A mourning crowd passed Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin overnight at a public wake at Westminster Hall in London. Britons and people from around the world paid their final respects to the longest-reigning monarch in UK history ahead of her funeral on Monday.
After days of processions and rituals, as the queen’s body was carried to London from Balmoral, Scotland, where she died last Thursday (8) at the age of 96, this was the opportunity for the common people to participate in the ceremony. . Many tearfully passed the flag-lined coffin.
Authorities expect about 750,000 people by the end of the public wake on Monday morning.
King Charles, his sons, Princes William and Harry, and other royals joined earlier in a solemn procession to accompany Queen Elizabeth’s coffin on Wednesday, the day the monarch’s body made its final journey, leaving Buckingham Palace.
Crowds gathered in central London to witness the Queen being carried from the palace to Parliament, as artillery guns fired salutes and Big Ben played, in the latest in a series of moving ceremonies.
Carried in a carriage of arms, draped in the banner called the Royal Standard and with the Crown of the Imperial State placed on a pillow atop a wreath, the coffin containing Elizabeth’s body was carried away in a slow, somber procession from his London home to Westminster Hall, where he will stay for four days.
Walking close behind were Charles and his brothers Anne, Andrew and Edward.
In a second group were Charles’ children, Princes William and Harry, a sad scene reminiscent of the day when, as boys 25 years ago, they followed the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana, carried in a similar procession through the center of the English capital.
It was also a symbolic display of unity, as William, 40, now Prince of Wales, and Harry, 37, Duke of Sussex, reportedly say little to each other after a bitter falling-out over the past two years.
“It was very emotional to see the family. It was a powerful demonstration of unity,” said Jenny Frame, 54, who waited more than four hours to see the procession.
Paul Wiltshire, 65, commented: “I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like this, or a queen like that again. The end of an era.”
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