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Queen Elizabeth II mourned at funeral by Britain and world

The funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in central London, Monday. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP)

The funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in central London, Monday. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP)

By DANICA KIRKA, MIKE CORDER and JILL LAWLESS Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Britain and the world said a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II at a state funeral Monday that drew presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers — and crowds who massed along the streets of London to honour a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.

In a country known for pomp and pageantry, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill's was filled with spectacle: Ahead of the service, a bell tolled 96 times — once a minute for each year of Elizabeth's life. Then, 142 Royal Navy sailors used ropes to draw the gun carriage carrying her flag-draped coffin to Westminster Abbey before pallbearers bore it inside the church, where around 2,000 people ranging from world leaders to health care workers gathered to mourn her.

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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is pulled past Buckingham Palace following her funeral service in Westminster Abbey in central London, Monday. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, Pool)

The trappings of state and monarchy abounded: The coffin was draped with the Royal Standard and atop it sat the Imperial State Crown, sparkling with almost 3,000 diamonds, and the sovereign's orb and scepter.

But the personal was also present: The coffin was followed into the church by generations of Elizabeth's descendants, including King Charles III, heir to the throne Prince William and 9-year-old George, who is second in line. On a wreath atop the coffin, a handwritten note read, "In loving and devoted memory," and was signed Charles R — for Rex, or king.

"Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer," the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle, told the mourners, as the funeral opened.

The service drew to a close with two minutes of silence observed across the United Kingdom, after which the attendees sang the national anthem, now titled "God Save the King."

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth's coffin is carried as King Charles III, Camilla, the Queen Consort and Princess Anne follow, during the funeral in London, Monday. (Phil Noble/Pool Photo via AP)

The day began early when the doors of Parliament's 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her coffin. Many had waited for hours in line, including through cold nights, to attend the lying in state in an outpouring of collective grief and respect.

"I felt like I had to come and pay my final respects to our majestic queen. She has done so much for us and just a little thank you really from the people," said Tracy Dobson, who was among the last to join the line.

Monday was declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth, who died Sept. 8 — and hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London to partake in the historic moment. They jammed the sidewalks to watch the coffin wend its way through the streets of the capital after the service. As the procession passed Buckingham Palace, the queen's official residence in the city, staff stood outside, some bowing and curtseying.

Millions more tuned into the funeral live on television, and crowds flocked to parks and public spaces across the U.K. to watch it on screens. Even the Google doodle turned a respectful black for the day.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in his sermon that "few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen" for Elizabeth.

After the passage through central London, the coffin was placed in a hearse and headed for Windsor Castle — where Elizabeth spent much of her time. Mourners threw flowers at the convoy as it passed.

There will be another procession in Windsor before a committal service in St. George's Chapel. The queen will be laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip, at a private family service.

On the evening before the funeral, Charles issued a message of thanks to people in the U.K. and around the world, saying he and his wife Camilla, the queen consort, have been "moved beyond measure" by the large numbers of people who have turned out to pay their respects to the queen.

People across Britain paused for a minute of silence at 8 p.m. Sunday in memory of the only monarch most have ever known. At Westminster Hall, the constant stream of mourners paused for 60 seconds as people observed the minute of reflection in deep silence.

In Windsor, rain began to fall as the crowd fell silent for the moment of reflection. Some camped overnight outside the castle in order to reserve the best spots to view the queen's coffin.

Jilly Fitzgerald, who was in Windsor, said there was a sense of community among the mourners as they prepared to wait hours to see procession carrying the queen's coffin.

"It's good to be with all the people who are all feeling the same. It's like a big family because everyone feels that … the queen was part of their family," she said.

Comments

Baha10 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Amazing Pageantry and Historical Connotations … unlikely to be ever again replicated.

God Bless The Queen …and God Save The King … and The Coomonwealth!

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TalRussell 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrades noticed that it took 11 hours 04 Minutes ZNS's Funeral time for England's former Queen Elizabeth got lowered into vault.
Pope John Paul 11's Funeral only aired 3 Hours 13 Minutes with Billy Graham's in 1 hour 22 Minutes.
Just imagine the size the bill awaiting our colony's ZNS Broadcasting Network, just to pay for renting their uninterrupted satellite time of 11 hours 04 Minutes of hookup streaming?
And in the meantime, nah, you just cannot make up that one of the new King Charles 11's, colonials, had already started serving a 2 years term of imprisonment ...was issued under Queen's Order to be his debt payback to satisfy the Gospel Church for his having lifting a 6-Pack of their precious Hot Dog Buns. Our Queen is now officially buried. Long live our King to reign over his realm's colony of 1200 rocks Church imprisoned.
My summary. Neither the Royals, nor the Gospel Church, should be using The Church" to shade over their true unchristian patterns of behavior ― Yes?

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Alan1 4 months, 2 weeks ago

What a wonderful funeral service for our beloved Queen. It was nice to see our Governor-General and his wife and our Prime Minister on the television being taken to their prominent seats in Westminster Abbey. Another honour for our country and an acknowledgment of the high regard in which we are held by The Royal Family. Our Prime Minister was one of the very few to have had a private audience and talk with The King on Saturday. Let us keep the ties which bind us altogether and give our support to our new King .

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tribanon 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Meanwhile, even before Davis left for London, he blessed the formation of a 'hush, hush' select government committee to explore how best to go about transforming The Bahamas to a modern day republic. You will soon be hearing a lot more about this because it is for Davis the perfect political distraction to his many failures to date as PM.

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hrysippus 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank goodness that we now have a Governor General who knows how to arrive on time.

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tribanon 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Sleepy Joe Biden and his wife arrived at Westminster Abbey 15 minutes late and as a result were indignantly seated 14 rows back in the seating section for country leaders. He and his wife were supposed to have been seated in the first row of country leaders attending the funeral.

Biden was too offended though because it allowed him to sleep through much of the church funeral service without being noticed. LMAO

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TalRussell 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Wasn't it just this past August 1, 2022, when Cynthia “Mother” Pratt was duly sworn in by Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree as deputy to the Governor-General after the Governor-General Cornelius A Smith was ill? ... Nah, but not 'so ill' if summoned by the King to be conducting His Excellency's royal duties offshore required His Excellency having to undergo many strenuous hours travel to England and back ― Yes?

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