After a day of funeral filled with emotion, Queen Elizabeth II was buried this Monday, September 19 in the chapel of Saint-George of her Windsor castle.
The last day of farewell to Elizabeth II will have been like the 12 days that followed her death on September 8: charged with immense popular emotion, carefully staged, with all the pomp of the secular traditions of the British monarchy. It had been planned for at least 20 years.
In the middle of the morning, to the sound of bagpipes, the coffin of the sovereign, surmounted by the scintillating imperial crown, left Westminster Hall, the oldest part of Parliament, to reach neighboring Westminster Abbey. Dozens of sailors pulled him, followed by King Charles III, his siblings and children, brothers William, the heir, and Harry. They were joined in the Abbey by Queen Consort Camilla, Kate, the new Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Harry’s wife. But also the two eldest of William and Kate, George, nine years old, now second in the order of succession, and Charlotte, seven years old, very impressed under her little black hat.
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In attendance were heads of state and government from around the world, including US Presidents Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron; the six surviving former British prime ministers, from John Major to Boris Johnson; and European crowned heads, from King Felipe VI of Spain to King Philippe of Belgium and Prince Albert of Monaco.
” In a well-known speech, delivered on her 21st birthday, Her late Majesty declared that her entire life would be devoted to the service of the nation and the Commonwealth “, recalled the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church which was led by the Queen. ” Rarely has a promise been so well kept. “, he added, paying tribute to a queen “ joyful, present for so many, touching a multitude of lives “. The ceremony ended with two minutes of poignant silence, observed across the country, before the national anthem which now celebrates Charles III, God Save the King.
After a parade bringing together 6,000 soldiers through London, the coffin reached Windsor, about forty kilometers west of the British capital. Throwing a flower, clapping or wiping away a tear, thousands of people massed along the roads leading to the residence where Elizabeth, still a princess, had taken refuge during the Second World War, then spent most of her last years.
The procession, flanked by royal guards in red uniforms and black fur caps, arrived walking along the Long Walk through the estate. After a final solemn procession, walking through a crowded Windsor estate, and a religious ceremony in front of 800 people, the coffin was slowly lowered into the royal vault of the chapel. Shortly before, the Lord Chamberlain had broken his staff and then placed it on the coffin, a symbolic gesture to signify the end of his reign.
Elizabeth II then disappeared forever from the eyes of the world. The British anthem sounded and it was over. There was only one last opportunity left for the close family to gather, in private, in the evening for the transfer of the coffin, with that of Philip, the husband of Elizabeth II who died in 2021, in the George VI memorial in the chapel, alongside the parents of Elizabeth II and her sister Margaret.
ELIZABETH II antenna special edition (1/3)
ELIZABETH II antenna special edition (2/3)