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Queen Elizabeth II is based on state as crowds pay respects

LONDON (AP) The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace going back time Wednesday, borne on a horse-drawn carriage and saluted by cannons and the tolling of Big Ben, in a solemn procession through the flag-draped, crowd-lined streets of London to Westminster Hall. There, Britains longest-serving monarch will lie in state for the planet to mourn.

Her son, King Charles III, and his siblings and sons marched behind the coffin, that was topped by way of a wreath of white roses and her crown resting on a purple velvet pillow.

The military procession from the palace underscored Elizabeths seven decades as head of state because the national mourning process shifted to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the U.K. capital.

Crowds shuffled past her coffin in the heart of 900-year-old Westminster Hall well in to the night. People flowed in two lines, with thousands likely to pay their respects before her state funeral Monday.

They moved silently in a reliable pace down the steps of the hall under an excellent stained glass window, then at night coffin that has been covered with the Royal Standard and have been placed on an elevated platform referred to as a catafalque by eight pallbearers.

There have been couples and parents with children, veterans with medals clinking on dark blue blazers, lawmakers and members of the home of Lords. Some wore black or suits and ties, others jeans and sneakers, and all had waited hours to stand while watching coffin for a couple moments

Many bowed or curtseyed plus some were in tears.

Thousands who had waited for the procession all night across the Mall beyond your palace along with other locations along the way organized phones and cameras, plus some wiped away tears, because the casket rolled by. Applause broke out since it passed through Horse Guards Parade. Thousands more in nearby Hyde Park watched on large screens.

The coffin was topped with the Imperial State Crown encrusted with almost 3,000 diamonds and a bouquet of flowers and plants, including pine from the Balmoral Estate, where Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at age 96.

Two officers and 32 troops from the very first Battalion Grenadier Guards in red uniforms and bearskin hats walked on either side of the gun carriage. The 38-minute procession ended at Westminster Hall, where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led something attended by Charles along with other royals.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye have confidence in God, believe also in me. In my own Fathers house are many mansions: if it weren’t so, I’d have told you, Welby read from the Book of John.

Following a short service, the captain of The Queens Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, assisted by way of a senior sergeant, laid the royal standard of the regiment on the steps of the catafalque.

Four officers from family members Cavalry – two from the life span Guards and two from the Blues Royals – began the vigil, taking their places at each corner and bowing their heads.

Thousands had queued up across the banks of the River Thames, waiting to enter the hall and pay their respects to the only real monarch most Britons have ever known after her 70 years on the throne.

Esther Ravenor, a Kenyan who lives in the U.K. said she was humbled as she watched the procession.

I really like the queen, I really like the royal family, and you also know, I needed to be here, she said. She actually is a genuine role model. She loved people, most of us. Especially someone like me, a migrant woman arriving at the U.K. 30 years back, I was permitted to be here also to be free and safe, therefore i really honor her. She was a large part of my entire life.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, of family members division, who organized the ceremonial areas of the queens funeral, said it had been our last possibility to do our duty for the queen, and its own our first possibility to take action for the king, and which makes people very proud.

Troops mixed up in procession have been preparing because the queen died. So had the horses of the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Sgt. Tom Jenks said the horses were specially trained, including the way to handle weeping mourners, in addition to flowers and flags being tossed while watching procession.

Heathrow Airport temporarily halted flights, saying it could ensure silence over central London because the ceremonial procession moves from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.

President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday with Charles to provide his condolences, the White House said.

Biden recalled the Queens kindness and hospitality she hosted them and the initial lady at Windsor Castle in June, the statement said. He also conveyed the fantastic admiration of the American people for the Queen, whose dignity and constancy deepened the enduring friendship and special relationship between your USA and the uk.

Crowds have lined the route of the queens coffin whenever it’s been moved in its long journey from Scotland to London.

On Tuesday night, thousands braved an average London drizzle because the hearse, with interior lights illuminating the casket, drove slowly from an air base to Buckingham Palace.

Earlier, in Edinburgh, about 33,000 people filed silently past her coffin in 24 hours at St. Giles Cathedral.

The type of people snaking across the banks of the River Thames to enter Westminster Hall, the oldest building in Parliament, was nearly 3 miles long in the afternoon, in accordance with a government tracker.

The hall is where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried, where kings and queens hosted magnificent medieval banquets, and where ceremonial addresses were presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her silver, golden and diamond jubilees.

Chris Bond, from Truro in southwest England, was the type of waiting to start to see the queens coffin. He also attended the lying in state of the queens mother in 2002.

Obviously, its very difficult queuing the whole day, however when you walk through those doors into Westminster Hall, that marvelous, historic building, there is an excellent sense of hush and something was told you take just as much time as you prefer, and its own just amazing, he said.

We realize the queen was an excellent age and she served the united states quite a long time, but we hoped today could not come, he added.

Chris Imafidon, secured the sixth invest the queue.

I’ve 1,001 emotions when I see her, he said. I wish to say, God, she was an angel, because she touched many good people and did so many good stuff.

Associated Press writer Sylvia Hui contributed.

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Follow AP coverage of Queen at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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