Mike Corder, Jill Lawless, Danika Karka
LONDON (AP) — Thousands of police, hundreds of British troops and government officials made final preparations for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday.
U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were among thousands of mourners, from locals and tourists to world leaders. I stood quietly near the coffin, made a cross, and put my hand to my heart.
Biden was also scheduled to sign an official eulogy, attend a reception hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Sunday, and attend a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday. He is one of 500 world leaders and royals invited to the funeral, along with hundreds of British philanthropists.
Amidst an influx of dignitaries, lining up in front of the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall is the watch of people looking for a place to stand in the longest line ever seen. needle was ticking. The miles-long queue will be closed to new arrivals later on Sunday so that everyone in line can see the coffin by Monday morning, when it is taken to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral. I plan to
Thousands of people lined up 24 hours a day, per family, waiting up to 17 hours in cold nights and queues that stretched over 5 miles (8 kilometers).
36-year-old student Lauren Wilson had a much shorter queue for people with disabilities. She said she wanted to experience first-hand the state in which her coffin lay.
“The world is in such a strange place and then this happened. It feels more grave,” she said.
She worried that the public fuss surrounding Elizabeth’s death would rob the Queen’s relatives of their ability to accept the loss.
“Family members cannot be allowed to grieve. I find it very heartbreaking,” she said.
The Queen’s eight grandchildren, led by the heir to the throne, Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed during Saturday night’s silent vigil.
Among the foreign leaders in London was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“What I can learn from this period is the beauty of the public reaction, the kindness, patience and camaraderie seen from members of the public. was,” she said.
People across Britain will also pause for a national time of silence on Sunday evening to mourn the Queen, who died on September 8 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday is declared a public holiday and the funeral is broadcast to large television audiences around the world and screened to large numbers of people in parks and public spaces across the country.
Police officers from all over the country will be on duty as part of the largest one-day policing operation in London’s history.
Crowds also gathered near Windsor Castle on Sunday as the Queen was enshrined in a private family ceremony Monday night.
55-year-old teacher Anna Pettigrew said: “I think it was very moving and a very fitting tribute to a wonderful Queen.”
Camilla, the new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “carved out her own role” as a “lone woman” on the male-dominated world stage.
“I will always remember her smile. I will never forget that smile,” said Camilla, who is married to Charles.
Prince Andrew also paid tribute to his mother, saying he will forever cherish “your love, care, care and confidence in your son.”
“I miss your insight, advice and humor,” he said.
Andrew, the third of the Queen’s four children, was released from royal duties and stripped of his military honorary titles because of his friendship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
After the Queen’s four children — Charles, Princess Anne, Andrew, and Prince Edward — stayed up all night around her coffin on Friday, it was her grandchildren’s turn on Saturday night.
Charles’ sons William and Prince Harry were joined by Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips. Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Edward his two children—Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
William bowed to the coffin’s head and Harry stood at his feet with his head bowed. The crowd moved slowly and quietly passed by.
“You could tell they were serious about their grandmother, the Queen,” said Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in the south of England. “Given what has happened in the last few years, it was nice to see them together as a set of grandchildren.”
The silence at Westminster Hall was briefly broken on Friday when a man rushed into a coffin. London police said on Sunday that his 28-year-old London resident, Muhammad Khan, has been charged with conduct intended to “cause alarm, harassment or distress”. He will be in court on Monday.
The lying state continues until early Monday morning, when a gun carriage drawn by 142 Royal Navy sailors transports the Queen’s coffin to nearby Westminster Abbey for her funeral. This is the finale of her ten-day national mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning queen. Monarch.
After monastery services on Monday, the late Queen’s coffin will be hauled through London’s historic center in a state artillery car. She will then be taken in her hearse to Windsor to be buried with her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.
Follow AP coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii.
https://www.thereporteronline.com/2022/09/18/bidens-among-thousands-to-pay-respects-to-queen-elizabeth-ii/ Thousands of Bidens pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II – thereporteronline