Queen Elizabeth II lies in state after a solemn procession from Buckingham Palace

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Top Stories

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Grenadier Guards flank the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London on Wednesday. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

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Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

LONDON — The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace for the last time Wednesday, borne on a horse-drawn carriage and saluted by cannons and the tolling of Big Ben, in a solemn procession through the flag-draped, crowd-lined streets of London to Westminster Hall. There, Britain’s longest-serving monarch will lie in state for the world to mourn. Her son, King Charles III, and his siblings and sons marched behind the coffin, which was topped by a wreath of white roses and her crown resting on a purple velvet pillow.

The queen will lie in state for four days until her funeral Monday, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to file past. Eight pall bearers carried the oak and lead-lined coffin into Westminster Hall, placing it on a raised platform known as a catafalque. The military procession from Buckingham Palace was designed to underscore the queen’s seven decades as head of state as the national mourning process shifted to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the U.K. capital.

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King Charles III follows the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

Martin Meissner/AP

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Martin Meissner/AP

Thousands who had waited for hours along The Mall outside the palace and other locations along the route held up phones and cameras, and some wiped away tears, as the procession passed. Applause broke out as the coffin passed through Horse Guards Parade.

The coffin was draped in the Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial State Crown — encrusted with almost 3,000 diamonds — and a bouquet of flowers and plants, including pine from the Balmoral Estate, where Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

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Members of the armed forces walk in formation near the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, adorned with a Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown, before a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

Lee Goddard/Ministry of Defense via AP

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Lee Goddard/Ministry of Defense via AP

Two officers and 32 troops from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in red uniforms and bearskin hats walked on either side of the gun carriage. The 38-minute procession ended at Westminster Hall, where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a service attended by Charles and other royals. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you,” Welby read from the Book of John. Thousands had queued up along the banks of the River Thames, waiting their turn to enter the hall and pay their respects.

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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Hall in London.

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Gregorio Borgia/AP

The crowds are the latest manifestation of the nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the only monarch most Britons have ever known after her 70 years on the throne. Joan Bucklehurst, a 50-year-old retail worker from Cheshire in northwestern England, said the queen “meant so much for everybody.”

“She was amazing, yeah,” she added, choking up with emotion. “So, we had to be here. We’ve been here a few times when there …

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