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HomeWorld NewsProcession of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin underway in London

Procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin underway in London

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LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace for the final time Wednesday, her coffin borne by a horse-drawn gun carriage and trailed by grieving members of the family throughout a journey to the Homes of Parliament, the place it’ll lie in state till the funeral early subsequent week.

With the Royal Normal and crown of state resting on high of the coffin and artillery firing salutes at one-minute intervals, the solemn procession was designed to underscore the queen’s 70 years as head of state because the nationwide mourning course of shifts to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the U.Okay. capital.

King Charles III, his sons Princes William and Harry and different members of the royal household walked behind the gun carriage.

1000’s of people that had waited for hours alongside The Mall outdoors the palace and different places to line the route held up telephones and cameras, and a few wiped away tears, because the solemn procession handed. Applause broke out because it went by means of Horse Guards Parade.

The coffin was draped within the Royal Normal and topped with the Imperial State Crown – adorned with virtually 3,000 diamonds — and a bouquet of flowers and vegetation together with pine from the Balmoral Property, the place Elizabeth died final week.

An escort of two officers and 32 troops from the first Battalion Grenadier Guards in purple uniforms and bearskin hats walked on on both aspect of the gun carriage.

Large Ben tolled, a gun salute boomed from Hyde Park and the martial strains of a army band accompanied the procession.

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The 38-minute procession will finish on the historic Westminster Corridor at Parliament.

1000’s extra have been standing or sitting in line alongside the banks of the River Thames ready their flip to file previous the coffin when it lies in state for 4 days earlier than the queen’s state funeral on Monday.

The crowds are the newest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the one monarch most Britons have ever identified, who died at her beloved Balmoral summer time retreat on Thursday at age 96, ending a 70-year reign.

Joan Bucklehurst, a 50-year-old retail employee from Cheshire in northwestern England, mentioned the queen “meant a lot for everyone.”

“She was superb, yeah,” she added, choking up with emotion. “So, we needed to be right here. We’ve been right here just a few instances when there have been particular events, however this one, I couldn’t miss this.”

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, of the Family division, who organized the ceremonial facets of the queen’s funeral mentioned it was a tragic day, “nevertheless it’s our final alternative to do our responsibility for the queen and it’s our first alternative to do it for the king, and that makes us all very proud.”

London’s Heathrow Airport halted flights to forestall overhead planes disturbing the procession.

The airport mentioned in a press release that the adjustments would “guarantee silence over central London because the ceremonial procession strikes from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Corridor.”

Troops concerned within the procession have been making ready because the queen died. So have the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

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Sgt. Tom Jenks, from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, mentioned that the horses have undergone particular coaching, together with the best way to deal with weeping mourners, in addition to flowers and flags being thrown onto streets because the procession passes by.

Because the early morning, individuals staked out prime viewing positions behind steel boundaries alongside the Mall and different streets alongside the route. They stood or sat on folding chairs, umbrellas on the prepared, takeout coffees in hand.

Crowds have lined the route of the queen’s coffin every time it has been moved in its lengthy journey from Scotland again to London.

On Tuesday night time, hundreds braved a typical London drizzle because the state hearse, with inside lights illuminating the sovereign’s flag-draped casket, drove slowly from a army air base into the guts of London.

Earlier, in Edinburgh, some 33,000 individuals filed in silent respect previous her coffin because it lay for twenty-four hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Tons of of hundreds are anticipated to do the identical in London when the queen lies in state on the 900-year-old Westminster Corridor, the oldest constructing in Parliament, for 4 days earlier than her state funeral on Monday.

The corridor is the place Man Fawkes and Charles I have been tried, the place kings and queens hosted magnificent medieval banquets, and the place ceremonial addresses have been offered to Queen Elizabeth II throughout her silver, golden and diamond jubilees.

Chris Bond, from Truro in southwest England, was amongst these lining up alongside the banks of the River Thames. He additionally attended the mendacity in state of the queen’s mom in 2002.

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“Clearly, it’s fairly troublesome queuing all day lengthy, however once you stroll by means of these doorways into Westminster Corridor, that marvellous, historic constructing, there was an amazing sense of hush and one was advised you’re taking as a lot time as you want, and it’s simply superb,” he mentioned.

“We all know the queen was a superb age and he or she served the nation a very long time, however we hoped today would by no means come,” he added.

Chris Imafidon, secured the sixth place within the queue.

“I’ve 1,001 feelings once I see her,” he mentioned. “I need to say, God, she was an angel, as a result of she touched many good individuals and did so many good issues.”

Observe AP protection of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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