According to initial forecasts, around 4.1 billion people worldwide will be able to watch the funeral broadcast live Queen Elizabeth II watched on TV. The state funeral took place on Monday (September 19) in London and Windsor.
At the same time, tens of thousands of people gathered in London’s Hyde Park, where a public viewing of the ceremony was set up. During the broadcast, there suddenly came a moment when Queen Elizabeth II personally seemed to say goodbye to her followers.
Tens of thousands of people come together for Queen Elizabeth II – and it’s dead quiet
First, Hyde Park was stormed by a horde of visitors. They all wanted to be part of the historic event. As chaos broke out on the streets of London, all passers-by were directed towards the Royal Park, just 350 meters from Buckingham Palace.
Once there, the crowd dispersed and seemed to calm down, as our reporter Linda Giere experienced on site. Everyone looked for a spot on the 142-hectare green space and waited until the funeral service started shortly before 11 a.m. The spectators stared spellbound at the oversized screens set up in the park. Despite the high number of people in the same place, there was awe-inspiring silence in Hyde Park.
Particularly impressive: during the two-minute silence, the world literally seemed to stand still. “You could have heard a stone fall. There wasn’t a single sound,” a visitor named Steve told this newsroom.
Spectators can’t believe their eyes – did Queen Elizabeth II give them a sign?
Then the British anthem “God Save The Queen” (or as it will be called from now on: “God Save The King”) was played – both in Westminster Abbey with the Royals and in Hyde Park. For the songs, the audience rose from their seats on the floor each time. It was as if Queen Elizabeth II had turned the park into a huge open-air church that afternoon.
But probably the most emotional moment for the spectators in Hyde Park did not take place on the big screens, but directly above them. Shortly after the anthem ended, the sun suddenly came out from behind the gray clouds. The warm rays of sunshine on your back felt like a cozy hug. Was that the Queen’s way of saying thank you? A truly magical moment that gave thousands of people goosebumps.
“I looked up and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ When she died there was a rainbow over London and the sun came out that day. It’s incredible!” said Steve, who watched the spectacle in Hyde Park with his wife Lisa.
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Visitors to Hyde Park explained to our reporter why it was so important for them to attend the public viewing and what the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II meant to them personally.