With advertising suspended, visitors and tourists at Piccadilly Circus interact under a color image of Queen Elizabeth II, which is displayed on a massive advertising screen following her death on 9 September 2022 in London, United Kingdom.
Mike Kemp | in pictures | Getty Images
US President Joe Biden is expected to pay tribute at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth in London on Sunday, attended by hundreds of thousands who have filed for the late British monarch to lie in state.
Biden will later attend a reception with King Charles and many other leaders and royals around the world ahead of Elizabeth’s grand state funeral on Monday.
Elizabeth’s body has been lying in historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday, and people from all walks of life and around the world are recording the past in a constant, emotional stream, many in queues overnight and some for up to 24 hours.
“Her legacy will live on in the pages of British history and in the story of our world,” Biden said in a message following the news of the Queen’s death on September 8.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who were seen cursing the coffin, are among the dignitaries who have already paid their respects.
Britain has hosted a series of poignant, meticulously choreographed celebrations in the 10 days since Elizabeth passed away, reflecting the traditions and pageantry of the British royal family, whose lineage dates back nearly 1,000 years.
On Saturday evening, eight of the Queen’s grandchildren, including Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, held a solemn watch near her coffin, following similar observances by their children the previous day.
“You were our parents, our guide, our loving hand on our back, who took us into this world,” Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, the Queen’s second son and daughters of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, said in a statement.
“Goodbye dear grandmother, being your granddaughter has been the honor of our lives and we are very proud of you.”
A one-minute national silence will be observed later on Sunday at 8 pm (1900 GMT).
Royals and the British government now await Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, where the coronations, marriages and burials of English and then British kings and queens have been held since William I in 1066.
London’s police force has described the event as the biggest security operation ever.
Some 500 guests representing nearly 200 countries and territories will attend – presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens and sultans in their numbers – and huge crowds are expected to take to the streets.
Britain has not held a state funeral for World War II leader Winston Churchill on the scale planned for the Queen.
The government said large screens would be put up to watch the celebrations in London’s Hyde Park and in cities across the country. The funeral will also be broadcast live by three broadcasters.
Television rating service Overnights.TV estimated that around 33 million people in Britain had tuned in on the day of his death, across the BBC and other news channels.
Such has been the desire to pay tribute to the popular monarch, the only one most Britons have learned since his accession in 1952 is that tens of thousands waited patiently to spend a few brief seconds in a row stretching across the River Thames Is. of his coffin.
By the time she lay in the state on Monday, officials estimated about 750,000 may have filed in the past.
“She won’t believe it all, she really won’t,” said Prince William as he joined his father Charles, the new king, to speak to mourners waiting in line. “It’s amazing.”