State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey: LIVE COVERAGE

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LONDON — Britain and the world said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II for the last time during a state funeral that drew presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers – and crowds that gathered along the streets of London to honor a monarch whose 70-year-old government defined an age.

A day of events in London and Windsor started early as the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands gathered in front of her flag-draped coffin. Many had waited for hours in line, including through cold nights, to attend the witness in an outpouring of collective grief and respect.

Stream live coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in the player above.

“I felt I had to come and pay my last respects to our majestic Queen. She has done so much for us and a little thank you from the people,” said Tracy Dobson, who was one of the last in line. .

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In a country renowned for its splendor, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s was full of spectacle: 142 sailors from the Royal Navy pulled the coach with Elizabeth’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, while King Charles III and his sons, Princes William and Harry, trailing behind as bagpipers played. Pall porters carried the coffin to the abbey, where about 2,000 people, ranging from world leaders to health professionals, gathered to mourn her. Prior to the service, a bell rang 96 times – once a minute for every year of her life.

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“Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we come from all over the country, from the Commonwealth and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in certain confidence to commit her to the grace of God our creator and savior,” the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle, told the mourners.

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Monday has been declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth, who died on September 8 – and hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London to take part in the historic moment. Long before the service began, city authorities said viewing areas along the funeral procession route were full.

Millions of others were expected to watch the funeral live on television, and crowds flocked to parks and public spaces across the UK to watch it on screens. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in his sermon that “few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen” for Elizabeth.

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The Duke and Duchess of York at the christening of their daughter Princess Elizabeth in 1926. (Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The night before, Charles issued a thank you note to people in the UK and around the world, saying that he and his wife Camilla, the Queen’s consort, were “extremely moved” by the large numbers of people paying their respects to the queen.

Following the funeral, the coffin, surrounded by armed forces units in uniforms and members of her family, will be taken through the streets of the capital to Wellington Arch near Hyde Park.

There it will be placed in a hearse to be driven to Windsor Castle – where Elizabeth spent much of her time – for another procession for a devotional service at St George’s Chapel. She will be laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip, at a private family service.

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US President Joe Biden was among the leaders who paid their respects at the Queen’s casket on Sunday as thousands of police officers, hundreds of British troops and an army of officials made final preparations for the funeral.

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Biden called Queen Elizabeth II “decent” and “honorable” and “all about service” as he signed the condolence register and said his heart went out to the royal family.

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

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In Windsor, it started to rain as the crowd fell silent for the moment of reflection. Some camped outside the castle overnight to reserve the best spots to view the Queen’s casket.

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

“It’s good to be with all the people who all feel the same. It’s like a big family because everyone feels that…the Queen was part of their family,” she said.

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UK Time News journalists Sylvia Hui, Samya Kullab and David Keyton contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The UK Time News. All rights reserved.

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