London comes to a halt for the Queen’s funeral

In the presence of heads of state from around the world and an audience of representatives of Gotha, the funeral of Elizabeth II took place this morning at Westminster Abbey, in the heart of London, where the queen was married in 1947, also where she had been crowned in 1953.

Posted at 8:05 a.m.
Updated at 8:38 a.m.

Louise Leduc
The Press

The organization of the state funeral, the first since that of Winston Churchill in 1965, gave rise to the largest police and military operation. No less than 10,000 agents and soldiers were on duty.

The ceremony, which lasted just over an hour, took place in good weather. Thousands of people are in the streets of London, while the event is followed on television all over the world.

After the viewing at Westminister Hall which ended at 10.30am London time, the coffin was placed on a gun carriage, not pulled by horses, but by 142 Royal Navy sailors.

The Queen’s four children followed the coffin. King Charles III and his son William (the heir to the throne) wore military uniform, while Prince Andrew – stripped of all royal titles since his run-ins with the law – and Harry (left to live in the US) n were not allowed.

Prince George, aged nine, and his sister Charlotte, who is 7, attended the funeral, alongside their mother, Catherine (the youngest, Louis, having been left at home). Seated behind them were Meghan and Harry, who have been highly critical of the Royal Family since leaving them.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau represented Canada with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, as did Governor General of Canada Mary Simon.

Former Prime Ministers or Governors General of Canada were also part of the Canadian delegation, such as Michaëlle Jean, Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, RoseAnne Archibald, also traveled to London.

US President Joe Biden was also at the ceremony.

During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, praised the Queen’s entire life devoted to her duty. Recalling his commitment, made at his 21e birthday, to serve his nation and the Commonwealth all his life, the Archbishop said: “Rarely has a promise been so well kept. »

At the request of Charles III, the enormous wreath on the coffin contained rosemary, English oak and myrtle foliage and flowers, in shades of gold, pink and burgundy, with touches of white, cut in the gardens of the royal residences. The Queen’s coffin is also surmounted by the Royal Standard, the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign’s Orb and Scepter.

At the end of the ceremony sounded the “Last Post” which honors fallen soldiers in the British Army. Two minutes of silence were then observed, in the Abbey as in all of the United Kingdom where it is a public holiday.

After the ceremony there was another procession to accompany the coffin to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner in central London. The hearse then set off for Windsor to loud applause from the crowd who threw flowers at the vehicle.

A total of 36 kilometers of security fencing have been erected along the route.

The Queen will be buried privately in King George VI’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, an annex to the Main Chapel. She will rest there alongside her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.

Despite strained relations with China, an invitation was sent to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The country is instead represented by its vice-president Qang Qisham. On the other hand, just like Russia, Aghanistan, North Korea and Burma did not receive an invitation card.

The whole elite is at the funeral, including King Philippe of Belgium, King Harald V of Norway, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Albert of Monaco, etc. The King of Spain Felipe VI also received his invitation, but not his father Juan Carlos 1erwho abdicated following revelations of corruption (he now lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates).

The article is in French

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