Elizabeth II death: Crowds gather in London to see queen’s coffin procession

LONDON– Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will leave Buckingham Palace for the last time on Wednesday as it is carried amid somber displays on a horse-drawn gun-carriage past crowds of mourners to the Houses of Parliament, where the late monarch spent four days in the state will lie.

Crowds began streaming early along the flag-lined shopping center in front of the Palace for the procession from the monarch’s official London residence to historic Westminster Hall in Parliament.

They are the latest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of sorrow and respect for the only monarch most Britons have ever known, who died on Thursday aged 96 at her beloved summer retreat in Balmoral, ending a 70-year reign.

People stood behind metal barriers or sat on folding chairs, umbrellas ready, take-away coffee in hand under gray skies hours before the coffin was due to leave the landmark palace at 2:22 p.m. (1322 GMT).

Crowds have lined the path of the Queen’s coffin whenever it has been moved on its long journey from Scotland back to London.

Thousands braved a typical London drizzle on Tuesday night as the state hearse pulled in slowly from a military airfield into the heart of London, with courtesy lights illuminating the flag-bedecked coffin of the sovereign.

Geoff Colgan, a cab driver who took the day off to witness the moment, stood stunned in the moments after the Queen’s coffin rolled by.

“It’s one of those things that you know was going to happen but when it happens you can’t believe it,” he said, holding his toddler.

Earlier in Edinburgh, some 33,000 people walked in silent respect at her coffin, which had been lying in St Giles’ Cathedral for 24 hours.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to do the same in London as the Queen rests for four days before her state funeral on Monday in the 900-year-old Westminster Hall, Parliament’s oldest building.

The Hall is where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried, where kings and queens hosted sumptuous medieval banquets and where Queen Elizabeth II was given ceremonial addresses during her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees.

Chris Bond, from Truro in south-west England, was among those queuing on the banks of the River Thames. He also attended the Queen’s mother’s funeral in 2002.

“Obviously it’s quite difficult to queue all day, but when you walk through those doors into Westminster Hall, this wonderful historic building, there was a great sense of stillness and you were told to take your time take it as you like, and that’s just amazing,” he said.

“We know the Queen lived to a good age and served the country for a long time, but we hoped that day would never come,” he added.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://6abc.com/queen-elizabeth-ii-coffin-death-king-charles/12228677/ Elizabeth II death: Crowds gather in London to see queen’s coffin procession

Alley Einstein

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