Biden among thousands of respect for Queen Elizabeth II

LONDON (AFP) – US President Joe Biden paid his respects in the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday as thousands of police, hundreds of British troops and an army of officials made final preparations for the Queen’s state funeral – a stunning display of national mourning. Also be the largest gathering of world leaders for years.

People across Britain paused for a minute’s silence at 8pm in memory of the only king they ever knew. In Westminster Hall where the Queen is in state The continuous stream of mourners stopped for 60 seconds as people watched a minute of thought in deep silence.

In Windsor, where the Queen will be laid to rest on Monday evening after her funeral at Westminster Abbey, it began to rain as the crowd fell silent for a moment. Some have set up small camps and chairs outside Windsor Castle, with plans to spend the night there reserving the best places to view the Queen’s coffin when he arrives.

“Well, it’s just a night and a day of our lives. Elizabeth has given us—you know—70. So the rest isn’t much to ask for, is it?” said Fred Sweeney, 52, who prepped his place with the two Union flags on the large flag poles.

Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were among thousands of mourners – from locals and tourists to royals and world leaders – to pay their respects. The President made the sign of the cross and placed his hand on his heart as he stood quietly near the casket in the ornate 900-year-old hall with his wife and US Ambassador Jane Hartley.

Biden then signed his official condolence book and attended a reception on Sunday at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III. He is one of 500 world leaders and members of the royal family who were invited to the Queen’s state funeral on Mondayalong with hundreds of dignitaries, politicians, war veterans and workers of British charities.

Biden called Queen Elizabeth II “gracious”, “honorable” and “everything about service” as he signed a book of condolences, saying his heart took his heart to the royal family.

“Queen Elizabeth lived her life for the people,” Jill Biden wrote in a book for Husbands and Ambassadors. “She served with wisdom and grace. We will never forget her warmth and kindness and the conversations we had.”

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose call drew criticism from human rights groups over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, will not attend. He is expected to represent Saudi Arabia with another royal prince, an emir. Turki bin Mohammed.

As the dignitaries poured in, hundreds hoping to see the Queen’s coffin prepared to spend the night outside in the longest queue many had ever seen. Authorities closed the mile-wide waiting list late on Sunday so everyone in the line can get past the coffin before Monday morning, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.

Family by family, thousands of people joined in line around the clock, braving cold temperatures all night long and waiting up to 17 hours in a queue that stretched for more than 5 miles (8 kilometres).

Lauren Wilson, 36, was on the much shorter waiting list for people with mobility issues. She said she wanted to experience the coffin in its personal condition.

“The world is in such a strange place and then this happened. It feels more important,” she said.

She was concerned that the festivals surrounding Elizabeth’s death would deprive the Queen’s relatives of the ability to come to terms with their loss.

“The family is not allowed to grieve. I find it very heartbreaking,” she said.

The Queen’s eight grandchildren, led by the heir to the throne, Prince WilliamThey circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed during a silent vigil on Saturday evening.

Among the foreign leaders in London was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who told the BBC she was humbled to represent her nation at the funeral and to witness the national outpouring of grief and respect for the late Queen.

“The thing I will take away from this period is just the beauty of the audience’s response, the kindness you see from the audience, the patience, the camaraderie. This has, to me, been the most touching tribute ever, the general response of the British people,” she said.

Monday was declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth, who died on September 8 at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Her funeral will be broadcast live to more than 200 countries and regions around the world and shown to crowds in parks and public spaces across the country.

Police officers from all over the country will be on duty as part of the largest one-day police operation in London history.

Camilla, Queen ConsortIn a video message, she paid tribute to her mother-in-law, saying the Queen had “carved her own role” as a “recluse woman” on a male-dominated global stage.

I will always remember her smile. Camilla, who is married to Charles, said: “This smile is unforgettable.

And the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, was among the mourners who paid their respects to the queen’s coffin. British royals said Zelenska met Catherine, Princess of Wales, at Buckingham Palace on Sunday afternoon. They did not disclose more details. The British government has been among the strongest supporters of Ukraine since its invasion by Russia in February.

On Saturday night, it was time for the grandchildren to mourn. William and Prince Harry, Charles’s sons, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, visiting Tindall and Peter Phillips. Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood with his head bowed on top of the coffin and Harry at his feet. Both princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. The crowd kept advancing slowly and silently.

“You can see that they were thinking very carefully about their grandmother, the Queen,” said Ian Moquette, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “It was nice to see them all together as a group of grandchildren, given the things that have happened over the past few years.”

The lie in the country continues until early Monday morning, when the Queen’s coffin is carried on a cannon cart towed by 142 Royal Navy sailors to nearby Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the conclusion of 10 days of national mourning for Britain’s longest reign. monarch.

After Monday prayers at the Abbey, the late Queen’s coffin will be carried through the historic heart of London on a government cannon cart. She will then be taken to Windsor, where the Queen will be buried alongside her late husband Prince Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.

Sumita Tanda has placed bright red roses with huge tribute blooms near Windsor Castle.

“I feel very privileged to be a resident of Windsor,” she said. “I just wanted to pay my respects.”


Reporters Danica Kirka and David Keaton contributed to the Associated Press.


Follow the Associated Press’ coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at

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