LONDON ( Associated Press) – The funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II, her coffin atop a horse-drawn gun, arrived at Parliament with her immediate family. The coffin was placed on an elevated platform, where it would remain at a funeral shrine until the state funeral early next week.
The procession from Buckingham Palace was designed to mark the Queen’s 70 years as head of state, with salutes at minute intervals over coffins and artillery with the royal standard and the crown of the state.
King Charles III, his sons Princes William and Harry, and other members of the royal family followed the gunboats on foot.
Thousands waited for hours at the mall – the wide avenue running from the Palace to Trafalgar Square – picking up cameras and phones and some wiping tears as the procession passed. There was thunderous applause as the Horse Guards Parade entered the parade ground.
The coffin was draped in the royal standard and crowned the royal state – adorned with about 3,000 diamonds – and a bouquet of flowers and plants.
An escort of two officers and 32 soldiers of the 1st Grenadier Battalion in their red uniforms and long-bearded helmets was driving alongside the car.
Big Ben sounded, cannons were heard in Hyde Park and the martial sounds of a military band accompanied the procession, which culminated in the historic Westminster Hall of Parliament.
Thousands waited in line on the banks of the River Thames, waiting to be able to parade next to the coffin that will remain in the burning chapel until the funeral on Monday.
The crowd is the latest show of mourning and respect for the only monarch known to most Britons. Elizabeth died Thursday at her beloved Balmoral Summer Retreat, at the age of 96 and after a 70-year reign.
Major General Christopher Ghika, who conducted the ceremonial aspect of the funeral, said it was a sad day, “but our last chance to do our duty to the Queen and our first opportunity to do so to the King and we are very proud of it.” . “”.
Heathrow Airport halted all flights so that the procession was not interrupted by the noise.