June 17, 2024

The funeral begins in Westminster Abbey

The funeral begins in Westminster Abbey

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was carried in Westminster Abbey.

The funeral destination is Windsor.

(Photo: via Reuters)

London The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, who died ten days earlier, has become a global event. For three hours, about 500 heads of state, government and monarchs from around the world flocked to Westminster Abbey, where the funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II, who died ten days earlier, was held at 12 pm (11 am British local time). They included US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. A total of seven British prime ministers attended – from John Major to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and current Prime Minister Liz Truss.

It was almost a small General Assembly of the United Nations that took place in the heart of London. Among the 2,000 guests were also nearly 200 British citizens who had made outstanding contributions to the public good and were thus invited to the funeral of the century.

Westminster Abbey is a special place for the royal family and especially for the late Queen: Elizabeth married here in 1947 to Prince Philip, who had died a year earlier. Here she was crowned queen in 1953. This is where an extraordinary life and 70-year reign in front of a total of 2,200 invited guests ends.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: One million mourners gather in London

No king “reigns” longer than the queen. Even if her role as Head of State of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth countries is primarily representative. There are still about 40 countries around the world that officially consider themselves a monarchy – even if for a long time political power was in other hands.

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Flags flew at half mast across the UK today. About a million mourners gathered along the Mall, the avenue in the heart of London that stretches from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. Several billion people around the world have made the funeral service one of the biggest television events of all time. In Hyde Park, citizens watched the meticulously planned funeral service on huge screens.

>> Read also: All current developments related to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral can be found on our live blog

Most shops and offices in London remain closed for this national holiday. However, if you want to buy a coffee or a snack, there are enough stalls along the way for the funeral procession that ensued later.

At 11.35 a.m., the Queen’s coffin was carried from Westminster Hall into a carriage towed by 142 Royal Navy personnel at 11.44 a.m. to nearby Westminster Abbey. The coffin was placed in Westminster Hall for four days, and about 750,000 people passed in mourning after having to wait up to 20 hours in a one kilometer long line on the south bank of the Thames to be accepted.

funeral service

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin has arrived at Westminster Abbey.

(Photo: AP)

The carriage, which was used to transport cannons, was first used at Queen Victoria’s funeral. It has since been used at the funerals of Edward VII, George V, George VI, Winston Churchill and Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Queen Elizabeth II is buried at Windsor Castle

To the sound of the Scottish bagpipes and the drums of Northern Ireland, King Charles III. And his wife Camilla, along with other members of the royal family, carry the coffin for a short walk to the cathedral. The funeral service there began at 12 noon, led by the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave a funeral sermon. The clergyman noted that the Queen promised on her 21st birthday that she would dedicate her life to serving the people. No one fulfilled this promise better than Elizabeth II. “During the pandemic, I promised: We’ll see each other again,” Welby said. Those were words of hope and consolation.

Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin is transported across London by carriage.

(Photo: via Reuters)

At the end of the ceremony, the entire United Kingdom sat in complete silence for two minutes in memory of the Queen. People in Belfast, Edinburgh and London closed their eyes and bowed their heads for the dead. The coffin was then carried in the sun on a cannon carriage in a funeral procession through the spacious Sanctuary, Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horseguards Parade, Horseguards Road, The Mall and Constitution Hill to Hyde Park Corner.

Not only did the royal family follow the casket, but also the NHS staff. Among them was May Parsons, who, as a nurse, performed the first coronavirus vaccination in Great Britain in 2020.

Kings Charles III, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew

The King and his brothers followed the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to Westminster Abbey.

(Photo: AP)

At Wellington Arch, the coffin is then loaded onto the chair, which takes the dead queen across west London to Windsor. A second funeral will be held there in St. George’s Church in front of about 800 mourners. At about 5 pm, the Queen will be buried with her family next to her husband Prince Philip in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

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