Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral: Leaders and monarchs gather for final farewell

Queen Elizabeth II state funeral
Queen Elizabeth II state funeral

Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral is taking place in Westminster Hall, where she is now lying-in-state.

In a state funeral marked by extraordinary grandeur, leaders and monarchs from all over the world came in London on Monday to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth, a beloved figure who helped unite the nation throughout her 70-year reign.

Hundreds of thousands of people queued to file past the casket of Britain’s longest-reigning queen during her lying-in-state at London’s historic Westminster Hall, and many more lined the streets to see a solemn display of royal grandeur.

They gathered to pay tribute to the 96-year-old, who won respect for her sense of duty and represented a constant as Britain’s place in the world declined and altered.

“You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years,” Biden said. “We all were.”

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Before 11 a.m., navy sailors will pull the oak casket to Westminster Abbey for her funeral. It will be draped in the Royal Standard flag and have the Imperial State Crown on top.

500 world leaders will be present among the 2,000 attendees, including President Biden, the Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Prime Minister Mark Brown of the Cook Islands, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and others.

Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, two of the eldest children of Prince William, the current heir to the throne, will also be there as the queen’s great-grandchildren.

“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.

“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.”

At Balmoral Castle, her Scottish summer home, Elizabeth died on September 8.

The monarch, who performed hundreds of official engagements far into her 90s, had been withdrawing from public life for months due to her declining health.

However, Elizabeth had appointed Liz Truss to be her final and 15th prime minister just two days before she passed away.