LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II His coffin, which left Buckingham Palace for the last time on Wednesday, was carried by a horse-drawn gun carriage to the Houses of Parliament and saddened family members.
The coffin will remain in the state for four days until the funeral of the late emperor on Monday, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to enter the past.
With the royal standard and the crown of state at the top of the casket and artillery firing salutes at one-minute intervals, the solemn procession was designed to mark the Queen’s seven decades as head of state as the national mourning process proceeds on Grand Boulevard. and historical sites of the capital of Britain.
King Charles III, his sons Princes William and Harry and other members of the royal family followed the gun carriage.
Thousands of people, who waited for hours to line the route at the mall and other places outside the palace, held up phones and cameras, and some wiped tears as the procession passed. There was applause as the Horse Guards passed through the parade.
The coffin was draped in Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial State Crown – adorned with nearly 3,000 diamonds – and a bouquet of flowers and plants, including pine, from the Balmoral estate where Elizabeth died last week.
An escort of two officers of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and 32 soldiers in red uniforms and bear hats moved to either side of the gun carriage.
Big Ben trolled, a gun salute from Hyde Park and a military band Marshal Strain came in procession.
The 38-minute procession ended at the historic Westminster Hall of Parliament.
Thousands stood or queued on the banks of the River Thames and waited for their turn to file the coffin when it lay in the kingdom on Monday, four days before the Queen’s funeral.
The crowds across the country are the latest expression of mourning and respect for what most Britons have ever known, who died Thursday at their beloved Balmoral summer retreat at the age of 96, ending a 70-year reign.
Joan Bucklehurst, a 50-year-old retail worker from Cheshire in north-west England, said the Queen “means a lot to everyone.”
“She was wonderful, yes,” she said, choking with emotion. “So, we had to stay here. We’ve been here many times when there have been special occasions, but this one, I couldn’t miss it.”
Major General Christopher Ghika of the Household Division, who conducted the ceremonial aspects of the Queen’s funeral, said it was a sad day, “but this is our last opportunity to do our duty to the Queen and it is our opportunity to do so.” The first occasion is King, and it makes us all very proud.”
London’s Heathrow Airport halted flights to stop overhead aircraft disrupting the procession.
The airport said in a statement that the change would “ensure silence over central London as the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.”
The soldiers involved in the procession have been preparing since the death of the queen. So are the horses of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
Tom Jenks of Sergeant King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery said the horses have undergone special training, including how to handle crying mourners, as well as throwing flowers and flags into the streets as the procession passes.
Since morning, people have noticed prominent viewing conditions behind metal barriers at the mall and other roads along the route. They were standing ready on folding chairs, umbrellas or holding coffee in hand.
Whenever the Queen’s coffin is carried on her long journey from Scotland back to London, crowds have lined the path of her coffin.
On Tuesday night, thousands faced a general drizzle of London as the state chariot, with interior lights illuminating the sovereign’s flag-wrapped coffin, walked slowly from a military airport into the center of London Gone.
Earlier, in Edinburgh, around 33,000 people had entered silent respect before his coffin as it lay in St Giles’ Cathedral for 24 hours.
Thousands are expected to do so in London when the Queen stays in state for four days ahead of her state funeral on Monday at 900-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest building in Parliament.
The hall is where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried, where kings and queens hosted sumptuous medieval banquets, and where ceremonial addresses were presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her silver, gold and diamond jubilee Were.
Chris Bond of Truro, in south-west England, was among those standing on the banks of the River Thames. She also participated in Lying as the Queen’s Mother in 2002.
“Obviously it’s hard enough to queue all day long, but when you walk through those doors at Westminster Hall, which is in that wonderful, historic building, there was a great feeling and one was told that you want to Take that much time, and it’s just wonderful,” he said.
“We know that the queen had a good age and served the country for a long time, but we hoped that this day would never come,” he said.
Chris Imafiden finished sixth in the row.
“I have 1,001 emotions when I look at him,” he said. “I want to say, Lord, she was an angel, because she touched so many good people and did so many good things.”
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