Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Charles III and William enjoy a walkabout in the queue for the coffin of Elizabeth II

King Charles III and his heir Prince William enjoyed a surprise walkabout on Saturday with the British who face miles of queue to bow in front of the coffin of Elizabeth II before her funeral on Monday.

The hours are now counted to meditate before the remains – in her closed coffin surmounted by the sumptuous imperial crown – of the sovereign, very popular until her death, at the age of 96 and after more than 70 years of reign. .

With two days to go before the ‘funeral of the century’, for which foreign dignitaries have begun to flock, the wait in line along the Thames to London’s Westminster Hall to view the coffin was estimated to be around from 2 p.m. Saturday to midday.

Accompanied by Prince William, the new sovereign came for about twenty minutes to meet the crowd which has been marching non-stop since Wednesday evening. He exchanged a few words and shook hands, as he did several times during the tour that took him all week through the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom, from Belfast to Cardiff.

Staying longer, the very popular heir to the throne thanked the public, worrying about the state of their feet, under the cries of “I love you William! “.

Grandchildren’s Vigil

The one who now bears the title of Prince of Wales will join the seven other grandchildren of the Queen on Saturday evening – including her brother Harry, with whom relations are notoriously difficult – for a vigil of the coffin of the late Queen.

“The vigil of the princes” Friday by the four children of Elizabeth II – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward – in uniform with their backs to the coffin moved the country and made the front page of many newspapers on Saturday. For the occasion, Andrew, deprived of most of his titles following accusations of sexual assault, had been authorized to wear the uniform.

London is preparing feverishly for its first state funeral since that of Winston Churchill in 1965.

They are the biggest event ever framed by the London police, she said. Even more imposing than the Olympic Games which took place in London in 2012.

A rare incident in the ongoing tributes: A man was arrested Friday night after he left the line and approached the coffin, authorities said.

The public has until Monday morning 5:30 a.m. local time to pay their last respects to the Sovereign, final farewells in meditation, sometimes tears, for a Sovereign who has become a symbol of unity and stability during her reign. , unprecedented in length in UK history.

A procession will then accompany the coffin to Westminster Abbey where the funeral will be held at 10 a.m.

Some 2,000 guests, including several hundred leaders from around the world, crowned heads, but also anonymous people decorated for their associative commitment, will attend the ceremony.

The American president, Joe Biden, the president of the European commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the emperor of Japan, or even the French president, Emmanuel Macron, are expected.

Diplomatic ballet for Charles

After a final procession, Elizabeth II will be buried privately on Monday in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, west London, next to her father King George VI and her husband Prince Philip.

Before the grandiose funeral at Westminster Abbey, Charles III begins an intense diplomatic sequence at Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

The monarch will notably welcome in the afternoon the prime ministers of the 14 Commonwealth kingdoms, including Justin Trudeau (Canada), Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand) and Anthony Albanese (Australia).

The leaders of the organization, to which Elizabeth II was very attached but which is shaken by the republican temptations of certain members, in the Caribbean in particular, should have the opportunity to go and pray in front of the coffin of Elizabeth II, draped of the royal standard and adorned with the imperial crown. Ms. Ardern has already been there on Friday.

On Sunday afternoon, Charles III, who became king at 73, will welcome heads of state for a reception.

British Prime Minister, Conservative Liz Truss, in power for ten days, is to meet several leaders ahead of the funeral, including Joe Biden, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, and Justin Trudeau.

To see in video

Nation World News Desk
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