Thousands pass Queen Elizabeth’s coffin as she lies in state in London

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  • People stand in line for hours
  • King Charles at Highgrove House
  • The list of attendees for the funeral grows

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Mourners from all walks of life lined the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at London’s ancient Westminster Hall overnight, paying their last respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch before her funeral on Monday. .

After a day of procession and Ritual The Queen’s remains were flown to London from Balmoral, Scotland, where she died last Thursday at the age of 96, a chance for members of the public to attend a ceremony live.

When King Charles returned to his Highgrove home in the southern English region of Gloucestershire after days of planned events, officials expected about 750,000 people to view his mother’s coffin before the state adjournment at 6:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) on Monday.

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The line stretches for several miles, crossing Lambeth Bridge as it approaches Westminster Hall, past landmarks such as Tower Bridge and a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, on the south bank of the River Thames. People waited for hours. Read on

For 20-year-old Thomas Hughes, who waited 14 hours overnight with his brother, it was overwhelming to finally see the coffin.

“You do it all because you want to respect this lady … and I think when you pull yourself out of it and then you get to the moment you’ve been waiting for, it’s a little bit more emotional,” he said. said “It’s a very powerful thing.”

Most were from Britain but some were from overseas. They were young and old, and military medals included ex-servicemen and babies carried by their parents. Many stopped to bow their heads near the casket. Others wiped away tears.

Some were there to represent elderly parents, others to witness history and to thank the woman who ascended the throne in 1952, holding official government meetings two days before her death.

Funeral

Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was placed on a purple catafalque placed on a red platform in the center of Westminster Hall. It was draped with the Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial State Crown placed on a cushion along with a wreath of flowers.

Soldiers and ‘beefitters’ – the red-coated warders usually found guarding the Tower of London – stood at attention with bowed heads.

The first inside was Kenneth Taylor, 72, from Reading in central England, who arrived with a neighbor and stayed overnight in a row tent.

Weeping, Taylor said he was saddened to see the Queen lying in state. “I got a lump in my throat.”

“You know, we’ve lost someone special. Her service to this country was truly unwavering and unwavering. And she’s probably what I’d call the queen of queens.”

The coffin was brought into the hall from Buckingham Palace in a gun carriage and carried by soldiers in red ceremonial uniforms in a solemn procession on Wednesday afternoon.

King Charles, his sons Princes William and Harry and other senior members of the royal family followed behind – the two princes united in mourning despite their differences. Harry celebrated his 38th birthday on Thursday. Read on

William and his wife Kate will visit the royal residence of Sandringham in eastern England on Thursday to view the wreaths left by members of the public.

The full-scale ceremonial procession on the day of the Queen’s funeral is likely to be the largest the country has ever seen and will pose a major security challenge.

Royalty, presidents and other world leaders are expected to attend, although some nations, including Russia, Afghanistan and Syria, have not been extended invitations. Read on

French President Emmanuel Macron was the latest leader to say he would attend the funeral. Read on

US President Joe Biden, who has also said he will be there, spoke with the new king on Wednesday and said the Queen was “appreciated by the American people,” the White House said.

The Times newspaper reported that British Prime Minister Liz Truss was expected to hold one-on-one talks with Biden and other world leaders at the funeral, but officials said any such meetings would be informal. Read on

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Reporting by Farooq Suleman, Alastair Smout, Angus McSwan, Michael Holden, William James, Kate Holton, Kylie McLellan and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien, William McLean

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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