Human Interest

UK bids farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with state funeral

(Update 1: Adds detail throughout, changes headline, lead)

London, Sep 19 (EFE).- The United Kingdom bid farewell to its longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as the nation came to a pause Monday for a historic state funeral attended by members of the royal family and a host of British and foreign dignitaries in a service broadcast the world over.

The queen’s coffin, draped in flags and topped by the Imperial State Crown and a wreath, was drawn on a State Gun Carriage to Westminster Abbey in central London by Navy sailors and followed by King Charles III and his siblings Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Prince Edward to the march of drums and pipes in a somber procession.

A 200-strong congregation rose to its feet as the coffin of the late monarch arrived at the 13th century church, where she was married in 1947 and crowned in 1953.

The service was led by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle.

“With gratitude we remember her unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years as queen and head of the Commonwealth.”

“With affection we recall her love for her family and her commitment to the causes she held dear,” the Dean added.

The congregation then sang the first hymn The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended.

Later, the Abbey’s world-renowned all-male choir broke into song with music that had been specially composed for the funeral by the Master of the Queen’s Music since 2014, Judith Weir.

The ensemble also sang the hymn The Lord’s my shepherd, which featured at Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Phillip.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss took to the stand to give a reading from scripture, from the Gospel According to John: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave a sermon and commendation – the moment when the queen was entrusted to God.

“The pattern for all who serve God, famous or obscure, respected or ignored, is that death is the door to glory” the Archbishop said.

Several church leaders also offered prayers at the service and thanked the late queen for her long life and service on the throne.

As the service drew to a close, The Last Post — a military call performed in official ceremonies — was played by four state trumpeters of Royal Cavalry followed by two minutes of silence which ended with another military bugle, The Reveille.

The Westminster Abbey service came to a close with the national anthem and a lone piper, Major Paul Burns, playing the last lament as the monarch’s coffin was lowered to be carried out of the Great West Door of the church.

The queen’s coffin is to travel by hearse to Windsor Castle.

From there, a procession will carry the queen down the Long Walk — a five-kilometer promenade — towards Windsor Castle where she will be laid to rest next to her father, George VI, the Queen Mother and her husband, Prince Philip.

The state funeral was attended by high profile guests including United States president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, Indian president Draupadi Murmu, China’s vice-president Wang Qishan, Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as the Spanish monarch, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

The queen’s burial later Monday is set to be a small affair attended by members of the royal family.

Related Articles

Back to top button