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Queen Elizabeth II lies in state as throngs pay respects


LONDON (AP) — 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 Huge Ben, in a solemn procession via the flag-draped, crowd- lined streets of London to Westminster Corridor. There, a gentle stream of mourners paid their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Because the cortege left the palace, 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 army procession underscored Elizabeth’s seven a long time as head of state because the nationwide mourning course of shifted to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the UK capital.

At 900-year-old Westminster Corridor, the place the queen will lie in state till her funeral Monday, crowds shuffled previous her coffin effectively into the night time. They moved silently down the steps of the corridor underneath an amazing stained glass window, then previous the coffin that was lined with the Royal Normal and had been positioned on a raised platform often known as a catafalque by eight pallbearers.

There have been {couples} and oldsters with kids, veterans with medals clinking on navy blue blazers, lawmakers and members of the Home of Lords. Some wore black or fits and ties, others denims and sneakers, and all had waited hours to face in entrance of the coffin for just a few moments

Many bowed or curtseyed and a few have been in tears.

1000’s who had waited for the procession for hours alongside The Mall outdoors the palace and different areas alongside the route held up telephones and cameras, and a few wiped away tears, because the casket rolled by. Applause broke out because it handed via the Horse Guards Parade. 1000’s extra in close by Hyde Park watched on giant screens.

The coffin was topped with the Imperial State Crown — encrusted with virtually 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 pink uniforms and bearskin hats walked on both facet 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 fret: ye consider in God, consider additionally in me. In my Father’s home are many mansions: if it weren’t so, I might 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 vigil, taking their locations at every nook and bowing their heads.

1000’s had queued up alongside the banks of the River Thames, ready to enter the corridor and pay their respects to the one monarch most Britons have ever identified after her 70 years on the throne.

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

“I really like the queen, I really like the royal household, and you recognize, I needed to be right here,” she stated. “She is a real function mannequin. She beloved us all, all of us. Particularly somebody like me, a migrant lady coming to the UK 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.”

Might. Gene. 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 obligation for the queen, and it is our first alternative to do it for the king, and that makes us all very present.”

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 skilled, together with methods to 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 Fortress in June, the assertion stated. “He additionally conveyed the good admiration of the American individuals for the Queen, whose dignity and fidelity deepened the enduring friendship and particular relationship between the USA 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 night time, 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 individuals filed silently previous her coffin in 24 hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral.

The road of individuals snaking alongside the banks of the River Thames to enter Westminster Corridor, the oldest constructing in Parliament, was practically 3 miles lengthy within the afternoon, in keeping 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 is fairly tough queuing all day lengthy, however whenever you stroll via these doorways into Westminster Corridor, that marvelous, historic constructing, there was an amazing sense of hush and one was instructed you are taking as a lot time as you want, and it is simply wonderful,” 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 after I see her,” he stated. “I wish to say, God, she was an angel, as a result of she touched many good individuals and did so many good issues.”

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Related Press author Sylvia Hui contributed.

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

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