Britons gather in squares and parks to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth

Hundreds of people watched the funeral inside Manchester Cathedral while in Birmingham, people took shelter from the rain under awnings in the city's Centenary Square

Reuters
Published : 19 Sept 2022, 02:13 PM
Updated : 19 Sept 2022, 02:13 PM

In airport lounges, parks, pubs and city squares, people gathered in front of screens across Britain on Monday to watch the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth.

Usually busy streets fell silent as young and old came together in towns, villages and cities outside London for the live broadcast of the service beamed in from Westminster Abbey.

"When you can watch it with a big group of people, it feels more communal," said student Jo Underwood in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park.

"That was the thing with the Queen, she brought everybody together so this is a fitting way to end her reign, with everyone coming together to see her funeral."

Some kept their heads bowed, others wiped away tears as Britain said goodbye to its longest-serving monarch, who died on Sept 8 aged 96.

Gurminder Kaur got up early to drive from Essex in southeast England to Windsor, where the queen will be buried later on Monday.

The 50-year-old lawyer had spent more than 14 hours at the weekend, queuing to see the monarch lying in state in London's Westminster Hall.

“The (London) queue had a festival atmosphere, and you just had the adrenaline keeping you going," Kaur said.

"But today, at her final resting place at the castle, the atmosphere is much more sombre.”

Hundreds of people watched the funeral inside Manchester Cathedral while in Birmingham, people took shelter from the rain under awnings in the city's Centenary Square.

Outside Belfast's city Hall, crowds rose to their feet to sing the national anthem.

At Gatwick airport south of London, passengers looked on in departure lounges and arrivals areas.

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