‘In loving and devoted memory’: Grief and pageantry mark final farewell to Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth's coffin arrived at Windsor Castle, her final resting place, on Monday after a day of matchless pageantry that drew world leaders to her funeral

Reuters
Published : 19 Sept 2022, 07:22 AM
Updated : 19 Sept 2022, 04:22 PM

Queen Elizabeth's coffin was lowered into a vault at Windsor Castle, her final resting place, on Monday after a day of inimitable pageantry that drew world leaders to her funeral and huge crowds to the streets to say farewell to a revered monarch.

During the committal service, the crown jewels were taken from the coffin, and a ceremonial wand of office broken and put in their place.

  • Queen's coffin lowered into vault ahead of burial

  • Monarchs and leaders gather in London for state funeral

  • Thousands line streets for display of pomp and pageantry

  • Queen Elizabeth was widely revered in Britain and beyond

  • Death comes as Britain faces risk of economic crisis

Queen Elizabeth's coffin arrived at Windsor Castle, her final resting place, on Monday after a day of matchless pageantry that drew world leaders to her funeral and hundreds of thousands of well-wishers wanting to say farewell to a revered monarch.

The Dean of Windsor gives the bidding

He begins: "We have come together to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant Queen Elizabeth."

He adds: "In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope."

In Hong Kong, hundreds kept up with Queen Elizabeth's funeral on their phones as they queued for hours to pay their tributes. In Sydney, Australia, customers packed into pubs to watch the ceremony on screens.

And in Paris, France, bar owner Thibaud Dupont showed off the new tattoo of the monarch on his forearm.

Across the globe, crowds gathered outside British embassies and consulates and at cafes, bars and other public places to bear witness to the pageantry unfurling thousands of miles away from their homes.

"Her presence is literally everywhere," IT professional Victor Lai, 30, said outside the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, where people have queued for the past 10 days to sign a memorial book.

Britain's King Charles paid tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth on Monday with a handwritten note laid on top of her coffin reading: "In loving and devoted memory, Charles R."

The note was placed amid a colourful wreath for the late monarch that Buckingham Palace said contained, at Charles's request, rosemary, English Oak and myrtle, which had been cut from a plant grown from myrtle used in Elizabeth's wedding bouquet.

There were also gold, pink, burgundy and white flowers cut from the gardens of royal residences.

At the end of a state funeral watched by millions of people the world over, Queen Elizabeth was being brought home to her beloved Windsor Castle to be buried in a small chapel in a private ceremony after her state funeral.

Originally built by William the Conqueror after the Norman conquest in 1066, Windsor Castle has been rebuilt and remodelled over the centuries but is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

Just outside London, it was the queen's main weekend retreat and in the later years of her reign her preferred home.

Windsor Castle is the resting place of more than a dozen English and British kings and queens. Most are buried in St. George's Chapel, including Henry VIII, who died in 1547, and Charles I, who was beheaded in 1649.

The queen will be buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, which is next to the quire of the main St George's Chapel. She commissioned the memorial chapel in 1962 and named it for her father.

King George and his wife, the Queen Mother, are interred there, along with their younger daughter Princess Margaret.

Much of the music to be used at the service was composed or arranged by William Henry Harris, organist at the chapel between 1933 and 1961. He is thought to have taught the queen the piano as a child.

The tens of thousands gathered in central London for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth fell silent and bowed their heads on Monday to follow her funeral service in Westminster Abbey and watch the procession of her coffin afterwards through the city.

Some watching in Hyde Park dabbed their eyes and others sobbed during the service, while later children were hoisted in the air or put on parents' shoulders to see her coffin pass.

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 monarch'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."

King Charles, his sons William and Harry and other senior royals joined a solemn procession behind Queen Elizabeth's coffin through the silent streets of London on Monday, following a state funeral of matchless pageantry at Westminster Abbey.

Hundreds of thousands of people crammed into central London to witness a ceremony attended by leaders and royalty from across the globe, a fitting end for Britain's longest-serving monarch who won widespread respect during 70 years on the throne.

I find it hard to express in words what we just witnessed. This was really special and memorable. It was terribly sad. So very, very sad. The end of an era.  
CAMILLA MOORE, 53, FROM NOTTINGHAM

Queen Elizabeth's closest relatives were ashen-faced as they followed her coffin to Westminster Abbey for her funeral on Monday, in a meticulously choreographed procession that nevertheless betrayed the high emotions of the day.

Elizabeth's son King Charles and his three younger siblings, Anne, Andrew and Edward, made up the first line behind the gun carriage pulled by 142 Royal Navy sailors that bore the queen's coffin from nearby Westminster Hall to the abbey.

Inside the abbey, lines of scripture were set to music that has been used at every state funeral since the early 18th century. Among those walking behind the casket was her great-grandson and future king, 9-year-old Prince George.

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, Pakistan 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 monarch's "abundant life and loving service."

Complete silence fell over Hyde Park as people who had been picnicking and chatting for hours, stood and watched the queen's coffin brought to Westminster Abbey. Crowds are following the funeral service on large television screens or from a radio broadcast on loudspeakers.

King Charles and other senior British royals followed Queen Elizabeth's coffin into Westminster Abbey on Monday, joining world leaders and monarchs to bid farewell to a beloved figure who unified the nation through her 70-year reign.

In scenes of inimitable pageantry, pall bearers carried her flag-draped casket along the aisle in the country's first state funeral since 1965, when Winston Churchill was afforded the honour.

Shortly before 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) the oak coffin, covered in the Royal Standard flag with the Imperial State Crown on top, emerged under overcast skies to be taken by military procession to Westminster Abbey.

Her son and heir King Charles and other senior royals walked behind as a bell tolled in the background.

