Mon, 26 Sep 2022

London Holds Queen's Funeral at Westminster Abbey

Voice of America
19 Sep 2022, 21:43 GMT+10

The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is being held Monday at London's historic Westminster Abbey.

Her body had been lying in state since Wednesday at Westminster Hall and thousands filed past her coffin to pay their respects.

Hundreds of heads of state, including U.S. President Joe Biden with first lady Jill Biden, and dignitaries from around the world have flown into London to attend Elizabeth's funeral which is certain to be full of British pomp and circumstance. More than 2,000 invitations were extended to the state funeral, including invitations to some public servants.

The queen is reported to have had a hand in planning some of the details of her final farewell.

Spectators are lining the streets outside the abbey.

The dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, is presiding over the service, with the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivering a sermon. Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed to her office by the queen just two days before Elizabeth died, is reading a lesson.

The queen's coffin is being carried to Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy, drawn by 142 sailors. The carriage also was used for the funeral of Elizabeth's father, King George VI, in 1952.

Westminster Abbey was also the site of Elizabeth's coronation in 1953 and her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.

After the funeral, King Charles III and other members of the royal family, in a walking procession, will accompany Elizabeth's coffin to Wellington Arch, Elizabeth's last stop before her burial at Windsor Castle.

Britain's last state funeral was held almost 60 years ago for Winston Churchill, the prime minister who led Britain to a World War II victory.

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