By PAVEL BAILEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
MEMBERS of the British Royal family, various world leaders including Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis, spectators and viewers across the globe mourned Queen Elizabeth II during her funeral yesterday.
In the days before the funeral, Mr Davis met with the Queen’s son, King Charles III, at Buckingham Palace where he conveyed his condolences and good wishes to the new monarch.
On Monday, the world bid final farewell to Britain and the Commonwealth’s longest reigning monarch in a day of solemn ceremony that began in a funeral service at Westminster Abbey and ending in a communal service in St George’s Chapel.
Following a sombre procession through London led by military honour guard amidst streets teeming with mourners, the late Queen’s coffin, atop the traditional gun carriage, was taken to Westminster Abbey for her state funeral with over 2,000 dignitaries in attendance.
There Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during his sermon remarked that the late monarch was a “joyous” presence in countless lives during her 70-year reign. The archbishop also extended personal condolences to the Queen’s family, praying for their comfort in their very public time of grief.
“The grief of this day felt not only by the late Queen’s family, but all around the nation, the Commonwealth and the world, arises from her abundant life and loving service now gone from us. She was joyful, present for so many, touching a multitude of lives and we pray today especially for all her family grieving as every family at a funeral, including so many families around the world who have themselves lost someone recently, but in this family’s case, doing so in the brightest spotlight,” Archbishop Welby said.
“May God heal their sorrow, may the gap left in their lives be marked with memories of joy and life. Her late Majesty’s broadcast during COVID lockdown ended with ‘we will meet again,’ words of hope.”
New British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who met the Queen days before her death, delivered a reading at the service.
After the conclusion of this service, proceedings moved to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for the committal, where the Queen’s procession was met with a gunfire salute to mark her arrival.
Dean of Windsor David Conner led the committal. He commended the late monarch for unfailing devotion to her duty which served as an inspiration to many.
“We have come together to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant Queen Elizabeth. Here, in St George’s Chapel, where she so often worshipped, we are bound to call to mind someone whose uncomplicated yet profound Christian faith bore so much fruit. Fruit, in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also – and especially to be remembered in this place – in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family and friends and neighbours,” Mr Connor said.
“In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope.”
Upon the conclusion of public services, the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign Orb and Scepter were removed from the Queen’s coffin, still draped in the Royal Standard, symbolising the end of her reign.
A stoic King Charles III then placed the Queen’s Company Colour on his mother’s coffin, a small military flag denoting where a commander stays, which was laid to rest alongside Her Majesty.
In a rare moment of privacy, the British Royal Family said their last goodbyes to their matriarch in a private ceremony later that evening. The Queen was laid to rest in the King George VI Memorial Chapel beside her husband Prince Phillip, who died last year.
Queen Elizabeth II died at her summer residence in Scotland on September 8. She was 96.
In a message issued on Sunday, Mr Davis said the Queen “lived by the self-same principle which she urged upon us in her 2004 Christmas message, when she observed that ‘Everyone is our neighbour, no matter what race, creed or colour.’”
He also said: “In these turbulent times, we have lost in Her Late Majesty, a beacon of constancy and stability. For those of us who are people of faith, we understand the Queen’s lifetime of service as part of God’s plan. And so, we give God thanks for her life and legacy.”
Monday was observed as a national holiday here at home in honour of the Queen.