- King Charles visits Wales, final stop on UK tour
- The King and the Brothers and Sisters Will Stand on Friday Night
- Police launched heavy security operation before funeral
LONDON, Sep 16 (Reuters) – As hundreds of thousands of people thronged London ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Monday, mile-long queues of people waiting to see her lay in the kingdom were temporarily suspended on Friday. It was closed as it had risen to capacity. ,
People of all ages and all walks of life have paid their respects to the late Queen, joining a well-organized line that extends along the south bank of the Thames and then up the river to Westminster Hall of Parliament.
But by mid-morning, the line was much bigger – a testament to the public’s respect and affection for the Queen, who died in Scotland on 8 September at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign.
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“Entry will be blocked for at least 6 hours,” Britain’s Department of Culture said shortly before 10am (0900 GMT), adding, “Please do not attempt to join the queue until it reopens.”
It warned of a wait time of up to 12 hours. Altogether around 750,000 people are expected to enter outside the Queen’s coffin.
On Friday night, King Charles, who was visiting Wales on Friday, and his sister Princess Anne and brothers Princes Andrew and Edward would keep a silent watch around the coffin, joining the ceremonial guard for a 15-minute period.
“There’s no sensation in my knees or my feet,” said Appa, a London mourner who queued up.
“But it went well. Most of the people have been lovely and we had a great time.”
Naomi Brown, another London mourner, said she waited nearly 11 hours after joining the queue after work on Thursday night.
“I just thought, I’m never going to do this again. I have a lot of respect for the Queen, she never falters even once,” Brown, 29, told Reuters. Said it was near the front. Queue.
“She’s been such a good symbol for our country. It’s like we’ve lost a family member.”
The coffin stands on a purple-clad catapult in ancient Westminster Hall, draped in the Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown placed on top.
Soldiers and other officers in ceremonial uniforms keep watch around it as people proceed to pay tribute after their long wait. Many have tears in their eyes, and others have saluted or bowed their heads.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in London for the funeral, was among those visiting Westminster Hall on Friday, stopping to curse as she entered the coffin.
London’s police force said the state funeral would be the biggest security operation ever, as the prime minister, president and royals come together to pay tribute.
Senior police officer Stuart Kundi told reporters that the force was preparing for incidents ranging from threats of terrorism to protests and mob lynching.
US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are among foreign guests who have confirmed they will attend.
travel to wales
King Charles, who assumed the throne upon his mother’s death, meanwhile, is visiting Wales on the final leg of his tour of the United Kingdom to acknowledge his position as the new monarch and head of state and greet the public. Were.
Charles and his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, attended a service at Cardiff’s Landaff Cathedral service, then spoke to well-wishers outside.
Wales holds a special significance for the new king, who held the title of Prince of Wales for five decades before last week’s accession.
Speaking in the Welsh Parliament, Charles said: “In all the years of his reign, the land of Wales could not have been closer to my mother’s heart. I know that she has taken great pride in many of your great achievements – even He also felt you deeply in times of sorrow.”
“I am determined to honor that selfless example,” he said, speaking in Welsh and English.
“I take on my new duties with great gratitude for the privilege of being able to serve as Prince of Wales. That ancient title … I now give to my son William.”
There were some anti-monarchy protesters outside Cardiff Castle, where Charles met Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.
One person held a banner saying “Cancel Royals” and a placard that read “And Prince of Wales Title”. Another man held a sign saying: “No to Monarchy, No to Charles, Great Reset”. Another read: “Not My King”.
Similar small protests have taken place outside Parliament and in Edinburgh over the past few days, although King Charles has enjoyed increasing support since Elizabeth. read more
A royal spokesman said the new Prince of Wales, William, and his brother Prince Harry and the Queen’s six other grandchildren would stand at the coffin on Saturday evening.
Royal officials said that in an adjustment to protocol, both Harry and his uncle Prince Andrew will be allowed to wear military uniforms when they are on guard. Andrew will be on duty with his siblings on Friday evening.
Both are war veterans, with Andrew serving as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot in the Falklands War and Harry serving two rounds of duty with the British Army in Afghanistan.
But so far he has appeared in processions in morning suits because he lost his honorary military title when he withdrew from public royal duties.
The state funeral is likely to be one of the grandest ceremonies the British capital has ever seen, with thousands of military personnel attending.
The Earl Marshal, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who is in charge of state occasions, said he hoped the funeral would “unite people around the world”.
London’s Heathrow Airport has said it will cancel 15% of its flight schedule on Monday to reduce noise in the city and guarantee that the skies will remain calm during the two-minute silence at the end of the funeral. read more
Monday has been declared a national holiday. Many shops will remain closed and many other economic activities will come to a standstill. Thousands of people face canceled doctor appointments or operations under state healthcare.
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Additional reporting by Alistair Smout and Farooq Suleman; Writing by Angus McSwan; Editing by Kate Holton and Allison Williams
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