World Leaders Head To London For Queen Elizabeth II Funeral

LONDON (AP) — 1000’s of police, tons of of troops and a military of officers made closing preparations Sunday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — a spectacular show of nationwide mourning that may also be the most important gathering of world leaders for years.

U.S. President Joe Biden and different dignitaries are arriving in London for the funeral, to which round 500 royals, heads of state and heads of presidency from across the globe have been invited.

1000’s of individuals continued to line up across the clock to file previous the queen’s coffin because it lies in state at Parliament’s Westminster Corridor, braving chilly in a single day temperatures and waits of as much as 17 hours. The queen’s eight grandchildren, led by inheritor to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with heads bowed throughout a silent vigil on Saturday night.

The miles-long queue is predicted to be closed to new arrivals later Sunday so that everybody in line can file previous the coffin earlier than Monday morning, when it is going to be borne on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey for the queen’s funeral.

The King’s Physique Guard, fashioned of Gents at Arms, Yeomen of the Guard and Scots Guards, change guard duties across the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, Mendacity in State inside Westminster Corridor, on the Palace of Westminster in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (Adrian Dennis/Pool Picture by way of AP)

Adrian Dennis/Pool Picture by way of AP

Among the many international leaders in London was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who instructed the BBC she was humbled to characterize her nation on the funeral and to witness the nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the late queen.

“The thing that I will take away from this period is just the beauty of the public’s response, the kindness that you see from members of the public, the patience, the camaraderie, that has been, for me, the most moving tribute of all, has been the public response of the British people,” she stated.

Individuals throughout the U.Ok. are as a result of pause Sunday night for a nationwide minute of silence to recollect the queen, who died Sept. 8 on the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public vacation, and the funeral will probably be broadcast to an enormous tv viewers and screened to crowds in parks and public areas throughout the nation.

1000’s of law enforcement officials from across the nation will probably be on responsibility as a part of the most important one-day policing operation in London’s historical past.

Crowds additionally gathered Sunday close to Windsor Fort, the place the queen will probably be laid to relaxation at a personal household ceremony on Monday night.

“I think it’s been amazing,” stated Anna Pettigrew, a 55-year-old instructor. “It’s been very emotional, and I think it’s been a very fitting tribute to a wonderful queen.”

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at London Stansted Airport, in Stansted, Britain, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The Bidens are in London to attend the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Joe Biden and first woman Jill Biden arrive at London Stansted Airport, in Stansted, Britain, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The Bidens are in London to attend the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Picture/Susan Walsh)

Camilla, the brand new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “carved her own role” as a “solitary woman” on a world stage dominated by males.

“I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” stated Camilla, who’s married to King Charles III.

A tide of individuals continued to stream into Parliament’s Westminster Corridor, the place the queen’s coffin is mendacity in state, draped within the Royal Normal and capped with a diamond-studded crown. The variety of mourners has grown steadily for the reason that public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a queue that stretches for not less than 5 miles (eight kilometers) alongside the River Thames and into Southwark Park within the metropolis’s southeast.

Honoring their endurance, Charles and William made an unannounced go to Saturday to greet folks within the line, shaking palms and thanking mourners within the queue close to Lambeth Bridge.

Later, all of the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, had been joined by Princess Anne’s kids, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the 2 kids of Prince Edward — Woman Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood along with his head bowed on the head of the coffin and Harry on the foot. Each princes, who’re navy veterans, had been in uniform. Mourners continued to file previous in silence.

“You could see that they were thinking hard about their grandmother, the queen,” stated Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “It was good to see them all together as a set of grandchildren given the things that have happened over the last few years.”

A painting of the Queen Elizabeth II is seen next to flowers at Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
A portray of the Queen Elizabeth II is seen subsequent to flowers at Inexperienced Park, close to Buckingham Palace, in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (AP Picture/Felipe Dana)

Earlier than the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a press release praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.

The queen’s 4 kids — Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — held an identical vigil across the coffin on Friday.

The silence within the corridor was briefly damaged Friday when a person lunged on the coffin. London police stated Sunday {that a} 28-year-old London man, Muhammad Khan, has been charged with habits meant to “cause alarm, harassment or distress.” He’ll seem in courtroom on Monday.

The lying-in-state continues till early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will probably be moved on a gun carriage pulled by 142 Royal Navy scores to close by Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the finale of 10 days of nationwide mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

After the service Monday on the abbey, the late queen’s coffin will probably be transported via the historic coronary heart of London on the state gun carriage. It is going to then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, the place the queen will probably be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died final 12 months.

Comply with AP protection of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii