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A funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II has been held at Westminster Abbey

  • A funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II has been held at Westminster Abbey
    During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury said the late Queen touched "a multitude of lives" during her 70 year reign. A funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II has been held at Westminster Abbey
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Europe
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Society
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During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury said the late Queen touched "a multitude of lives" during her 70 year reign.

 

Britain and the world said a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II at a state funeral Monday that drew presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers — and crowds who massed along the streets of London to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.

A day packed with events in London and Windsor began early when the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her flag-draped coffin. Many had waited for hours in line, including through cold nights, to attend the lying in state in an outpouring of collective grief and respect.

“I felt like I had to come and pay my final respects to our majestic queen. She has done so much for us and just a little thank you really from the people,” said Tracy Dobson, who was among the last to join the line. Her coffin, draped in flags and topped by the Imperial State Crown, was drawn to the church on a gun carriage by Royal Navy sailors.

In a country known for pomp and pageantry, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s was filled with spectacle: 142 Royal Navy sailors drew the gun carriage carrying Elizabeth’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, with King Charles III and his sons, Princes William and Harry, walking behind as bagpipers played. Pall bearers carried the coffin into the abbey, where around 2,000 people ranging from world leaders to health care workers gathered to mourn her. Ahead of the service, a bell tolled 96 times — once a minute for each year of her life.

Hundreds of dignitaries are there, including the Queen's former prime ministers as well as US President Biden and French President Macron.

There's a sombre mood on the streets around Buckingham Palace, where people are gathering to watch a procession.

It will take the Queen's coffin on a final journey through London and on to Windsor Castle for a second service.