HomeWorldQueen Elizabeth II is in state at Westminster Hall after the solemn...

Queen Elizabeth II is in state at Westminster Hall after the solemn procession

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace for the last time on Wednesday, aboard a horse-drawn carriage and saluted by cannons and the tolling of Big Ben. Holy procession through flag hoisting, the congested streets of London to Westminster Hall. There, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch will remain in the kingdom for the world to mourn.

His son, King Charles III, and his siblings and sons marched past the coffin, which was topped by a wreath of white roses and its crown rested on a purple velvet pillow.

The queen will be in the kingdom for four days until her funeral on Monday, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to enter past. Eight Pale Bearers carried the oak and lead-lined coffin to Westminster Hall, placing it on a raised platform, known as the Catafalque.

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Immediately after 5 p.m., members of the public were allowed to file behind the coffin in the center of the vast medieval hall. People flowed in two lines in the silent river of humanity.

They walked down the steps under the hall’s large stained-glass window, then left the coffin behind at a steady pace. Parents with children, couple hand in hand, medal-winning veterans on navy blue blazers, MPs and members of the House of Lords.

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Some wore black or a suit and tie, while some wore jeans and sneakers. He waited for hours for the journey to the back of the coffin that lasted only a few minutes.

Tears welled up in the eyes of many people as they approached the coffin. Some took off the caps and some gave praise. One fell on one knee and blew a kiss.

The military procession from Buckingham Palace was designed to mark the Queen’s seven decades as head of state as the national mourning process moved across the UK capital’s grand boulevards and historic sites.

Thousands of people, who waited for hours outside the palace at the mall and other places along the way, had phones and cameras, and some wiped away tears as the procession passed. There was applause as the coffin’s horse guards passed through the parade. Thousands more people sat watching at the big screen in nearby Hyde Park.

The coffin was draped in Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial State Crown – with about 3,000 diamonds – and a bouquet of flowers and plants, including cedars from the Balmoral Estate, where Elizabeth died on 8 September. He was born at the age of 96.

Two officers and 32 soldiers of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards walked on either side of the gun carriage in red uniforms and bear caps. The 38-minute procession ended at Westminster Hall, where the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a service attended by Charles and other royals.

“Let your heart not be troubled: you believe in God, believe in me too. There are many houses in my father’s house: if it were not so, I would have told you,” Welby read from the book of John.

After a short service, the captain of The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, assisted by a senior sergeant, set up the regiment’s royal standard on the steps of the Catafalque.

Four officers from the Household Cavalry – two from the Life Guards and two from the Blues Royals – began the first vigil at the coffin, taking their positions at each corner and bowing their heads.

Thousands lined the banks of the River Thames, waiting to enter the hall and pay tribute to him.

The crowd is the latest expression of mourning and respect across the country, which most Britons have known ever since their 70 years on the throne.

Esther Ravener, a Kenyan who lives in the UK, said she was humbled by the procession.

“I love the Queen, I love the Royal Family, and you know, I had to be here,” she said. “She’s a true role model. She was loved by all of us, all of us. Especially someone like me, an expatriate woman who came to the UK 30 years ago, I was allowed to be here and be free and safe, so I really respect her. She was a big part of my life.”

Major General Christopher Ghika of the Household Division, who conducted the ceremonial aspects of the Queen’s funeral, said it was “our last opportunity to do our duty to the Queen, and it is our first opportunity to do it for the King.” And that makes us all very proud.”

The soldiers involved in the procession were preparing since the death of the queen. So were the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Sergeant Tom Jenks said the horses were specially trained in how to handle crying mourners, as well as flowers and flags being thrown in front of the procession.

Heathrow Airport temporarily halted flights, saying it would “ensure silence over central London as the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.”

The White House said President Joe Biden spoke with Charles on Wednesday to offer his condolences.

Biden recalled the “kindness and hospitality of the Queen” she and the First Lady hosted at Windsor Castle in June, the statement said. “They also expressed the American people’s great admiration for the Queen, whose dignity and steadfastness deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”

Whenever the Queen’s coffin is carried in her long journey from Scotland to London, crowds have lined the path of her coffin.

On Tuesday night, thousands of people faced London’s usual drizzle, with interior lights illuminating the coffin, driving slowly from an airport to Buckingham Palace.

Earlier, in Edinburgh, about 33,000 people quietly filed near his coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral in 24 hours.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit the 900-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest building in Parliament, ahead of his state funeral on Monday. According to a government tracker, the line along the River Thames was about 3 miles long.

The hall is where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried, where kings and queens hosted lavish medieval banquets, and where ceremonial addresses were presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilee .

Chris Bond of Truro, southwest England, was among those waiting to see the queen’s coffin. She also participated in Lying as the Queen’s Mother in 2002.

“Obviously it’s hard enough to queue all day long, but when you walk through the doors at Westminster Hall, which is in that wonderful, historic building, there was a great feeling and one was told that you want to Take that much time, and it’s just wonderful,” he said.

“We know that the queen had a good age and served the country for a long time, but we hoped that this day would never come,” he said.

Chris Imafidon finished sixth in the row.

“I have 1,001 emotions when I look at him,” he said. “I want to say, Lord, she was an angel, because she touched so many good people and did so many good things.”



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