Written by 10:27 pm Music

Huge crowds follow queen’s funeral in silence and awe

SOURCE: REUTERS: The tens of 1000’s gathered in central London for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II fell silent and bowed their heads on Monday to follow her funeral service in Westminster Abbey and watch the procession of her coffin afterward through town.

Some watching in Hyde Park dabbed their eyes and others sobbed in the course of the service while later children were hoisted within the air or placed on parents’ shoulders to see her coffin pass.

There was also applause amongst the group for a grand state funeral of pageantry and rousing music that captured what number of felt for the queen, who died on September 8 aged 96. She had been on the throne for 70 years, meaning most Britons have known no other monarch.

“I find it hard to precise in words what we just witnessed. This was really special and memorable,” said Camilla Moore, 53, from Nottingham. “It was terribly sad. So very, very sad. The top of an era.”

Crowds followed the funeral service on large television screens or from a radio broadcast on loudspeakers.

Colin Sanders, 61, a retired soldier who had come to London from North Yorkshire to bid farewell to the queen, struggled to carry back tears listening on the Mall to the ceremony.

“It felt like we were there and a part of it… it was very moving,” he said.

“I knew I’d well up … She’s like your grandma, a loving and caring person. She said she’d serve the country and that’s what she did.”

After the service in Westminster Abbey the queen’s coffin was borne on a gun carriage through central London, past her Buckingham Palace home to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. From there, it was placed on a hearse to be driven to Windsor Castle, west of London, for a service at St. George’s Chapel.

The crowds of young and old had come from around Britain and beyond, many camping out overnight to secure a great spot for watching the country’s first state funeral since 1965, when World War Two leader Winston Churchill was afforded the respect.
People climbed lampposts and stood on barriers and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.

Chloe Jesson, 59, had travelled south from Manchester and said she found the ceremony emotional, moving and dramatic.

“You felt the sadness for the country and her family. At the identical time it was a celebration of her life… I occasionally cried, but I used to be never sad, if that makes any sense,” she said.

“The most effective thing was there have been people from all walks of life, each race and religion and everybody got here here to have a good time.”

Filling London

Greater than an hour before the funeral service began all viewing areas in central London were declared full. Authorities had said they expected as much as one million people might travel to the capital to follow the funeral.

Melanie Odey, 60, a teacher, had camped out in a tent together with her two daughters and grandchildren after arriving on Sunday afternoon.

“This can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of history, to pay your respects,” she said. The queen “cared a lot about this country.”

Some within the crowds were silent and sombre, wearing black. Others wore shiny colours and said they desired to have a good time the queen’s life.

“I wouldn’t have missed this,” said Chugg, 51, who recalled seeing the queen as a baby in 1977 in the course of the silver jubilee celebrations of Elizabeth’s 25 years on the throne.

“I used to be going to wear black, however it’s a celebration of the queen’s life too, isn’t it? She liked to face out in the group,” added Evans, 50, clad in white and green.

Anna Kathryn from Richmond, in southwest London, had never met or seen the queen. Yet she said her family felt they’d a private tie together with her.

“It’s like we’ve had a death within the family, we couldn’t miss this,” she said. “She was such a shiny spot in everyone’s lives and now it looks like that light has gone out.”

Towns and cities throughout Britain were broadcasting the state funeral.


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