sunny.png
Tuesday November 29th, 2022 3:48PM

Queen Elizabeth II lies in state after solemn procession

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace for the last time Wednesday, borne on a horse-drawn carriage and saluted by cannons and the tolling of Big Ben, in a solemn procession through the flag-draped, crowd-lined streets of London to Westminster Hall. There, Britain’s longest-serving monarch will lie in state for the world to mourn.

Her son, King Charles III, and his siblings and sons marched behind the coffin, which was topped by a wreath of white roses and her crown resting on a purple velvet pillow.

The queen will lie in state for four days until her funeral Monday, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to file past. Eight pall bearers carried the oak and lead-lined coffin into Westminster Hall, placing it on a raised platform known as a catafalque.

Shortly after 5 p.m., members of the public were allowed to file past the coffin, in the center of the vast medieval hall. People flowed in two lines in a silent river of humanity.

They moved down steps under the hall's great stained glass window, then past the coffin at a steady pace. There were parents with children, couples hand in hand, veterans with medals clinking on navy blue blazers, lawmakers and members of the House of Lords.

Some wore black or suits and ties, others jeans and sneakers. They had waited hours for a journey past the coffin that lasted only a few minutes.

Many were in tears as they approached the casket. Some doffed their hats and one curtseyed. One fell to one knee and blew a kiss.

The military procession from Buckingham Palace was designed to underscore the queen’s seven decades as head of state as the national mourning process shifted to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the U.K. capital.

Thousands who had waited for hours along The Mall outside the palace and other locations along the route held up phones and cameras, and some wiped away tears, as the procession passed. Applause broke out as the coffin passed through Horse Guards Parade. Thousands more sat in nearby Hyde Park watching on large screens.

The coffin was draped in the Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial State Crown — encrusted with almost 3,000 diamonds — and a bouquet of flowers and plants, including pine from the Balmoral Estate, where Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

Two officers and 32 troops from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in red uniforms and bearskin hats walked on either side of the gun carriage. The 38-minute procession ended at Westminster Hall, where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a service attended by Charles and other royals.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you," Welby read from the Book of John.

After a short service, the captain of The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, assisted by a senior sergeant, laid the royal standard of the regiment on the steps of the catafalque.

Four officers from the Household Cavalry -– two from the Life Guards and two from the Blues Royals -– began the first vigil at the coffin, taking their places at each corner and bowing their heads.

Thousands had queued up along the banks of the River Thames, waiting to enter the hall and pay their respects.

The crowds are the latest manifestation of the nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the only monarch most Britons have ever known after her 70 years on the throne.

Esther Ravenor, a Kenyan who lives in the U.K. said she was humbled as she watched the procession.

“I love the queen, I love the royal family, and you know, I had to be here,” she said. "She is a true role model. She loved us all, all of us. Especially someone like me, a migrant woman coming to the U.K. 30 years ago, I was allowed to be here and to be free and safe, so I really honor her. She was a big part of my life.”

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, of the Household division, who organized the ceremonial aspects of the queen’s funeral, said it was “our last opportunity to do our duty for the queen, and it’s our first opportunity to do it for the king, and that makes us all very proud.”

Troops involved in the procession had been preparing since the queen died. So had the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Sgt. Tom Jenks said the horses were specially trained, including how to handle weeping mourners, as well as flowers and flags being tossed in front of the procession.

Heathrow Airport temporarily halted flights, saying it would “ensure silence over central London as the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.”

President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday with Charles to offer his condolences, the White House said.

Biden recalled “the Queen’s kindness and hospitality" she hosted them and the first lady at Windsor Castle in June, the statement said. “He also conveyed the great admiration of the American people for the Queen, whose dignity and constancy deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”

Crowds have lined the route of the queen’s coffin whenever it has been moved in its long journey from Scotland to London.

On Tuesday night, thousands braved a typical London drizzle as the hearse, with interior lights illuminating the casket, drove slowly from an air base to Buckingham Palace.

Earlier, in Edinburgh, about 33,000 people filed silently past her coffin in 24 hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to visit the 900-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest building in Parliament, before her state funeral Monday. The line snaking along the banks of the River Thames was nearly 3 miles long, according to a government tracker.

The hall is where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried, where kings and queens hosted magnificent medieval banquets, and where ceremonial addresses were presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her silver, golden and diamond jubilees.

Chris Bond, from Truro in southwest England, was among those waiting to see the queen's coffin. He also attended the lying in state of the queen’s mother in 2002.

“Obviously, it’s quite difficult queuing all day long, but when you walk through those doors into Westminster Hall, that marvelous, historic building, there was a great sense of hush and one was told you take as much time as you like, and it’s just amazing,” he said.

