Final goodbye for the Queen

Schools, universities, shops and pubs remained closed. The police, secret services and anti-terrorist units coordinated what is probably the city’s largest security operation – using 10,000 security officers, horse and dog squadrons and surveillance drones. The day had been declared a public holiday as a precaution.

Around 2,000 guests, including many heads of state and government, attended the funeral service at noon in Westminster Abbey. The Queen married Prince Philip here in 1947 and was crowned in 1953. At the one-hour service on Monday, among the state guests present were US President Joe Biden, Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Spanish King Felipe VI. and his father Juan Carlos I. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen traveled from Austria.

Graphics: APA/ORF.at; Photos: AFP/APA PictureDesk

“We’ll meet again”

At the funeral service in Westminster Abbey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recalled the Queen’s well-received speech to the nation during the CoV pandemic. At that time she encouraged her subjects and said: “We will meet again.” This also applies to believing Christians like the Queen for the time after death, the spiritual head of the Church of England assured.

Welby paid tribute to the Queen’s lifetime achievement. People who “serve with love” are rare. “Leaders who serve lovingly are even rarer.” But those who serve will be remembered for a long time, “when those who cling to power and privilege are forgotten.” At the end of the service, the signal “The Last Post” sounded. After two minutes of silence, the Queen’s personal bagpiper performed “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep”. Finally, the national anthem “God Save the King” was sung.

Broadcast on big screens

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to witness the ceremonial of the state funeral. They stood at the edge of the funeral procession from the service to the triumphal arch of Wellington Arch and later also lined the route of the glass hearse to Windsor Castle about 35 kilometers west of London. Many threw flowers. The ceremony was shown on giant screens in Hyde Park, as well as in cinemas, many churches and public places across the country for those unable to be there in person. The state funeral was followed on television worldwide.

People in Hyde Park watch the funeral ceremonies on a screen

AP/Lewis Joly

Many people watched the ceremony on big screens like here in Hyde Park in London

The Queen’s coffin had been laid out in Parliament since last Wednesday. Since then, thousands of people had lined up in the kilometer-long queue, which was repeatedly stopped, to pay their respects to the Queen. At times, the waiting time was up to 24 hours. The queue did not ebb on Monday night.

Two funerals in a few hours

There were 800 guests at the funeral service in St George’s. In addition to members of the royal family and politicians, this also included former employees of the Queen. Accompanied by the sound of bagpipes, the coffin was lowered into the royal tomb. This ended the public part of the funeral service. Shortly after this first burial, the royal couple – Elizabeth and Philip – were reburied in a private ceremony.

Funeral service for Queen Elizabeth's funeral

APA/AFP/Victoria Jones

In the evening, the Queen’s coffin was brought to St George’s in the grounds of Windsor Castle

The two found their final resting place in the small King George VI Memorial Chapel, a side chapel. There are also the Queen’s parents, “Queen Mum” and King George VI., as well as the urn of her younger sister Princess Margaret, who was cremated at her own request – contrary to tradition. It was already known at Philip’s funeral on April 17 last year that his grave would only be temporary.

Trudeau doesn’t want a debate about monarchy

Farewells were not only said in Great Britain. Canada, a member of the Commonwealth, led a parade through the center of the capital, Ottawa. A Canadian police cavalry squadron, a hundred honor guard soldiers and a military band paraded past Parliament. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was present at the celebrations in London, had declared Monday a public holiday.

A new debate as to whether King Charles III. Trudeau refuses to remain head of state of Canada. This question is currently not a priority. However, the past few days have already shown that the mood is turning against the monarchy in numerous Commonwealth countries.

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