London begins welcoming guests to the funeral of Elizabeth II and Joe Biden

Published on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 01:05

Dignitaries and crowned heads have begun arriving in London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, who died nine days ago, including US President Joe Biden, who landed near the capital on Saturday evening under heightened surveillance.

The White House tenant and his wife are due to pray in front of the monarch’s remains at 5:00pm GMT on Sunday, which will remain on public view in London for 24 hours.

It is unclear whether Westminster Hall will be evacuated to guarantee the security of the US president. When members of the royal family or other heads of state watched, the flow of visitors was unhindered.

Joe Biden will attend a reception for King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening.

For the king, the diplomatic ball kicked off Saturday with a meeting with representatives of the Commonwealth’s 14 other kingdoms, including Canada, New Zealand or Australia, as his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, spoke publicly for the first time since the death. of Elizabeth II.

– “Lonely Girl” –

“It must have been very difficult for her to be a single woman. There were no female prime ministers or presidents. She was the only one, so I think she carved out her own role,” the queen consort said in an interview. It will be broadcast in full by the BBC on Sunday, before a minute’s silence is observed across the United Kingdom at 8:00pm local time (19:00 GMT).

Camilla, who praised the late sovereign’s “unforgettable” smile when she married Princess Diana, long disliked by Britons for being Charles’s mistress, was more discreet after Elizabeth’s death on September 8.

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It was only last February that Elizabeth II approved Camilla becoming “queen consort” in due course.

For nine days, Charles III’s wife slowly slips into her new dress alongside the new monarch and assists him in his work, most notably for organizing the first state funeral since former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.

London is preparing furiously for the event, which, in addition to the US president, is attracting distinguished guests to the capital, including his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel. .

Turkish Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro will also visit Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, or “MBS”, in his first foreign trip since ascending the throne in 2019, as well as Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Several crowned heads have been invited, such as Prince Albert of Monaco or King Felipe VI of Spain, and his father Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in 2014 and is now in exile in the United Arab Emirates.

Westminster Abbey, where the funeral will take place at 10:00 GMT on Monday, can accommodate 2,000 people.

For the police, the event promises to be even more imposing than the 2012 Olympics.

– “Brother Enemies” Reunited –

During this time, relatives of the deceased paid their respects to him, while people waited past 5 pm to see the coffin for a few seconds.

Princes William and Harry, often described as rival brothers, were reunited on Saturday evening during a funeral for the eight grandchildren of Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, under the gaze of onlookers surrounding the remains of the most famous sovereign. 96 years old after a reign of over 70 years.

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Both brothers were in uniform – Harry hasn’t worn it since retiring from the monarchy – and their six cousins, Peter, Zara, Beatrice, Eugenie, Louise, known as the Queen’s favorite granddaughter, and James made a rare appearance. General

Since Harry announced he was stepping down from the royal family in March 2020, the two children of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana have made surprise appearances with their wives Kate and Meghan two days later. The Queen on a walk in front of Windsor Castle.

– Last chance to see the Queen –

“I love you William!”: The older of the two brothers has a strong reputation as he was able to check again when William went to meet the Brits lining up before the coffin with his father at noon on Saturday.

The hours are now counted to meditate before the sovereign’s remains, which are placed in a closed coffin covered with a luxurious imperial crown.

A rare incident at the ongoing tributes: A man was charged with public disorder after he left the queue and approached the coffin on Friday evening, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Saturday evening.

The public will pay their respects to Elizabeth II until 06:30 (05:30 GMT) on Monday, a meditative, sometimes tearful final farewell to a queen who became a symbol of unity and stability during her reign, the longest in UK history.

Elizabeth II will be buried in private with her father King George VI and her husband Prince Philip at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in west London.

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