.

“It’s good to be with all the people who are all feeling the same. It’s like a big family because everyone feels that … the queen was part of their family,” she said.

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