October 5, 2022
Bidens among thousands of people paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

US President Joe Biden on Sunday made final preparations for the Queen’s funeral as an army of thousands of police, hundreds of British soldiers and officers lay in Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin – a spectacular display of national mourning that will also be the largest gathering ever. world leaders over the years

People across Britain observed a minute’s silence at 8 p.m. in memory of the most known monarch ever. At Westminster Hall, where the Queen lay in state, the continuous stream of mourners stopped for 60 seconds as people observed minutes of reflection in profound silence.

In Windsor, where the Queen will be buried on Monday evening after her funeral at Westminster Abbey, it started to rain as the crowd fell silent for a moment of reflection. Some have set up small camps and chairs outside Windsor Castle, planning to spend the night there to reserve the best places to see the Queen’s coffin when it arrives.

“Well, it’s just one night and day in our lives. Elizabeth gave us — you know — 70 years. So the rest isn’t much to ask, is it?” said Fred Sweeney, 52, who took his place with two Union flags on a large flagpole.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were among thousands of mourners – from locals and tourists to royals and world leaders – to pay their respects. The president made the sign of the cross and placed his hand on his heart, standing quietly beside the coffin in the 900-year-old ornate hall with his wife and US ambassador, Jane Hartley.

Biden then signed the official condolence book and attended a reception on Sunday at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III. She is one of 500 world leaders and royals invited to the Queen’s funeral on Monday, along with hundreds of dignitaries, politicians, military veterans and British charity workers.

Biden called Queen Elizabeth II “decent” and “honorable” and “all about service” as he signed a condolence book saying his heart goes out to the royal family.

“Queen Elizabeth lived her life for the people,” wrote Jill Biden in a book for Spouses and Ambassadors. “She served with wisdom and grace. We will never forget her warmth, kindness and the conversation we shared.”

A no-show will be Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose invitation drew criticism from human rights groups over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia is expected to be represented by another royal prince. Turki bin Mohammed.

As the dignitaries poured in, hundreds prepared to spend the night in the longest queue in hopes of seeing the queen’s coffin that many have ever seen. Officials closed a mile-long queue late on Sunday so that everyone queuing could file the coffin before Monday morning, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.

From family to family, thousands of people queued up round the clock, experiencing freezing night temperatures and waiting 17 hours in queues more than 5 miles (8 kilometres) long.

Lauren Wilson, 36, was in a very short line for people with mobility problems. She said that she wanted to personally experience the coffin lying in the state.

“The world is in such a strange place and then this happened. It feels more important,” she said.

She was concerned that the spectacle surrounding Elizabeth’s death would deprive the Queen’s relatives of the ability to come to terms with their loss.

“The family is not allowed to grieve. I find it quite heartbreaking,” she said.

The Queen’s eight grandchildren, led by the heir to the throne, Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed during a silent vigil on Saturday evening.

Among the foreign leaders in London was New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who told the BBC she was humbled to represent her country at the funeral and to see the national sense of mourning and respect for the late Queen.

“What I would take away from this period is just the beauty of the public reaction, what you see from members of the public, the patience, the camaraderie. This, to me, is the most emotional tribute, the public reaction of the British people has been,” he said.

Monday has been declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth, who died on September 96 after 70 years. His funeral will be broadcast live in more than 200 countries and territories around the world and shown to crowds in parks and public places across the country.

Police officers from across the country will be on duty as part of the largest one-day police operation in the history of London.

The Queen’s wife, Camilla, paid tribute to her mother-in-law in a video message, saying the monarch “played her part” as a “solitary woman” on a world stage dominated by men.

Camilla, who is married to Charles, said, “I will always remember his smile. That smile is unforgettable.”

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska was also among those who paid tribute to the queen’s coffin. British royal officials said Zelenska met Princess Catherine of Wales at Buckingham Palace on Sunday afternoon. He did not release further details. The British government has been one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters since it was invaded by Russia in February.

Saturday night was a time for the grandchildren to mourn. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ son, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood with his head bowed at the head of the coffin and Harry at his feet. Both the princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. The crowd moved slowly, silently entering the past.

“You can see they were thinking a lot about their grandmother, the Queen,” said Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “Looking at what has happened over the years, it was nice to see them all together as a set of grandchildren.”

The lay-in-state continues until Monday morning, when the Queen’s coffin will be carried for funeral by 142 Royal Navy sailors on a gun carriage pulled to nearby Westminster Abbey, Britain’s longest reign. To conclude 10 days of national mourning. King.

Following Monday’s service at the abbey, the late Queen’s coffin will be carried through the historic center of London on a state cannon carriage. It will then be taken to Windsor, where the Queen will be held with her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.

Sumita Tanda planted bright red roses as a huge wreath near Windsor Castle.

“I feel very privileged to be a local resident of Windsor,” she said. “I just wanted to pay my respects.”

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