Queen Elizabeth II lies in state after solemn procession

LONDON — The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace for the final time Wednesday, borne on a horse-drawn carriage and saluted by cannons and the tolling of Massive Ben, in a solemn procession via the flag-draped, crowd-lined streets of London to Westminster Corridor. 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 4 days till her funeral Monday, with tons of of hundreds of individuals anticipated to file previous. Eight pall bearers carried the oak and lead-lined coffin into Westminster Corridor, putting it on a raised platform generally known as a catafalque.

Shortly after 5 p.m., the primary members of the general public have been allowed to file previous the coffin. They moved in two strains, one on both aspect of the coffin.

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

The navy procession from Buckingham Palace was designed to underscore the queen’s seven many years as head of state because the nationwide mourning course of shifted to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the U.Okay. capital.

Hundreds who had waited for hours alongside The Mall outdoors the palace and different places alongside the route held up telephones and cameras, and a few wiped away tears, because the procession handed. Applause broke out because the coffin handed via Horse Guards Parade. Hundreds extra sat in close by Hyde Park watching on massive screens.

The coffin was draped within the Royal Customary and topped with the Imperial State Crown — encrusted with nearly 3,000 diamonds — and a bouquet of flowers and vegetation, together with pine from the Balmoral Property, the place Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 on the age of 96.

Two officers and 32 troops from the first Battalion Grenadier Guards in purple uniforms and bearskin hats walked on both aspect of the gun carriage. The 38-minute procession ended at Westminster Corridor, the place Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a service attended by Charles and different royals.

“Let not your coronary heart worry: ye imagine in God, imagine additionally in me. In my Father’s home are many mansions: if it weren’t so, I’d have instructed you,” Welby learn from the E book of John.

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

4 officers from the Family Cavalry -– two from the Life Guards and two from the Blues Royals -– started the primary vigil on the coffin, taking their locations at every nook and bowing their heads.

Hundreds had queued up alongside the banks of the River Thames, ready to enter the corridor and pay their respects.

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

Esther Ravenor, a Kenyan who lives within the U.Okay. stated she was humbled as she watched the procession.

“I like the queen, I like the royal household, and you realize, I needed to be right here,” she stated. “She is a real function mannequin. She cherished us all, all of us. Particularly somebody like me, a migrant lady coming to the U.Okay. 30 years in the past, I used to be allowed to be right here and to be free and secure, so I actually honor her. She was an enormous a part of my life.”

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, of the Family division, who organized the ceremonial features of the queen’s funeral, stated it was “our final alternative to do our responsibility for the queen, and it’s our first alternative to do it for the king, and that makes us all very proud.”

Troops concerned within the procession had been getting ready because the queen died. So had the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Sgt. Tom Jenks stated the horses have been specifically educated, together with deal with weeping mourners, in addition to flowers and flags being tossed in entrance of the procession.

Heathrow Airport briefly halted flights, saying it might “guarantee silence over central London because the ceremonial procession strikes from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Corridor.”

President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday with Charles to supply his condolences, the White Home stated.

Biden recalled “the Queen’s kindness and hospitality” she hosted them and the primary girl at Windsor Fort in June, the assertion stated. “He additionally conveyed the good admiration of the American folks for the Queen, whose dignity and fidelity deepened the enduring friendship and particular relationship between the US and the UK.”

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

On Tuesday evening, hundreds braved a typical London drizzle because the hearse, with inside lights illuminating the casket, drove slowly from an air base to Buckingham Palace.

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

Lots of of hundreds are anticipated to go to the 900-year-old Westminster Corridor, the oldest constructing in Parliament, earlier than her state funeral Monday. The road snaking alongside the banks of the River Thames was practically 3 miles lengthy, in accordance with a authorities tracker.

The corridor is the place Man Fawkes and Charles I have been tried, the place kings and queens hosted magnificent medieval banquets, and the place ceremonial addresses have been introduced to Queen Elizabeth II throughout her silver, golden and diamond jubilees.

Chris Bond, from Truro in southwest England, was amongst these ready to see the queen’s coffin. He additionally attended the mendacity in state of the queen’s mom in 2002.

“Clearly, it’s fairly tough queuing all day lengthy, however while you stroll via these doorways into Westminster Corridor, that marvelous, historic constructing, there was an amazing sense of hush and one was instructed you’re taking as a lot time as you want, and it’s simply superb,” he stated.

“We all know the queen was a superb age and he or she served the nation a very long time, however we hoped this present day would by no means come,” he added.

Chris Imafidon, secured the sixth place within the queue.

“I’ve 1,001 feelings once I see her,” he stated. “I need to say, God, she was an angel, as a result of she touched many good folks and did so many good issues.”

Related Press author Sylvia Hui contributed.

Comply with AP protection of Queen at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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