UK falls silent for funeral of Queen Elizabeth II – POLITICO

LONDON — The United Kingdom fell silent Monday as the nation bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II.

At an extraordinary funeral service in London’s Westminster Abbey attended by royalty, world leaders, foreign dignitaries and members of the British public, tributes were paid to the woman who ruled the United Kingdom for an unprecedented seven decades, and whose reign spanned the era of Winston Churchill to the present day.

The hundreds assembled at the gothic abbey — the site of the queen’s own 1953 coronation as well as her 1947 marriage to Prince Philip — heard readings from the Common Book of Prayer, the traditional prayer book of the Anglican Church, and sang hymns including “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Has Ended,” and “The Lord Is My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want.”

As Elizabeth’s son, King Charles III, listened on, mourners including US President Joe Biden and French leader Emmanuel Macron heard from David Hoyle, the dean of Westminster, as he paid tribute to the queen’s “lifelong sense of duty and dedication.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the leader of the Church of England, emphasized the queen’s Christian faith and recalled her own words from decades before.

“Her majesty famously declared on her 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth,” he told those assembled. “Rarely has such a promise been so well understood.”

And he said of the queen: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer. But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten.”

Few leaders, Welby noted, “receive the outpouring of love that we have seen,” and, recalling the queen’s address to the nation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he concluded: “We will meet again.”

Patricia Scotland, the secretary general of the commonwealth of nations, and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss — appointed by the queen just two days before the monarch’s death — read biblical verses from Corinthians and John respectively.

As the service concluded, Britons — granted the day off work and school at the conclusion of a 10-day period of national mourning — paused for a nationwide two minutes’ silence. The UK’s national anthem, its words now altered to God Save The King, then ran out of the abbey.

A mile-and-a-quarter long procession led by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Britain’s armed forces, Northern Ireland’s police service, and workers from the country’s National Health Service, then followed, making its way through the UK capital and passing the famous Buckingham Palace balcony from which the queen greeted the nation throughout her long life.

The queen’s coffin then traveled by royal hearse to its final resting place, St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, just outside London, where a more low-key committal service is taking place attended by members of the royal family and the queen’s staff.

Amid hymns and readings, the dean of Windsor, David Connell, hailed the queen’s “unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world” as well as her “kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family and friends and neighbors.”

Following the committal service, the queen’s remains are to be interred alongside those of Prince Philip.

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