World leaders head to London for Queen Elizabeth II funeral

LONDON: Thousands of police, hundreds of troops and an army of officials made final preparations on Sunday for the state funeral of Mr. Queen Elizabeth II – a monumental display of national mourning and will also be the largest gathering of world leaders in years.
Our President Joe Biden and other dignitaries will travel to London for the funeral, with some 500 royals, heads of state and heads of government from around the world invited.
Thousands of people continued to line up around the clock to see the queen’s coffin as it lay in state ParliamentWestminster Hall, despite the frigid temperatures overnight and waiting times of up to 17 hours. The queen’s eight grandchildren, led by the heir to the throne, Prince William, circled the coffin and bowed during a silent vigil on Saturday night.
The mile-long line is expected to close to new arrivals late Sunday so people in line can drop off the coffin before Monday morning, when it will be loaded onto a gun truck to Westminster Abbey for burial. attend the queen’s funeral.
People across the UK will pause Sunday evening to observe a minute of nationwide silence in memory of the queen, who passed away on September 8 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public holiday, and the funeral will be broadcast to a large television audience and shown to crowds in parks and public spaces around the country.
Thousands of police officers from across the country will be on duty as part of the largest single-day policing operation in London’s history.
Camilla, the new queen’s consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “portrayed her own role” as a “lonely woman” on stage world dominated by men.
“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 pour into Parliament’s Westminster Hall, where the queen’s coffin lay in its original state, dressed in a Royal Standard gown and a diamond-encrusted tiara. The number of mourners has increased steadily since the public was first picked up on Wednesday, with queues stretching at least five miles (eight kilometers) along the River Thames and into Southwark Park in the southeast of the city. city.
Appreciating their patience, Charles and William made an unannounced visit on Saturday to greet those in line, shake hands and thank those mourning in the queue near Lambeth Bridge.
Afterwards, all of the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, sons of Charles, with children of Princess Anne, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Daughters of Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
William stood bowing before the coffin and Harry at his feet. Both princes, both ex-soldiers, wore uniforms. The mourners continued to pass in silence.
“You can see they’re thinking a lot about their grandmother, the queen,” said Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford, in the south of England. “It’s good to see them all together as a collection of grandchildren given the things that have happened in the last few years.”
Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British Army officer, was dressed in civilian clothes earlier this week when the queen’s coffin left Buckingham Palace as he was no longer a working member of the family. Royal. He and his wife Meghan gave up their royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020. However, the king asked both William and Harry to wear their military uniforms at the Westminster Hall ceremony.
Before the ceremony, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie released a statement praising their “beloved grandmother”.
“We, like many people, think you will be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You are our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our back leading us through this world. You guys have taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.
The queen’s four children – Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – held a similar memorial service around the coffin on Friday.
The silence in the hall was quickly broken on Friday when a man lunged at the coffin. London Police said on Sunday that a 28-year-old London man, Muhammad Khan, had been charged with conduct that “caused alarm, harassment or distress”. He will appear in court on Monday.
The dormant state continues until early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will be moved to nearby Westminster Abbey for a funeral, the final night of 10 days of national mourning for the country’s longest-reigning monarch. Older brother.
Following Monday’s ceremony at the abbey, the coffin of the late queen will be transported through London’s historic center in a horse-drawn carriage. It will then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred with her late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away last year.

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