Thu, 29 Sep 2022

Queen Elizabeth II is laid to rest on Monday, after a state funeral attended by leaders from around the world, and a ceremonial journey through the packed streets of London. The longest-serving monarch in British history died on 8 September after a year of declining health.

Many have camped out for days to witness the elaborate pageantry and to pay their final respects to a much-loved monarch.

After the funeral service, the flag-draped coffin will be taken west to Windsor Castle.

Elizabeth ll will be buried alongside her father king George VI, her mother queen Elizabeth the queen mother, and sister princess Margaret.

The coffin of her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will be transferred to lie alongside her.

King Charles to lead mourners

On Monday, more than 2,000 people, including heads of state including US President Joe Biden and Japan's reclusive Emperor Naruhito, will pack Westminster Abbey.

The queen's eldest son and successor, King Charles III, will lead mourners, alongside his three siblings and his heir, Prince William.

Late Sunday, Charles said he and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, had been "deeply touched" by the messages of condolence and support.

Also present will be Liz Truss, whom the queen appointed as the 15th British prime minister of her reign just two days before her death.

The last global monarch

Some 6,000 military personnel have been drafted in to take part in the solemn procession to and from the abbey, on the route to Windsor and the committal service at St George's Chapel.

Britain's highest-ranking military officer, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Tony Radakin, called it "our last duty for Her Majesty the Queen", their late commander-in-chief.

The abbey service itself, taking place under London's biggest-ever police security operation, starts at 1000 Universal Time.

After the service, Charles and other senior royals will again follow in procession past hushed crowds to a waiting hearse and the final journey to Windsor.

Throughout, Big Ben, the giant bell atop the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament, will toll and guns will fire at one-minute intervals.

A vast television audience is expected to watch the funeral worldwide and live online, in a sign of the enduring fascination with the woman once described as "the last global monarch".

Originally published on RFI

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