UK lays Queen Elizabeth II to rest after state funeral

Thousands line the streets of London as the United Kingdom pays last respects to the late queen before her burial in Windsor.

Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla stand in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her state funeral [Dominic Lipinski/pool/AFP]

Queen Elizabeth II has been laid to rest after a state funeral attended by world leaders and a final journey through the streets of London.

Monday’s funeral comes 11 days after the longest-serving monarch in British history died aged 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8.

Thousands of people lined the streets surrounding Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace to witness the passage of the queen’s casket from Westminster Hall to the church and eventually to Windsor Castle, where she was laid to rest alongside her late husband, Prince Philip and her father, King George VI.

Millions watched the funeral on television at home after a public holiday was declared to mark the passing of the queen.

The royal family.
The last time the United Kingdom held a state funeral was in 1965 for Prime Minister Winston Churchill [Dominic Lipinski/pool via Reuters]

The funeral pageantry

In the lead-up to the funeral, many people across the country camped out and queued for upwards of 13 hours to visit the queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall and pay their respects.

On Monday, Westminster Abbey’s tenor bell tolled 96 times at one-minute intervals – one for every year of her life – stopping before the service started at 10:00 GMT to mark the only monarch most Britons have ever known.

The oak coffin was covered with the Royal Standard flag, the queen’s colours, with the Imperial State Crown on top, placed on a gun carriage and pulled by naval personnel to Westminster Abbey, where Queen Elizabeth was married in 1947 and crowned queen in 1953.

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Among 2,000 people in the congregation, there were about 500 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Emperor Naruhito of Japan and South African President Cyril Ramphosa.

“All the people of the United Kingdom: our hearts go out to you, and you were fortunate to have had her for 70 years; we all were. The world is better for her,” Biden said after signing a book of condolence.

President Joe Biden and the First Lady Jill Biden
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral [Gareth Fuller/Pool via Reuters]

The funeral, which lasted for under an hour, closed with the Last Post trumpet salute and the national anthem, God Save the King, welcoming the transition from one reign to the other.

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