Queen Elizabeth II funeral live updates | Dignitaries, heads of state begin arriving at Westminster Abbey


Huge crowds built in central London overnight and from early morning on Monday to secure a spot to watch the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey

Huge crowds built in central London overnight and from early morning on Monday to secure a spot to watch the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey

Britain, world leaders and royalty from across the globe will on September 19 bid a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, the last towering figure of her era, at a state funeral of inimitable pageantry. Thousands of people camped overnight in London to get the best spots for viewing Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession.

Shortly before 11 a.m. (local time), the oak coffin, covered in the Royal Standard flag with the Imperial State Crown on top, will be placed on a gun carriage and pulled by naval personnel to Westminster Abbey for her funeral.

Among the 2,000 in the congregation will be some 500 world leaders, including Mr. Biden, Emperor Naruhito of Japan, Wang Qishan, the Vice President of China, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Read | Queen Elizabeth II, longest-reigning monarch of U.K., dies

The queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George (9) and Princess Charlotte (7) the two eldest children of now heir to the throne Prince William, will also be attending.

“Over the last 10 days, my wife and I have been so deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and across the world,” Charles, Elizabeth’s son and the new king, said in a statement.

Read | India remembers Queen Elizabeth II’s visits

“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief.”

Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on Sept. 8 at her Scottish summer home, Balmoral Castle.

2.18 p.m. | Train disruption

Royal mourners face rail disruption on journey to Windsor Castle

Trains travelling from London to Windsor, where Queen Elizabeth will be buried later on Monday were badly disrupted by technical problems, straining the public transport system as tens of thousands travel around the capital to watch her funeral.

Great Western Railway (GWR) said that all lines between Paddington and key connection point Reading, were blocked, advising passengers to take an alternative route to Windsor, the town that is home to the Windsor Castle royal residence.

Union Jack flags are seen on The Mall, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London,  on September 19, 2022.

Union Jack flags are seen on The Mall, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, on September 19, 2022.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Later, the queen’s coffin is due to be driven to Windsor, where she will be buried alongside her late husband Prince Philip in a small chapel in a private ceremony after the funeral. Large crowds are expected throughout the town. — Reuters

2.13 p.m. | United Kingdom

Dignitaries, heads of state begin arriving at Westminster Abbey

Dignitaries and foreign heads of state have started arriving at the Westminster Abbey, reports the BBC

United Kingdom

Royal mourners face rail disruption on journey to Windsor Castle

Trains travelling from London to Windsor, where Queen Elizabeth will be buried later on Monday were badly disrupted by technical problems, straining the public transport system as tens of thousands travel around the capital to watch her funeral.

Great Western Railway (GWR) said that all lines between Paddington and key connection point Reading, were blocked, advising passengers to take an alternative route to Windsor, the town that is home to the Windsor Castle royal residence.- Reuters

1.59 p.m. | United Kingdom

Bell at Westminster Abbey begins tolling

Bell at Westminster Abbey begins tolling once a minute for 96 minutes to honor each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.- AP

United Kingdom

Viewing areas along route of funeral procession full

London authorities say all viewing areas along route of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession are full- AP

From The Hindu

India’s erstwhile royal families on hosting Queen Elizabeth II during her first trip to India

When the Delhi Durbars were held in 1903 and 1911, all the Rajas and Maharajas of India travelled to Delhi to pay their respects to the Crown. All, except the Maharana of Mewar, who did not attend these events to demonstrate his resistance against the British regime. Yet, decades later, when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Udaipur, in January 1961, to restore the British monarchy’s relationship with this royal house, Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar graciously welcomed them.

United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth II to be buried in decades-old coffin lined with lead

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, is made of English oak, lined with lead and it was built decades ago, according to British media reports on Monday.

The coffin is made of oak from the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate according to royal tradition, the Sky News reported.

According to the Telegraph, it was originally built by the specialist firm Henry Smith over three decades ago. The records of the exact date that the casket was made were lost when Henry Smith was taken over by another firm in 2005. Since its manufacture, it has been in storage under the care of two different firms who have been responsible for royal funerals.

The coffin is two-in-one, with the internal portion lead poured over a simple inner wood coffin. That is then placed inside the outer casket made of English oak. The combination of materials used to make Her Majesty’s coffin mean that it is much heavier than a normal coffin. It requires eight pallbearers, which will be from the Armed Forces, to carry it instead of the normal six.

The practice of encasing Royal Family members in lead coffins dates back hundreds of years at least to Queen Elizabeth I. Using lead allows the casket to be sealed, keeping out moisture and slows the decomposition process for up to a year longer than would normally occur.- PTI

United Kingdom

Mourners begin arriving at Westminster Abbey

Mourners have started arriving at Westminster Abbey to take their seats for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral service.

Guests began entering the Gothic medieval abbey shortly after 8 a.m. (0700 GMT; 3 a.m. EDT) on Monday. Dignitaries will start arriving later, with many heads of state gathering at a nearby hospital to be driven by bus to the abbey.

Westminster Abbey is where Queen Elizabeth II was married in 1947 and crowned in 1953.

A day packed with funeral events in London and Windsor began early when the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her coffin since September 14.- AP

Paris

Paris Metro renames station after Queen Elizabeth II

The Paris Metro has renamed one of its stations after Queen Elizabeth II to honor the British monarch on the day of her state funeral.

The Metro company tweeted that the George V station, which serves the French capital’s famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, has been renamed Elizabeth II station for the day on Monday.- AP

United Kingdom

Crowds gather for the Queen’s funeral

 Huge crowds built in central London overnight and from early morning on Monday to secure a spot to watch the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey.

