Even at night, people waited for hours to pay their respects to the queen again. The new king even surprised some of them personally in line. Prince Harry also made the unexpected gesture ahead of the Queen’s state funeral.
When mourning becomes a mainstream event: Thousands of people once again lined the world’s most famous line ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s historic state funeral on Monday. They braved cold nights in London for several hours over the weekend to see the Queen’s coffin. At Westminster Hall, citizens had a chance to say goodbye before the King’s funeral.
Police, secret services and counter-terrorism units across Great Britain are co-ordinating one of the biggest security operations the capital has ever seen in a major government operation. More than 10,000 British soldiers were deployed. “It’s massive,” Chief of Defense Forces Admiral Tony Radakin told the BBC. Countless kings, heads of state and heads of government from all over the world were expected. On Sunday evening, King Charles III. (73) Receiving state guests at Buckingham Palace.
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Earlier in the day, Charles and his son Prince William (40) were still very close to the public. Both of them suddenly looked at the people waiting in line. The crowd greeted him on Saturday with applause, cheers and chants of “God save the king”. And celebrities also wanted to see the coffin. For example, on Friday, former soccer star David Beckham stood in line for a 12-hour wait.
Meanwhile, an incident on Friday evening caused a momentary shock. A man runs towards the coffin but is quickly arrested. Britain’s Ministry of Culture on Sunday called for an end to queuing for the Queen’s coffin in view of the large number of mourners. “Stop driving to join the queue to avoid disappointment,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8 at the age of 96 at her Scottish country estate, Balmoral Castle. His coffin is due to lie in Westminster Hall, Britain’s oldest part of Parliament, until early Monday morning. According to former Archbishop of York John Sentamu, the monarch had some ideas for his funeral. “The Queen does not want and does not want what you would call long, boring services,” he told the BBC. You told him personally. About 2,000 people have been called to state law. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese may be among the guests with the longest travel time.
A number of European aristocratic representatives have also been announced, including US President Joe Biden, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French President Emmanuel Macron, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen. A government official told the BBC the effort was comparable to 100 government visits in a few days. Many states with which Britain has poor or non-relationships are uninvited. Most notable is the absence of Russia.
The participation of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako was considered a special honor. Traditionally, Japanese monarchs do not actually attend funerals at home or abroad. However, it must come as a surprise that Naruhito, like the guests of honor, will have to travel by bus to Westminster Abbey. This will help avoid traffic jams. As the BBC reports, there are said to be very few exceptions, such as US President Biden or Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
After Monday’s mass at the iconic Westminster Abbey, the actual burial will not take place in London and the coffin will be driven west to Windsor. The Queen is to be laid to rest later in the evening at a private funeral at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle – alongside her husband Prince Philip, who died last year. A national minute’s silence was scheduled for 8pm (local time) on Sunday evening – a final tribute by citizens to their Queen.
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