Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch, died peacefully on Thursday, September 8. The British Royal Family prepares for the Queen’s state funeral today at London’s Westminster Abbey. The Queen’s funeral would be a spectacular display of national mourning that will also be the biggest gathering of world leaders for years.
The minute of silence was held the previous day (September 18) at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) to honour the late queen’s life of service.
The funeral will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby giving the sermon. Queen Elizabeth will be buried alongside her husband Prince Philip in a small chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle in a private ceremony after her state funeral.
Queen Elizabeth’s coffin is draped in the Royal Standard. Before the funeral service, the Abbey’s Tenor Bell will toll once a minute for 96 minutes – one toll for each year of the queen’s life.
Westminster Abbey can hold up to 2,200 people. The attendees from Britain are Royal family members, courtiers, public figures, Prime Minister Liz Truss, senior politicians, former premiers, heads of state and other VIPs.
Britain’s King Charles III reflected upon his late mother’s “lifelong service” in a thank you message ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday morning.
Prince Andrew, Queen’s second son, paid tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II. He said he will forever treasure “your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence.” Addressing the late monarch as “Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty,” Andrew said “it has been an honor and privilege to serve you.” Andrew, 62, said “I have found your knowledge and wisdom infinite,” adding: “I will miss your insights, advice and humor.”
Camilla, wife of King Charles and now queen consort, remembered the smile of the late Queen Elizabeth as ‘unforgettable’ in a message of tribute to the late monarch. She said that the monarch “carved her own role” as a “solitary woman” on a world stage dominated by men. “I’ll always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” she said.
The attendees include Indian President Droupadi Murmu, Around 500 heads of state and foreign dignitaries from around the world including US President Joe Biden. They attended an “official state event” hosted by the King and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening.
Joe and Jill Biden on Sunday honored the Queen by sharing memories of her when she invited them last year to join her at Windsor Castle, near London. The president said, after the meeting, that Elizabeth reminded him of his late mother. Biden called the queen “decent” and “honorable” and “all about service” as he signed the condolence book, saying his heart went out to the royal family.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, said “the thing that I’ll take away from this period is the beauty of the public’s response, the kindness that you see from members of the public, the patience.”
Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum were also in London to offer their condolences. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, is no longer anticipated to attend Monday’s funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. Saudi Arabia would be represented instead by Prince Turki bin Mohammed al Saud.
Queen’s new photo released
Ahead of Her Majesty The Queen’s State Funeral, a new photograph has been released. The photo was taken to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee – the first British Monarch to reach this milestone. Tomorrow, millions will come together to commemorate her remarkable life.