Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

He held Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, then carried her coffin to Wellington Gate to take her to her final resting place in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin left Westminster Hall in London at 10:35 am (16:35 pm) today after 4 days of interment here for people to visit, before being placed in the coffin to move to Westminster Abbey.

The chariot was towed by 142 sailors and 6 British naval officers. This is a tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria’s funeral in 1901. King Charles III and other members of the royal family, including Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince William, wore military uniforms as they walked behind the casket. Prince Andrew, the Queen’s son, and Harry, who are no longer on royal duties, wore suits during the ceremony.

The coffin was carried from Westminster Hall.  Photo: AFP.

The coffin was carried from Westminster Hall. Image: AFP.

The Queen’s funeral began at Westminster Abbey at 11am (17:00 Hanoi time) with the participation of 2,000 people. Nearly 500 foreign officials, including at least 70 leaders, such as US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, attended the funeral.

The Westminster Abbey choir sings scriptures that have been used at all British national funerals since the early 18th century when Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was brought inside. Dean David Hoyle, head of Westminster Abbey, presided over the ceremony and read the opening words.

During the funeral, which lasted about an hour, a series of political and religious leaders, including British Prime Minister Liz Truss, read their condolences and prayed. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Church of England, delivered a sermon during the funeral. “On her 21st birthday, the Queen pledged to dedicate her life to serving her country and the Commonwealth. Rarely has such a promise been fulfilled,” he said.

The coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Gate.  Photo: Reuters.

The coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Gate. Image: Reuters.

After the end of the prayer session, the military band blew the trumpet before the whole of the UK observed a two-minute silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. At the end of the ceremony, musicians from the trumpet team of the Royal Scottish Regiment played the song Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.

The Royal Guard then carried Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin out of Westminster Abbey and placed it on the chasm to head to Wellington Gate. Artillery fired once a minute at Hyde Park, while the Big Ben clock tower chimed at the same time throughout the journey.

The Queen's Casket arrives at Wellington Gate

The casket passes through the Wellington Gate. Video: Royal Central.

After about an hour’s procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Gate, the casket was transferred to a hearse to move to Windsor Castle. The military orchestra sang the British national anthem as the funeral procession began to move, while King Charles III and members of the royal family saluted. Many people cheered and clapped their hands to say goodbye as the convoy passed.

After arriving at Windsor Castle, a procession will be held to bring the Queen’s coffin to St George’s Chapel, where she is interred. The funeral ceremony begins at 4pm (Hanoi time), lasts about 45 minutes.

Jan Gard, 68, who stood by The Mall to observe the funeral procession, said she was emotional. “I was born the year the Queen was crowned, so that makes sense to me,” she added.

“I can hardly express what I witnessed. The event was truly special and memorable. Really sad. An era has come to an end,” said Camilla Moore, 53, from Nottingham.

Colin Sanders, a 61-year-old veteran who traveled from North Yorkshire to London, held back tears as he listened to her funeral news update. “I felt like we were in the hall. It was really emotional,” he said. “The Queen is like a grandmother who always loves and cares for you. She said she would serve her country to the fullest and that’s what she did.”

The route the coffin was taken from Westminster Abbey to the place of burial.  Graphics: Tien Thanh.

The route the coffin was taken from Westminster Abbey to the place of burial. Graphics: Carried into.


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