Thousands of Biden families pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Thousands of Biden families pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

London – US President Joe Biden paid his respects in front of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Sunday as thousands of police officers, hundreds of British troops and a large army of officials made final preparations for the Queen’s state funeral – a spectacular national event The mourning will also be the largest gathering of world leaders in years.

At 8pm, people across the UK observed a minute of silence in honour of the most recognisable monarch. In Westminster Hall, where the Queen was laid to rest, a steady stream of mourners paused for 60 seconds, as people observed the minute of reflection in deep silence.

In Windsor, where the Queen will be buried after her funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, it started to rain as crowds fell into contemplation. The rain stopped and the crowd burst into applause.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were among the thousands of mourners — from locals and tourists to royals and world leaders — to pay their respects. In the opulent 900-year-old hall, the president stood quietly beside the coffin, crossed with his wife and U.S. ambassador Jane Hartley, and put his hand on his chest.

Biden then signed an official letter of condolence and attended a reception hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Sunday. He was one of 500 world leaders and members of the royal family invited to the Queen’s state funeral on Monday, along with hundreds of dignitaries, politicians, veterans and UK charity workers.

In signing the letter of condolence, Biden called Queen Elizabeth II “decent,” “honorable” and “all in service” and said his heart was with the royal family.

“Queen Elizabeth lives for the people,” Jill Biden wrote in a book to spouses and ambassadors. “She served with wit and grace. We will never forget her warmth, kindness and the conversations we shared.”

Time ticked as dignitaries poured in, and for those looking for a place in the longest queue many had ever seen, the queue passed the Queen’s coffin. The mile-long line is expected to be closed to newcomers later on Sunday so everyone in line now can see the coffin until Monday morning, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey Attend the Queen’s funeral.

House after house, thousands of people queued around the clock, braving frigid nighttime temperatures, waiting up to 17 hours in a 5-mile (8-kilometer) queue.

Lauren Wilson, 36, had a much shorter line for people with reduced mobility. She said she wanted to experience the coffin in its lying state firsthand.

“The world was in such a strange place and then this happened. It felt more important,” she said.

She fears that the pomp surrounding Elizabeth’s death has deprived the Queen’s relatives of the ability to accept the loss.

“Families are not allowed to grieve. I find it heartbreaking,” she said.

The Queen’s eight grandchildren, led by heir to the throne, Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed in silent vigil on Saturday night.

Among the foreign leaders in London was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who told the BBC she was honoured to represent her country at the funeral and to witness the national grief and respect for the late Queen.

“What I’m going to take away from this period is the beauty of the public response, the kindness, patience and camaraderie that you see from the public. For me it’s the most moving tribute, always the public response of the British people ,”she says.

People across the UK will also pause for a minute of national silence on Sunday night to mark the Queen who died on September 8 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public holiday, and the funeral will be broadcast to large television audiences around the world and to crowds in parks and public spaces across the country.

Police officers from across the country will be on duty as part of the largest one-day policing operation in London’s history.

Crowds also gathered near Windsor Castle on Sunday, where the queen will be buried in a private family ceremony on Monday night.

Steve Beeson arrived with his family of three and a bouquet of flowers he bought for the Queen.

“Through all these very trying times, she’s been stabilizing the reins of the country and the least we can do is come over and say ‘thank you,'” he said.

Queen Camilla paid tribute to her mother-in-law in a video message, saying the monarch had “made her role” as a “lone woman” on a male-dominated world stage.

“I will always remember her smile. That smile was unforgettable,” said Camilla, who is married to Charles.

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska was also among mourners at the Queen’s coffin. Zelenska met Catherine, Princess of Wales, at Buckingham Palace on Sunday afternoon, royal officials said. They did not release further details. The British government has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

On Saturday night, it was time for grandchildren to mourn. They were also joined by Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, and Princess Anne’s children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew; and two children of Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood before the coffin and bowed his head, Harry at his feet. Both princes, both veterans, were in uniform. The crowd stopped slowly and silently filed past.

“You can see they’re seriously thinking about their grandmother, the Queen,” said Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “Given what’s happened over the past few years, it’s great to see They are together as a group of grandchildren.”

The recumbent state will continue until the early hours of Monday, when the Queen’s coffin will be pulled by 142 Royal Navy sailors to nearby Westminster Abbey for her funeral, the end of Britain’s longest reigning 10-day national mourning . monarch.

The late queen’s coffin will be transported in a state gun carriage through London’s historic centre following Monday’s service at the abbey. It will then be taken to a hearse in Windsor, where the Queen will be buried with her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.

Sumita Dantian lays down bright red roses as a huge floral tribute blooms near Windsor Castle.

“It’s a great honour to be a local resident of Windsor,” she said. “I just wanted to pay my respects.”

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. all rights reserved.

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