Moment of silence held across Britain for Queen Elizabeth

The entire UK held a minute’s silence for Queen Elizabeth II at 20:00 local time. This came as leaders from around the world arrived...


The entire UK held a minute’s silence for Queen Elizabeth II at 20:00 local time. This came as leaders from around the world arrived in London for his state funeral, which is due to take place on Monday.

President Biden and other dignitaries arrived in London for the funeral, which was attended by some 500 royals, heads of state and heads of government from around the world.

Mr. Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden paid their respects at Westminster Hall on Sunday, where they were joined by Jane Hartley, US Ambassador to the UK. The President and First Lady signed the official book of condolences for the Queen at Lancaster House.

“She was the same person as her image – decent, honorable, all about service,” Biden said. “Our hearts go out to the royal family, King Charles and the whole family. It’s a loss that leaves a giant hole, and sometimes you think you’ll never get over it, but like I told the king, she’s going to be with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment. And that’s a reassuring notion.”

GREAT BRITAIN-ROYALS-QUEEN-DEATH
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden pay their respects as they view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at Westminster Hall in London on September 18, 2022.

JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


Thousands of people continued to queue 24 hours a day to pass the queen’s coffin, which is in Westminster Hall of Parliament, facing frigid overnight temperatures and waits of up to 17 hours. 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 night.

The mile-long line at Westminster Hall closed to new arrivals on Sunday at 10:30 pm local time, so everyone in line can pass the coffin before Monday morning, when it will be loaded into a carriage of weapons to the Abbey of Westminster for the Queen’s Ceremony. funeral.

The queen’s third child, Prince Andrew, paid tribute to her on Sunday.

“As our book of experiences closes, another opens, and I will always hold them close to my heart with my deepest love and gratitude, and I will gladly follow the next with you as my guide,” he said in the statement.

Thousands of police officers from across the country will be on duty as part of the biggest one-day police operation in London’s history.

Crowds also gathered on Sunday near Windsor Castle, where the queen will be laid to rest in a private family ceremony on Monday night.

“I think it was amazing,” said Anna Pettigrew, a 55-year-old teacher. “It was very moving and I think it was a very fitting tribute to a wonderful queen.”

Camilla, the new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch has “carved her own role” as a “lonely woman” on a male-dominated world stage.

“I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” said Camilla, who is married to King Charles III.

A wave of people continued to flow into Westminster Hall, where the queen’s coffin is displayed, draped in the Royal Standard and crowned with a diamond-studded crown. The number of mourners has grown steadily since the public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a line stretching at least five miles along the River Thames and in Southwark Park in the south-east of the city.

Honoring their patience, Charles and William paid an unexpected visit on Saturday to greet people in line, shaking hands and thanking the mourners in line near Lambeth Bridge.

Later, all of the queen’s grandchildren stood beside her coffin. William and Prince Harry, sons of Charles, were joined by Princess Anne’s sons, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Prince Edward’s two sons – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William had his head down at the head of the coffin and Harry was at his feet. Both princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. The mourners continued to pass in silence.

Grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II Mount Vigil at Westminster Hall
Prince William stands in front of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at Westminster Hall on September 17, 2022 in London.

Yui Mok / Getty Images


“You could see they were thinking a lot about their grandmother the queen,” said Ian Mockett, a civil engineer in Oxford, southern England. “It was nice to see them all together as a set of grandchildren, given the things that have happened in recent years.”

Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British army officer, donned civilian clothes earlier in the week as the queen’s coffin left Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the royal family. He and his wife Meghan left royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020. The king, however, requested that William and Harry wear their military uniforms to the vigil at Westminster Hall.

Before the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a statement praising their “beloved grandmother”.

“We, like many, thought you would be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand at our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish you. these lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.

The Queen’s four children – Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – held a similar vigil around the coffin on Friday.

The silence in the hall was briefly broken on Friday when a man attacked the coffin. London police said on Sunday that a 28-year-old London man, Muhammad Khan, had been charged with behavior intended to “cause alarm, harassment or distress”. He will appear in court on Monday.

The state continues until Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will be moved to nearby Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the end of 10 days of national mourning for Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Following Monday’s service at the abbey, the coffin of the late queen will be transported through historic London in a carriage of arms. It will then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, where the Queen will be buried alongside her late husband Prince Philip, who died last year.

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