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World leaders arrive in London for funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Thousands of police, tons of of troops and a military of officers made closing preparations Sunday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — a spectacular show of nationwide mourning that can even be the largest gathering of world leaders for years.

President Biden and different dignitaries are arriving in London for the funeral, to which round 500 royals, heads of state and heads of authorities from across the globe have been invited.

Thousands of folks continued to line up across the clock to file previous the queen’s coffin because it lies in state at Parliament’s Westminster Hall, braving chilly in a single day temperatures and waits of as much as 17 hours. The queen’s eight grandchildren, led by inheritor to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with heads bowed throughout a silent vigil on Saturday night.

The miles-long queue is predicted to be closed to new arrivals later Sunday so that everybody in line can file previous the coffin earlier than Monday morning, when it is going to be borne on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey for the queen’s funeral.

Biden arrives in London for funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
President Biden and first woman Jill Biden, with U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Jane Hartley, arrive at London Stansted Airport on Sept. 17, 2022.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images


People throughout the U.Ok. are on account of pause Sunday night for a nationwide minute of silence to recollect the queen, who died Sept. 8 on the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public vacation, and the funeral might be broadcast to an enormous tv viewers and screened to crowds in parks and public areas throughout the nation.

Thousands of cops from across the nation might be on responsibility as half of the largest one-day policing operation in London’s historical past.

Crowds additionally gathered Sunday close to Windsor Castle, the place the queen might be laid to relaxation at a personal household ceremony on Monday night.

“I think it’s been amazing,” mentioned Anna Pettigrew, a 55-year-old trainer. “It’s been very emotional, and I think it’s been a very fitting tribute to a wonderful queen.”

Camilla, the brand new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “carved her own role” as a “solitary woman” on a world stage dominated by males.

“I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” mentioned Camilla, who’s married to King Charles III.

A tide of folks continued to stream into Westminster Hall, the place the queen’s coffin is mendacity in state, draped in the Royal Standard and capped with a diamond-studded crown. The quantity of mourners has grown steadily because the public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a queue that stretches for a minimum of 5 miles alongside the River Thames and into Southwark Park in the town’s southeast.

Honoring their endurance, Charles and William made an unannounced go to Saturday to greet folks in the road, shaking fingers and thanking mourners in the queue close to Lambeth Bridge.

Later, all of the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, had been joined by Princess Anne’s youngsters, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the 2 youngsters of Prince Edward — Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood along with his head bowed on the head of the coffin and Harry on the foot. Both princes, who’re army veterans, had been in uniform. Mourners continued to file previous in silence.

Queen Elizabeth II's Grandchildren Mount Vigil At Westminster Hall
Prince William stands in entrance of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall on Sept. 17, 2022 in London.

Yui Mok / Getty Images


“You could see that they were thinking hard about their grandmother, the queen,” mentioned Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “It was good to see them all together as a set of grandchildren given the things that have happened over the last few years.”

Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British military officer, wore civilian garments earlier in the week because the queen’s coffin left Buckingham Palace as a result of he’s now not a working member of the royal household. He and his spouse Meghan stop royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020. The king, nevertheless, requested that each William and Harry put on their army uniforms on the Westminster Hall vigil.

Before the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a press release praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.

The queen’s 4 youngsters — Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — held an analogous vigil across the coffin on Friday.

The silence in the corridor was briefly damaged Friday when a person lunged on the coffin. London police mentioned Sunday {that a} 28-year-old London man, Muhammad Khan, has been charged with conduct meant to “cause alarm, harassment or distress.” He will seem in courtroom on Monday.

The lying-in-state continues till early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin might be moved to close by Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the finale of 10 days of nationwide mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

After the service Monday on the abbey, the late queen’s coffin might be transported by way of the historic coronary heart of London on a gun carriage. It will then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, the place the queen might be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died final year.

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