As dawn broke over the River Thames, a steady stream of well-wishers streamed out of Embankment underground station headed for Parliament Square.- AFP

Police officers are seen on The Mall, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, on September 19, 2022

Police officers are seen on The Mall, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, on September 19, 2022
| Photo Credit: Reuters

People gather on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, on September 19, 2022.

People gather on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, on September 19, 2022.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

United Kingdom

‘We couldn’t miss this’: Thousands camp out for Queen’s funeral

Thousands of people camped overnight in London to get the best spots for viewing Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession on Monday. The best prepared had tents, sleeping bags, blow up beds and flasks of tea. Others were sitting or sleeping on the ground in only their jackets. One couple were seen asleep just in their clothes, their arms interlocked for warmth, and, perhaps, for comfort.

Melanie Odey, 60, a teacher, was at the front of the barriers along the Mall outside Buckingham Palace. She had camped overnight in a tent with two daughters and grandchildren after arriving on Sunday afternoon at 4.30 p.m. (1530 GMT)

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of history, to pay your respects,” she said with a pink scarf wrapped around her head. “The atmosphere is so unique. I had to come. It has definitely been worth it,” she said, adding that it was the least she could do to honour the late monarch.

People continued to arrive throughout the night arriving by taxi or the extra trains put on to accommodate the crowds.

As people made their way to the procession route, some were silent and sombre, dressed in black. Others were more upbeat. A group of three women dressed in Union Jack hats sang “God Save the Queen” as they made their way to the route. On the streets, there was a remarkable cross-section of society, of young and old. Some arrived in wheelchairs, others in pushchairs.- Reuters

United Kingdom

President Mumru attends reception at the Buckingham Palace

President Droupadi Murmu, who is representing India at the state funeral, and the heads of state and government from around the world including US President Joe Biden attended an “official state event” hosted by the King and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening.

United Kingdom

Charles reflects on ‘lifelong service of dear mother’ ahead of Queen’s funeral

Britain’s King Charles III reflected upon his late mother’s “lifelong service” in a thank you message ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday morning.

Queen Elizabeth II, 96, passed away peacefully at her Scottish residence of Balmoral Castle on September 8 and has been Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall, where Murmu and the world leaders joined thousands of mourners to pay their respects to the late monarch.

“Over the last 10 days, my wife and I have been so deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and across the world,” Charles said in a statement, in the wake of a one-minute silence as a national moment of reflection in memory of the Queen at 20:00 local time on Sunday.

“In London, Edinburgh, Hillsborough and Cardiff we were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, the late Queen,” he said.

“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief,” he added.- PTI

United Kingdom

Biden, VIPs lay low as spotlight stays on late Queen

For US President Joe Biden and other presidents, prime ministers and dignitaries, there were no red-carpet arrivals, no big speeches and no news conferences as they gathered for Monday’s state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.

Instead, world leaders used to people hanging on their every word checked their egos in the service of honouring the queen, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who died earlier this month at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.

“They know that they are there to honour the passing, honour the individual,” said Capricia Marshall, who was the US State Department’s protocol chief for a period during Barack Obama’s administration. “They also are aware that they’re representing their country.” The protocol office is a key player in US foreign policy and diplomatic affairs by working to make sure that US officials don’t say or do anything that will offend a foreign visitor or host.

Most other leaders in town have kept similarly low profiles, appearing so far only to sign the official book of condolence and silently pay respects beside the queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.- AP

United Kingdom

UK officials close queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state, saying it was at ‘final capacity’

The lying-in-state ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall formally ended and the doors closed to the public ahead of her state funeral on Monday.

Over five days, tens of thousands of people had waited hours in line before filing past her coffin to pay their final respects. The funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in front of some 2,000 guests.- AP

United Kingdom

First televised funeral of a British monarch

Tens of millions in Britain and abroad are expected to watch the funeral of the monarch, something which has never been televised before. It will end with the Last Post trumpet salute before the church and the nation falls silent for two minutes.

Afterwards, the coffin will be brought through central London, past the queen’s Buckingham Palace home to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, with the monarch and the royal family following again on foot during the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) procession.

From there, it will be placed on a hearse to be driven to Windsor Castle in west London for a service at St George’s Chapel. This will conclude with the crown, orb and sceptre – symbols of the monarch’s power and governance – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.

The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, will break his ‘Wand of Office’, signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and place it on the casket.

It will then be lowered into the royal vault as the Sovereign’s Piper plays a lament, slowly walking away until music in the chapel gradually fades.

Later in the evening, in a private family service, the coffin of Elizabeth and her husband of more than seven decades Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will be buried together at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where her parents and sister, Princess Margaret, also rest.- Reuters

United Kingdom

Leaders in U.K. for Queen’s funeral

World leaders and royalty arrived in London on Saturday night and Sunday to offer condolences on behalf of their countries and say their final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth II whose state funeral is scheduled for Monday. The 96-year-old Queen — Britain’s longest reigning monarch of 70 years — died on September 8 in Scotland. President Droupadi Murmu was among those who visited the Westminster Hall in the British Parliament complex on Sunday, where the Queen’s is lying in state.

“President Droupadi Murmu visited Westminster Hall London where the body of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II is lying in state. The President offered tributes to the departed soul on her own behalf and on behalf of the people of India,” the President’s official twitter handle said. Among those with her was Deputy High Commissioner to the U.K., Sujit Ghosh.

United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren hold silent vigil beside her coffin in Westminster Hall

All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silent vigil beside her coffin on September 17, capping another huge day in which thousands came to pay their respects. Mourners huddled in a line that snaked across London, enduring the city’s coldest night in months and waits that stretched up to 16 hours.

Honoring their patience, King Charles III and his eldest son Prince William made an unannounced visit on September 17 to greet people waiting to file past Elizabeth’s coffin, shaking hands and thanking mourners in the queue near Lambeth Bridge.

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





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