icon of an era, Isabel IIdeceased after 70 years of reign, rests in peace, buried on Monday in Windsorafter eleven days of heartfelt tributes for the disappearance of a figure who closes a chapter in British and world history.
At the end of an intimate mass in the Chapel of Saint George, a 15th-century Gothic church located on the grounds of the windsor castlethe monarch’s coffin was lowered into the crypt where a long list of British kings rest.
Later, in a private ceremony in the presence of only her closest relatives, she was buried in the “George VI Memorial”, a small adjoining chapel where her parents and the ashes of her sister Margaret rest, reported the British royal house.
The remains of her husband, the prince Philipwere buried next to her, also moving them from the crypt, where they were buried after her death in April 2021.
Some 800 guests, including employees of the late queen, attended the last public service in which the Lord Chamberlain, the highest ranking official of the royal household, broke his “rule of command” and placed it on the coffin, marking the end of the reign. of Elizabeth II.
The imperial crown, the orb and the scepter, emblems of the monarchy that covered the coffin, were removed and placed on the altar.
A chapter of history
Symbol of an era of great changes, Isabel II he came to the throne in 1952, in a United Kingdom still mired in the post-world war, and left in 2022 of the post-pandemic and Brexit.
He not only met 15 British prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to the current Liz Truss, but also historical figures such as the Soviet Nikita Khrushchev, Mother Teresa of Calcutta or the South African Nelson Mandela. And artists like Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson or Lady Gaga.
“Her legacy will figure prominently in the pages of British history and in the history of our world,” US President Joe Biden wrote of her.
On the eve of the funeral, Buckingham Palace released a rare photo of the queen, taken for her “platinum jubilee” in June, showing her dressed in blue and sporting a beaming smile.
Isabel II He died on September 8 at the age of 96, when he was spending the summer at his Scottish residence in Balmoral.
His health had not stopped deteriorating for a year, but the disappearance of a monarch whose presence seemed almost eternal shocked the country and the world.
The United Kingdom He honored her with 10 days of national mourning, parades and processions, and massive popular emotion that made the protests of a minority of Republicans almost imperceptible.
Her eldest son, 73, succeeded her as Charles III. Until now one of the least appreciated members of the British royal family, his popularity has risen in recent days.
A leader who “loved to serve”
Some 500 political leaders and monarchs from around the world gathered at London to honor her at a grand state funeral: from Biden to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, from the king and queen of Spain –Felipe and Letizia, along with emeritus Juan Carlos and Sofía– to Emperor Naruhito of Japan.
In the imposing Westminster Abbey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, praised the life of the monarch, dedicated for seven decades to her people.
“People who love to serve are rare in any walk of life. Leaders who love to serve are rarer still. But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered, while those who cling to power and privilege are forgotten,” Welby said.
The Westminster Abbey Choir and the Royal Chapel Choir made the 2,00 attendees vibrate with their songs.
A rousing fanfare from the trumpeters of the royal household’s cavalry gave way to two minutes of silence, observed in all corners of the country, from the streets to the parks and bars where many followed the ceremony on television.
Procession in London
After the church service in London, Charles III and his brothers Ana (72 years old), Andrés (62) and Eduardo (58), followed by their sons Guillermo (40) and Enrique (38), accompanied the coffin on foot in a procession of almost 2 km through the center of the capital.
The coffin was loaded onto a Royal Navy cart which, to the sound of the funeral marches of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin, was pulled by dozens of sailors to Wellington’s Arch in Hyde Park Corner.
The monarch’s great-grandchildren, 9-year-old Prince George, second in line, and his 7-year-old sister Charlotte, followed the procession in the first of several official cars, along with their mother Catherine and the new queen consort, Camila.
The third son of the princes of Wales, Luis, 4 years old, was absent from the tributes.
Tireless despite the long waits and queues at the many tributes in recent days, thousands of Britons once again took to the streets to accompany their queen to the end.
Many waited from early in the morning on the Mall, the famous avenue that leads to Buckingham Palace, with British flags, to see the solemn procession pass after the funeral.
Others threw flowers as the hearse in which he traveled the 25 miles from Hyde Park made its way down the Long Walk leading to the windsor castleat one of whose doors he was received by the beloved corgis of the late Elizabeth II.
“It was always there, well for 70 years of my life, I didn’t know anything else,” Doreen Dyer, a visibly moved 76-year-old retired telephone operator, told AFP. “I can’t imagine a life without her.”