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Britain and world say final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Elizabeth II‘s coffin has been lowered into the royal vault at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, bringing to a close the public funeral for a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.
King Charles III placed the colour of the grenadier guards on the Queen’s coffin, and looked teary-eyed as the hours-long service came to a close.

The Lord Chamberlain broke his wand of office and placed it on the coffin before it was lowered into the vault.

King Charles III looks to his mother’s coffin as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey. (AP)
The pallbearers made a slow and steady climb up the staircase with the coffin, with the crown, orb and sceptre resting on the lid. (AP)

Moments earlier, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre were removed from their place on the Queen’s coffin by the Crown Jeweller and handed to the Dean of Windsor.

It was a symbolic moment as the Queen was separated from Crown Jewels, bringing an end to her 70 years of service that she pledged as a young princess.

The items will eventually be returned to the Tower of London.

The Queen was then taken to King George VI Memorial Chapel for a private burial, laid to rest alongside her late husband Prince Philip.

The end of the committal service marks the final public act of mourning for the Queen. (AP)
King Charles II, left, watches as The Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker breaks his Wand of Office, marking the end of his service to the sovereign, during a committal service for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP) (AP)

The events of the day began at sunrise when the doors of Parliament’s 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of the Queen’s coffin.

Monday was declared a public holiday in honour of Elizabeth, who died on September 8, and hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London to partake in the historic moment.

They jammed the sidewalks to watch the coffin wind its way through the streets of the capital after the service.

As the procession passed Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence in the city, staff stood outside, some bowing and curtseying.

The Ceremonial Procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II travels down the Long Walk as it arrives at Windsor Castle for the Committal Service at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor. (AP)

Royals, world leaders attend Queen’s farewell

State funeral at Westminster Abbey

The Queen’s coffin was taken from Westminster Hall across the road to Westminster Abbey, on a royal gun carriage drawn by 142 Royal Navy sailors.

The same carriage was used to carry the coffins of late kings Edward VII, George V and George VI, and of Winston Churchill.

The Queen’s coffin sat the centre of the Abbey after being borne by pallbearers and accompanied by her son King Charles III and other members of the royal family.

They included Prince William, his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales, and their two elder children George, 9 and Charlotte, 7.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also walked behind the coffin.

King Charles III laying the colours on the coffin of his mother at the end of the committal service at St George’s Chapel. (AP)
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stand behind King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, Princess Anne, and Princess Beatrice at Wellington Arch in central London. (AP)

William and Catherine’s youngest son, Louis, was not in attendance.

Dean of Westminster David Hoyle opened the service in the ancient abbey, where Elizabeth was married and crowned.

“We gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer,” he said.

The new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss gave the second reading, a passage from John 14: 1–9.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Camilla, Queen Consort, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Princess Beatrice follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it leaves Westminster Abbey. (AP)
From left, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Charlotte, Kate the Princess of Wales, Prince George and Prince William sit, during the committal service for Queen Elizabeth II, at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor, England, Monday Sept. 19, 2022.
Prince Harry, Princess Charlotte, Catherine the Princess of Wales, Prince George and Prince William sit at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. (Victoria Jones /Pool Photo via AP)

The opening hymn at the funeral was The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended. The hymn was written in 1870 by Reverend John Ellerton.

It was also sung at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria in 1897, and remains a popular church hymn in Britain.

The second hymn, The Lord’s My Shepherd was sung at her wedding in 1947.

The third hymn Love divine, all loves excelling, is written by Charles Wesley, perhaps the most significant hymnwriter in English history.

The song was also performed at the wedding of William and Catherine in 2011.

Most of the senior royals were wearing military uniforms at the funeral, including King Charles, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and Prince William.

The day the world stood still: The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Andrew and Prince Harry wore civilian suits.

The coffin was carried by 10 pallbearers who were all former equerries, or attendants of the royal household.

US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were among the notable foreign attendees, along with former British prime ministers Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Theresa May.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice arrived with their mother Duchess Sarah. Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall also attended.

Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales and Camilla, Queen consort are seen on The Mall ahead of the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. (Getty)
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is placed on a gun carriage during her funeral service. (AP)

The queue to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall, where it has been since September 14, was closed to mourners many hours before the funeral.

Many people had spent cold nights outdoors to pay their respects around the Queen’s flag-draped coffin in a moving outpouring of national grief and respect.

The closing of the hall marked the end of more than four days of the coffin lying in state and the start of the UK’s first state funeral since the one held in 1965 for Churchill, the first of 15 prime ministers during Elizabeth’s reign.

Two days before her September 8 death at her Balmoral summer retreat, the Queen appointed her last prime minister, Truss.

Crowds line the streets of London ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (Supplied)
A million people could line the streets of London t pay their respects to the Queen.
There’s expected to be tens of thousands gathering outside to pay their final respects to the fallen monarch. (Getty)

The last member of the public to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as it lay in state at the Houses of Parliament was Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the Royal Air Force from Melton Mowbray.

“It felt like a real privilege to do that,” Heerey said.

She said Monday she went through Westminster Hall twice – the first time in the early hours of the morning and then again just before its doors closed to mourners at 6.30am.

How the last 10 days of mourning have unfolded

She said the experience was, “one of the highlights of my life and I feel very privileged to be here”.

Monday was declared a public holiday in the UK in honour of Elizabeth, who died at 96.

Tens of thousands of mourners are lining the streets of London and beyond to catch a glimpse of history.
Tens of thousands of mourners are lining the streets of London and beyond to catch a glimpse of history. (AP)
Police officers take positions ahead of the Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. (AP)
Guests arrive inside Westminster Abbey. (AP)

Final procession through London

Following the state funeral, members of the royal family marched behind the Queen’s coffin for a procession to Wellington Arch, where the coffin was transferred to a hearse.

The hears took the monarch’s coffin the 32 kilometres to Windsor Castle.

Dense crowds packed the route through the heart of ceremonial London – and thousands more lined the more workaday suburban roads to see the hearse.

By the time the hearse arrived in Windsor, floral tributes thrown from the sides of roads covered its windscreen.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral cortege borne on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy travels along The Mall in London. (AP)

Thousands of people lined both sides of the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle as a military procession escorted the coffin to St Georges Chapel for a second, smaller service.

Silence fell among the sea of mourners as the sound of drummers grew louder, and many at the back of the crowd raised their phones high in the air to try to get a glimpse of the scene.

– With Associated Press



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