Hundreds of thousands pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II
By Susy Hodges
Hundreds of thousands of mourners have streamed to London’s Westminster Hall over the past four days to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth who died on September 8th after 70 years on the throne.
The queues to view the Queen’s coffin lying-in-state have often stretched back more than eight kilometres with waiting times hitting almost 24 hours at one point. Those patiently standing in line were not just Britons but included many others from across the world who travelled to London to pay their respects.
On Saturday evening all eight of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren stood in vigil by her coffin for 15 minutes as the line of mourners continued to file past in silence.
Saturday’s vigil followed one on Friday in which the Queen’s four children — Charles, now the new monarch, Anne, Andrew, and Edward — stood by the coffin.
Meanwhile, around 500 world leaders and foreign dignitaries were travelling to London to attend the Queen’s state funeral on Monday in Westminster Abbey. They included the heads of state from France, Italy, the United States, Japan, and members of Royal families from many European countries.
Pope Francis will be represented at the Queen’s funeral by British Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. Earlier this month, the archbishop was part of the delegation that accompanied Pope Francis on his apostolic visit to Kazakhstan.
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