“We know the queen was a good age and she served the country a long time, but we hoped this day would never come,” he added.

Chris Imafidon, secured the sixth place in the queue.

“I have 1,001 emotions when I see her,” he said. “I want to say, God, she was an angel, because she touched many good people and did so many good things.”

—-

Associated Press writer Sylvia Hui contributed.

___

Follow AP coverage of Queen at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Queen Elizabeth II lies in state after solemn procession
Queen Elizabeth II has left Buckingham Palace for the last time
12:36PM ( 6 minutes ago )
California cleans up from mudslides, as fire gains strength
Rescuers are searching for a person missing in a mudslide that swept boulders down fire-scarred slopes in Southern California mountain communities
12:28PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Car guy Biden touting electric vehicles at Detroit auto show
President Joe Biden is showcasing his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles during a visit to the Detroit auto show
12:14PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Leaky pen and staff job cuts: King Charles under scrutiny
Reports that up to 100 staff at King Charles III’s former residence could lose their jobs have drawn criticism of the British monarchy, within days of his accession to the throne
11:59AM ( 43 minutes ago )
A less-glitzy Detroit auto show returns after 3-year absence
When it came time to showcase its electric Chevrolet Equinox SUV to the public this year, General Motors decided against doing so at the big Detroit auto show, as it typically would have done in the past
11:54AM ( 48 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Indiana's abortion ban becomes law Thursday
An abortion ban is set to take effect in Indiana, which was the first state to pass one after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June
11:44AM ( 58 minutes ago )
AP National News
Armenia, Azerbaijan trade blame for renewed shelling
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of new rounds of shelling on Wednesday morning as hostilities reignited between the two longtime adversaries
10:14AM ( 2 hours ago )
Procession of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin underway in London
Queen Elizabeth II has left Buckingham Palace for the last time
9:44AM ( 2 hours ago )
Stocks waver on Wall Street after worst sell-off in years
Wall Street is steadying itself after tumbling to its worst day in two years on fears about higher interest rates and the recession they could create
9:40AM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Live updates: 4-day vigil begins for queen ahead of funeral
Four soldiers in red and gold ceremonial uniform have taken their positions at the four corners of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, with their heads bowed
10:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
Live updates: Biden calls King Charles with condolences
U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken with King Charles III to offer his condolences on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II
10:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
Pakistani premier promises compensation for flood victims
Pakistan’s prime minister says his government will ensure people are compensated for homes lost to the country's worst-ever floods, which have killed 1,481 people since mid-June
9:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Greece's Irene Papas, who earned Hollywood fame, dies at 93
Greek actress and recording artist Irene Papas has died at age 93
10:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
Lin-Manuel Miranda, others seek Puerto Rico silver lining
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico five years ago and highlighted the funding problems the Caribbean island has long faced
9:18AM ( 3 hours ago )
Full Life: John Stamos memoir scheduled for fall 2023
Parenthood and the death of his dear friend and former “Full House” co-star Bob Saget helped convince John Stamos it was time to write his memoir
8:41AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Richardson visits Moscow as Griner, Whelan remain jailed
Bill Richardson, who has worked to secure the releases of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, visited Moscow this week and held meetings with Russian leaders
8:10PM ( 16 hours ago )
Emmys reach record-low audience of 5.9 million people
The Emmy Awards reached a record-low audience of 5.9 million people on NBC Monday night
8:05PM ( 16 hours ago )
"Sweetie Pie's" star says he did not arrange nephew's death
A former reality TV star from St. Louis testified that he had nothing to do with his nephew's killing
7:56PM ( 16 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
California cleans up from mudslides, as fire gains strength
Rescuers are searching for a person missing in a mudslide that swept boulders down fire-scarred slopes in Southern California mountain communities
12:28PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Car guy Biden touting electric vehicles at Detroit auto show
President Joe Biden is showcasing his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles during a visit to the Detroit auto show
12:14PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Armenia, Azerbaijan trade blame for clashes that killed 155
Armenia and Azerbaijan say 155 troops from the two countries have died since hostilities reignited between the two longtime adversaries this week
12:07PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Disabled voters win in Wisconsin; legal fights elsewhere
Wisconsin voters with disabilities are celebrating a win after a federal judge, citing the Voting Rights Act, ruled that they may get assistance returning their ballots
12:07PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Conservative Bolduc wins New Hampshire's GOP Senate primary
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc has won New Hampshire’s Republican Senate primary and will face potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan in November
12:05PM ( 37 minutes ago )