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For the British, it is the last chance to say goodbye to Elizabeth II: tears and kilometer-long queues Names & More Latest News Here

 

After a long wait in bad weather, the first mourners were allowed into the great medieval hall on Wednesday after the coffin left Buckingham Palace for the last time in a solemn procession watched by tens of thousands of people.

Thursday is the first full day that Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin lies in state in Westminster Hall. This is the last chance to personally say goodbye to the ruler who charmed the world with her unbreakable sense of duty.

The coffin, draped in a royal flag with the crown, orb and scepter of the British Empire, was raised high on the dais, tall candles flickering at each corner.

The casket is constantly guarded by soldiers in ceremonial uniforms.

During the night, one guard fainted, and this episode showed how much strength can be required to stay on duty.

A five-kilometer queue

Many people stopped and bowed or squatted respectfully before the coffin, others crossed themselves or took off their hats.

Some prayed by the coffin or wiped away tears with tissues. Some brought their babies in strollers. Senior soldiers stopped and paid their last respects to their former commander-in-chief.

Accountant Sue Harvey, 50, was among those who broke down in tears as she passed the coffin.

“Inside it was very quiet, peaceful and incredibly emotional. Many people were wiping away tears, but there was total silence. It was such a respect,” she told AFP.

“I wanted to make sure I would see her no matter how long the line was because I had never met her when she was alive,” the woman said.

Nina, a 40-year-old artist, wanted to thank Elizabeth II for her life, during which she tirelessly served the country.

“There’s no escaping the majesty of what it was in this place.” I’m really excited – and I’m not the only one,” she said.

A queue of almost five kilometers stretched along the banks of the River Thames on Wednesday night, with mourners bravely waiting for several hours to catch a glimpse of the late monarch.

A solemn procession

The coffin was brought from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

King Charles III led the royal family in a horse-drawn carriage with a coffin to the sound of funeral marches played by a military band.

Charles III – the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II – his siblings and his own sons, Princes William and Harry, followed the carriage at a carefully choreographed pace of 75 steps per minute.

The sight of the new king’s two grieving sons inevitably evoked memories of 1997, when William and Harry, then aged just 15 and 12, followed the coffin of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, with their heads bowed.

Big Ben tolled every minute from the Elizabeth Tower outside the Houses of Parliament as the coffin was carried in front of the stunned crowds lining the road.

The solemn march through flag-draped central London was part of 11 days of national mourning, which will end with a funeral.

Visits to Sandringham, Manchester

On Thursday, William and his wife Kate will travel to Sandringham, the royal family’s private winter retreat in Norfolk, eastern England, to view flowers left by people at Norwich Gate.

In Sandringa, the royal family gathers at Christmas, with members going to the local church on Christmas Day and socializing with the people.

It will be the first public event hosted by the new Prince and Princess of Wales.

Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son Prince Edward, 58, and his wife Sophie are to visit Manchester, northwest England, to read a book of condolences at the city’s central library.

They also have to look at the flowers at St. Anna Square and meet the members of the public who volunteer at this place.

After the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, which killed 22 people, the square was transformed into a sea of ​​flowers.

During the Queen’s funeral, hundreds of world leaders and monarchs will gather at the historic Westminster Abbey in the heart of the British capital.

Among those confirmed to attend the funeral are US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Emperor Naruhito. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda will also attend the funeral.

For the British, it is the last chance to say goodbye to Elizabeth II: tears and kilometer-long queues Names
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