Tens of thousands of people lining the streets looked on as bagpipes skirled. Earlier, hundreds of armed personnel in full ceremonial dress marched past in a historic display of kilts, bearskin hats, scarlet tunics and bands in white gloves.

Thousands of people camped overnight in London to get the best spots for viewing Queen Elizabeth's funeral procession on Monday. The best prepared had tents, sleeping bags, blow up beds and flasks of tea. Others were sitting or sleeping on the ground in only their jackets. Leaders and monarchs from around the world gathered in London to bid farewell to the queen at a state funeral of inimitable pageantry, marking the passing of a beloved figure who helped unify the nation through her 70-year reign. People queued to file past the casket of Britain's longest-reigning monarch at London's historic Westminster Hall during her lying-in-state, and thousands more lined the streets to witness a sombre display of royal pomp.

We wanted to come and see this historic event, to be part of it and to pay our respects to the Queen and thank her for her long life of service. I think we'll probably feel fairly emotional at the end of it.
Alison Cornish, 66, from Ashford in Kent

All the viewing areas from where members of the public can witness the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth have reached capacity, London's governing body said on Monday.

City Hall said on Twitter that new arrivals would no longer be allowed entry. Tens of thousands of people have come to the capital to see the queen's coffin over the past few days, with her funeral due to begin at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT).

Queen Elizabeth's reign by the numbers

  • Queen Elizabeth II was the 40th monarch in England since Norman King William the Conqueror obtained the crown. Her reign of 70 years, 7 months and 2 days was the longest in the history of what became the United Kingdom. During that time she has given her assent to more than 4,000 Acts of Parliament.

  • Elizabeth visited well over 100 countries during her reign. In 2016, Buckingham Palace said she had travelled at least 1,032,513 miles (1,661,668 km) to 117 nations. She paid the most visits to Canada.

  • She had 15 prime ministers, starting with Winston Churchill through to Liz Truss. During her reign there were 14 U.S. presidents and seven popes.

  • She had four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

  • She sent more than 300,000 congratulatory cards to people celebrating their 100th birthdays, and more than 900,000 messages to couples marking their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversaries.

  • She loved dogs and owned more than 30 Corgis and Dorgis during her reign, most of which have been descended from her first Corgi, Susan, which was given to Elizabeth when she turned 18 in 1944.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of history, to pay your respects. The atmosphere is so unique. I had to come. It has definitely been worth it. She cared so much about this country.
Melanie Odey, 60, a teacher

Following are some of the details of the order of service for the funeral:

  • The state funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey, central London, at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT).

  • The funeral will be led by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle, and the sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

  • Before the service, the Abbey's Tenor Bell will toll once a minute for 96 minutes - one toll for each year of the queen's life.

  • At the start of the service, as the queen's coffin is carried into the abbey, the Sentences will be sung by the choir of Westminster Abbey. The five Sentences - lines of scripture set to music - have been used at every state funeral since the early 18th century.

  • The Dean of Westminster will give the bidding before the first hymn, and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, will read the first lesson from the book of First Corinthians.

  • A specially commissioned choral piece composed by the Master of the King's Music, Judith Weir, will be sung by the choir. The piece, "Like as the Hart", is a setting of Psalm 42 to music.

  • The second lesson, from the Gospel of John, will be read by British Prime Minister Liz Truss, and will be followed by the hymn "The Lord's my Shepherd". The hymn was also sung at the queen's wedding in 1947.

  • Following the sermon, the choir will sing the anthem "My Soul, There is a Country".

  • Prayers will be said from the High Altar before the choir sings a short anthem, "O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord is", which was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the queen's coronation in 1953.

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury will give the commendation and the Dean of Westminster will pronounce the blessing.

  • Near the end of the funeral, around 11:55 a.m., the Last Post will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the steps of the Lady Chapel. Two minutes' silence will then be observed across the United Kingdom.

  • The Reveille will be sounded by the State Trumpeters before the congregation sings "God Save the King".

  • At the end of the funeral the Sovereign's Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will play the traditional lament "Sleep, Dearie, Sleep".

  • The queen's coffin will be borne out of the abbey and taken in procession to Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, before travelling to Windsor for the committal service.

  • Afterwards, the bells of Westminster Abbey will be rung, fully muffled, which is the tradition following the funeral of the sovereign.

    Source: Reuters

Elizabeth died on Sept 8 at her Scottish summer home, Balmoral Castle. Her health had been in decline, and for months the monarch who had carried out hundreds of official engagements well into her 90s had withdrawn from public life. However, just two days before her death she had appointed Liz Truss her 15th and final prime minister.

LEADERS, MONARCHS GATHER FOR FINAL FAREWELL TO ELIZABETH

Leaders and monarchs from around the world gathered in London on Monday to bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth at a state funeral of inimitable pageantry, marking the passing of a beloved figure who helped unify the nation through her 70-year reign.

Hundreds of thousands of people queued to file past the casket of Britain's longest-reigning monarch at London's historic Westminster Hall during her lying-in-state, and thousands more lined the streets to witness a sombre display of royal pomp.

They, like many across the globe including US President Joe Biden, came to pay tribute to the 96-year-old who earned respect for her sense of duty and represented a constant as Britain's role in the world diminished and changed.

"You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years," Biden said. "We all were."

Shortly before 11 am, the oak coffin, covered in the Royal Standard flag with the Imperial State Crown on top, will be placed on a gun carriage and pulled by naval personnel to Westminster Abbey for her funeral.

Among the 2,000 in the congregation will be some 500 world leaders, from Biden and Emperor Naruhito of Japan to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mark Brown, prime minister of Cook Islands.

The queen's great-grandchildren, Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, the two eldest children of now heir to the throne Prince William, will also be attending.

Also Read: Leaders and monarchs gather for final farewell to Queen Elizabeth

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher