An army of thousands of police, hundreds of British soldiers and officers formed Final preparations for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday — a spectacular display of national mourning that will also be the largest gathering of world leaders in years.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were among thousands of mourners – from locals and tourists to world leaders – to pay tribute at Westminster Hall, where the Queen lies in state. The president made the sign of the cross and placed his hand on his heart, standing quietly beside the coffin in the ornate 900-year-old hall.
Biden was also expected to sign the official condolence book and attend a reception on Sunday at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III before heading to the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday. He is one of 500 world leaders and royals invited to the funeralAlong with hundreds of British charity workers.
As the dignitaries arrived, the clock was ticking for those who wanted a place in the longest queue many had ever seen filing the Queen’s coffin as it is located in state at Westminster Hall. The mile-long queue for new arrivals is expected to close after Sunday so that everyone queuing can see the coffin before Monday morning, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.
From family to family, thousands stood in line round the clock, facing freezing night temperatures and waiting for 17 hours in a queue that stretched more than 5 miles (8 kilometres).
Lauren Wilson, a 36-year-old student, was in a very short queue for people with mobility issues. She said that she wanted to personally experience the coffin lying in the state.
“The world is in such a strange place and then this happened. It feels more important,” she said.
She was concerned that the spectacle surrounding Elizabeth’s death would deprive the Queen’s relatives of the ability to come to terms with their loss.
“The family is not allowed to grieve. I find it quite heartbreaking,” she said.
The Queen’s eight grandchildren, led by the heir to the throne, Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed during a silent vigil on Saturday evening.
was among the foreign leaders in London New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardernwho told the BBC she was humbled to represent her country at the funeral and to see the national sense of mourning and respect for the late Queen.
“What I would take away from this period is just the beauty of the public reaction, what you see from members of the public, the patience, the camaraderie. For me, the most emotional tribute has been the public reaction of the British people,” she said.
People across Britain will stop for nationwide silence on Sunday evening to remember the Queen, who died at 96 on 8 September after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public holiday, and the funeral will be broadcast to a huge television audience around the world and shown to crowds in parks and public places across the country.
Police officers from across the country will be on duty as part of the largest one-day police operation in the history of London.
Crowds also gathered on Sunday near Windsor Castle, where the Queen will be cremated in a private family ceremony on Monday evening.
“I think it’s been amazing. It’s been very emotional, and I think it’s a very fitting tribute to an amazing queen,” said the 55-year-old teacher, Anna Pettigrew.
New Queen wife Camilla pays tribute to Queen In a video message, Naresh “owns her role” as a “solitary woman” on a world stage dominated by men.
“I will remember her smile forever. That smile is unforgettable,” said Camilla, who is married to Charles.
Prince Andrew also paid tribute to his mother, saying he will always cherish “your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence”.
“I will miss your insight, advice and humour,” he said.
Andrew, the third of the Queen’s four children, has been relieved of official royal duties and stripped of his honorary military titles over his friendship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
After the Queen’s four children – Charles, Princess Anne, Andrew and Prince Edward – placed a watch around their coffin on Friday, it was the grandchildren’s turn on Saturday night.
Charles’ sons William and Prince Harry were also joined by Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips; Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and two children of Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
William stood with his head bowed at the head of the coffin and Harry at his feet. Both the princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. The crowd moved slowly, silently entering the past.
“You can see they were thinking a lot about their grandmother, the Queen,” said Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “Looking at what has happened over the years, it was nice to see them all together as a group of grandchildren.”
Silence broke out at Westminster Hall on Friday when a man jumped on the coffin. London Police said on Sunday that 28-year-old Muhammad Khan from London has been charged with “behavior with intent to cause alarm, harassment or distress”. He has a court date on Monday.
The lay-in-state continues until Monday morning, when the Queen’s coffin will be carried for funeral by 142 Royal Navy sailors on a gun carriage pulled to nearby Westminster Abbey, Britain’s longest reign. To conclude 10 days of national mourning. King.
Following Monday’s service at the abbey, the late Queen’s coffin will be carried through the historic center of London on a state cannon carriage. It will then be taken to Windsor, where the Queen will be held with her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.