Hasina joins world leaders at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

The 2,000-strong congregation included some 500 presidents, prime ministers, foreign royal families and dignitaries

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 19 Sept 2022, 03:31 PM
Updated : 19 Sept 2022, 03:31 PM

Sheikh Hasina has joined world leaders at the funeral for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in London amid scenes of matchless pageantry. 

Accompanied by her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, the prime minister attended the state funeral inside the majestic Westminster Abbey on Monday, the country's first since 1965 when the late monarch’s first prime minister Winston Churchill was afforded the honour. 

The 2,000-strong congregation included some 500 presidents, prime ministers, foreign royal families and dignitaries including Joe Biden of the United States and leaders from France, Canada, Australia, China and the Cook Islands. 

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told the congregation that the grief felt by so many across Britain and the wider world reflected the late queen’s "abundant life and loving service."

"Her late majesty famously declared on a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth," he said. 

"Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love that we have seen." 

Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral at the age of 96 on Sept 8, after reigning for 70 years. Bangladesh also announced three days of mourning for the queen and held special prayer services in her honour. 

Hasina, accompanied by younger sibling and Bangladesh High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem, had gone to the historic Westminster Hall on Sunday morning and signed a book of condolence at Lancaster House.

 In the evening, the two sisters joined a reception hosted by King Charles III, son of Queen Elizabeth. The prime minister travelled to London on Sept 15 on her way to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. She will depart London for New York on Monday evening local time. 

In London, many thousands more crammed into central London to witness the sombre ceremony attended by leaders and royalty from across the world, a fitting end for Britain's longest-serving monarch who won global respect during 70 years on the throne.

After the service, her flag-draped casket was pulled through silent streets on a gun carriage in one of the largest military processions seen in Britain involving thousands of members of the armed forces dressed in ceremonial finery. 

They walked in step to funeral music from marching bands, while in the background the city's famous Big Ben tolled each minute. King Charles and other senior royals followed on foot. 

The casket was taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, where it was transferred to a hearse to begin its journey to Windsor. There the queen was to be laid to rest alongside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.

 [With details from Reuters]

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