- Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren alert
- 11 hours in line to see the coffin of the queen
- World leaders begin arriving in London for funeral
LONDON, Sep 17 (Reuters) – Princes William and Harry stood watchful at either end of their grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s coffin on Saturday, as a line of mourners bowed at the late monarch’s kingdom.
King Charles’ two sons, dressed in military uniforms, stood in silence for 15 minutes in the vast Westminster Hall, where the coffin has been lying since Wednesday, draped in the Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown on top.
William and Harry were joined by six of his cousins, including Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, who previously paid tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The Queen died on 8 September at her summer estate in the Scottish Highlands at the age of 96.
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“You were our parents, our guides, our loving hands on our backs, who took us into this world,” said Prince Andrew’s daughters, sisters. “You taught us so much and we will always cherish those lessons and memories. For now dear Grandma, we just want to say thank you.”
Hundreds of thousands of people line up in long queues along the banks of the River Thames, waiting to file near the coffin and pay their respects to the queen – a testament to the affection in which she was placed.
Other cousins in Saturday’s vigil were Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, children of Princess Anne, and Louise and James, children of Prince Edward.
Earlier on Saturday, Charles and his successor William shook hands and greeted well-wishers in line, asking people how long they had been there and whether they were warm enough.
Raising the slogans “Hip, Hip, Hurray” and “God Save the King”, Charles and William speak to mourners near Lambeth Bridge as they line up to see the lay-in-state in the historic were near the end. Westminster Hall.
On Friday night, Charles joined his three siblings – Princess Anne and Princesses Andrew and Edward – in a silent vigil at the coffin.
“She won’t believe it all, she really won’t,” William was heard telling a man of the late Queen, who came to the throne in 1952. “It’s amazing.”
One woman told Charles that it was “worth the wait” and others wished him well and cheered as he walked down the line.
World leaders also began arriving in the British capital ahead of Monday’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were among the dignitaries to honor on Saturday, while New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was seen cursing the coffin on Friday.
US President Joe Biden was expected to visit the state on Sunday.
On Saturday, Charles met with the leaders of 14 countries where he heads of state, such as Canada, Australia and Jamaica, after meeting the governor-general – the people who represent the monarch in overseas territories – at Buckingham Palace.
London’s police force has described the funeral as the biggest security operation ever as the Prime Minister, the President and the Royal Family come together and the streets are filled with huge crowds. Raja visited the police headquarters on Saturday to thank the emergency service personnel involved in the plan.
Outlining the risks, police said a man was detained and arrested after a witness told Sky News he “ran up to the Queen’s coffin”. The footage showed a man being slammed to the ground by police officers and taken away.
As of 5 pm (1600 GMT), Britain’s Ministry of Culture said the wait time to reach the kingdom was up to 11 hours.
Inside the Silent Hall, some mourned, many were weeping, while current soldiers and veterans saluted their former Commander-in-Chief. Others in line fell on their knees.
New friendships, acts of kindness and the struggle of standing in line for hours, sometimes overnight in the cold, have come to define what is known just as “queuing”.
Filmmaker Matthew West described how a military man was offered a chance to appear but declined. “That was the highlight. The low light was when we stood there for two hours and I lost my will to live.”
Emotions have erupted across the country since the Queen’s death in Balmoral, Scotland, and 10 days of choreographed events took place. His coffin was laid to rest in Edinburgh before being moved south to London.
The Queen’s children describe being overwhelmed by the reaction to their mother’s death.
state funeral, to be participated in It is expected to be one of the largest ceremonial events ever hosted in the UK, by nearly 100 presidents and heads of government.
Soldiers take part in an early morning rehearsal in Windsor, where the Queen’s coffin will be carried after the funeral at Westminster Abbey. Marching bands playing music and Grenadier Guards wearing a tall bear hat on ceremonial duties were seen walking down the High Street in preparation.
Liz Kelshall of Leatherhead, southern England, said she had brought her two children to Windsor so that they would never forget the Queen. “It’s really important for them to grow up and remember this and it’s important for us as a family to show some respect for an amazing woman,” she said.
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Additional reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Elizabeth Piper Editing by Rosalba O’Brien, Alison Williams and Francis Carey
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