The Elizabeth II’s coffin left Westminster Hall on Monday. where his burning chapel was installed since Wednesday, heading to Westminster Abbey, where it took place state funeral before dozens of world dignitaries.
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A Royal Navy mount pulled by dozens of sailors carried the coffin of the longest-serving sovereign of the United Kingdom, covered with the royal standard and the imperial crown. Her successor Carlos III and other members of the royal family followed the procession on foot.
Icon of an era, Elizabeth II, deceased after 70 years of historic reign, was removed on Monday from her burning chapel for the “funeral of the century”, in the presence of leaders from around the world, before being buried privately in Windsor.
From the American president Joe Biden to the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro, from the kings of Spain -Felipe and Letizia, and the emeritus Juan Carlos and Sofía- to Emperor Naruhito of Japan, some 500 leaders and monarchs began to take their seats in Westminster Abbey to a ceremony turned into a security “challenge”, which put the streets of London under a strong police device.
Pope Francis, who did not attend, was represented by the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Paul Gallagher.
Giving solemn beginning to the funeral, the coffin was removed by eight bearers from Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the British Parliament, where he had remained in the funeral chapel.
Mounted on a Royal Navy car, it was to be pulled by dozens of sailors to the imposing Gothic church located near the place that for five days saw hundreds of thousands of Britons parade, willing to stand in line for up to 24 hours to say goodbye to their queen.
Chrissy Heerey, an active duty member of the British Air Force, was the last to pass. “When they told me: ‘You are the last person,’ I said: Really?”, she explained, still incredulous to AFP.
On the eve of the state funeral, Buckingham Palace released an unpublished photo of Elizabeth II, taken for her “platinum jubilee” in June, showing the monarch dressed in pale blue and wearing a beaming smile.
Followed on foot by the new King Charles III and other members of the British royal family, the coffin was taken to the Abbey for a funeral that was announced as grandiose.
The queen “did not want long and boring services, there will be no boredom, but they will be transported to glory by hearing the service”The former Archbishop of York, Lord Sentamu, told the BBC.
“You can expect the best of funeral services, the prayer book service, the words that inspired Shakespeare,” he explained.
The Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, will lead the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, will deliver the sermon.
With information from AFP