Farewell the well: Curtains come down on Queen Elizabeth II reign as she’s sent to eternal resting place

Farewell the well: Curtains come down on Queen Elizabeth II reign as she’s sent to eternal resting place


King Charles III led his family and the UK in the long, final goodbye to his mother Queen Elizabeth II from Westminster Hall on Monday, with invited guests taking their seats at Westminster Abbey since 8am, hours before the beginning of the funeral service.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg and Prof Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, were among the first notable guests to have been caught on camera while taking their seats in the splendid Abbey.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg was also spotted at the church, where the Queen got married in 1947 and crowned in 1953.  The Princess of Wales’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, joined the congregation approximately two hours prior the beginning of the service, wearing sombre black outfits.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron were seen queuing alongside other guests, including Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, to get to their seats.

Yesterday, the Macrons and US President Joe Biden were among the thousands of people who walked through Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the 96-year-old late sovereign. 

The funeral began with a tenor bell tolling “every minute for 96 minutes” to mark each year of the Queen’s life. Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, the Dean of Westminster, was in charge of the funeral service from 11am until the two-minute silence at 11.55am.

They later joined her son, now King, and other prominent members of the Firm at one of the biggest receptions held at Buckingham Palace in years. As it has happened since the death of Elizabeth II, the new monarch will be accompanied throughout today by his wife, Queen Camilla. 

The former Duchess of Cornwall paid an emotional televised tribute to the Queen, aired yesterday by the BBC shortly before the minute of silence held at 8pm.

Speaking about the record-breaking monarch, Camilla said: “She’s got those wonderful blue eyes, that when she smiles they light up her whole face. I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable.”

Later Monday, the royal couple were be joined by other members of the Royal Family – including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.  Some members of the Royal Household are also to be part of the cortege.

The funeral procession departed from the Hall, where Queen Elizabeth II has been lying in state since Wednesday. The doors of the Hall closed to the public at 6.30am on Monday.

The Queen’s firstborn acceded to the throne on September 8, after his mother died “peacefully” at Balmoral Castle, her beloved Scottish residence. The 73-year-old sovereign has since had little time to privately mourn the Queen, as he has undertaken several duties necessary to mark his new role as the head of state of the UK and 14 other nations.

Accompanied on most occasions by his doting wife Camilla, the King has since, among other engagements, toured the four nations, met the heads of the British Armed Forces and received the Governors-General of the realms.

Last Friday, he led his three siblings during an emotional tribute to the Queen. Entering Westminster Hall as thousands of members of the public were queueing to pay their respects to the late sovereign, King Charles took his place at the front of the coffin for a 15-minute-long vigil.

Charles’s sister Princess Anne and youngest brother Prince Edward stood at the sides of the catafalque, while Prince Andrew – donning a military uniform in public for the first time since he stepped back as a working royal – was at the back of the coffin.

The following day, these senior royals’ children took part in a similar and hugely emotional vigil.

  • An Express report
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