© Reuters. People pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth of England, after her death, while she is at state, in London, England September 17, 2022. Parliament of the United Kingdom / Jessica Taylor / Handout via REUTERS
By Michael Holden, Jeff Mason and Kate Holton
LONDON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth on the eve of her state funeral on Sunday, saying Britain and the world were lucky to have a servant. Such majesty and devotion on the throne for 70 years.
Biden, among the many dignitaries and royals from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas who traveled to London for Monday’s funeral, said the queen’s death at 96 had left a huge hole. on the global stage.
“To all the people of England, to all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you,” Biden said after he signed a condolence book and visited her lying in state. Westminster. “You’ve been lucky to have her for 70 years, we all are. The world is better for her.”
He said he had comforted the queen’s heir, King Charles, that the queen would be “with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment and that is a reassuring idea”.
Hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to London to bid farewell to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, with people from all over the country and abroad lining up for hours to bring her coffin into the stream. grave.
Biden followed in the footsteps of other world leaders as he appeared on the balcony overlooking the coffin in the vast historic Westminster Hall, made the sign of the cross and quickly placed his hand over his heart in reverence.
The US President then joined Charles and other leaders for a reception the evening before the state funeral https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/plans-queen-elizabeths-state-fu mourning -2022-09-15.
Biden is one of 14 US presidents https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/queen-elizabeths-reign-featured-enchiladas-with-reagan-dancing-with-ford-2022-09-12 in office The reign of the queen, in which Elizabeth met all but Lyndon Johnson, began with Harry Truman in 1951 while still a princess.
Britain will join presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens and monarchs representing nearly 200 countries and territories at the funeral.
French President Emmanuel Macron was seen strolling near the Thames earlier on Sunday, mingling with people gathered in the streets around parliament.
Liz Truss, who was appointed UK prime minister by the queen two days before her death, had the opportunity to meet leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and Poland over the weekend.
However, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is no longer expected, according to a British government source. The invitation of the man Western leaders believe ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 has been controversial. He has denied any role in the murder.
He invited https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/world-leaders-come-london-queen-elizabeths-fu tang-2022-09-12 heads of state or ambassadors from any country that country has full diplomatic relations, but that is up to the country to which they send. The source added that the change was made by Saudi Arabia.
For all the high-level rituals and careful diplomacy of the funeral, for the queen’s family it is also the time when they will bid farewell to their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Prince Andrew https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/disgraced-prince-andrew-back-spotlight-still-out-cold-2022-09-15, the queen’s second son, has paid tribute pay homage to “Mother, Mother “Your Majesty” on Sunday, reflecting the roles he said Elizabeth fulfilled during her reign.
“Mom, your love for your son, your compassion, your care, your confidence that I will cherish forever,” he said.
Andrew has renounced grace, been stripped of his title of “His Royal Highness” and removed from royal duties following a scandal over his friendship with the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender and a related sexual assault allegation.
Andrew, Duke of York, has not been charged with any crime and has denied wrongdoing. He paid to settle a case in US civil court.
On Saturday, his two daughters joined the queen’s six other grandchildren, including Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, for a ceremony around her coffin.
Camilla https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/rottweiler-queen-consort-camillas-rise-shadow-diana-2022-09-08, wife of the new king and now Queen Consort, said bud The late queen’s smile is “unforgettable”, in her own tribute https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/i-will-always-remember-queen-elizabeths-smile-camilla-pays -tribute-2022-09-18 on Sunday.
Monday’s funeral and the period of mourning drew hundreds of thousands of people to central London, many flocking to see the memorial flowers and feel the atmosphere.
The government recommends against traveling to join the queue to see the coffin before it closes later on Sunday.
It is a wish to pay tribute to the famous monarch, the only person most Britons know since her accession to the throne in 1952, tens of thousands of people have waited patiently for hours. beside the River Thames to spend a few brief seconds beside her coffin. .
Many cried, said prayers, bowed their heads or fell to their knees.
Dignitaries have also made reservations on balconies to enjoy the view of her lying down, with leaders from Canada, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere paying their respects.
Gary Thompson, 54, from London, told Reuters: “I was blown away by the amount of people here. “When you’re here, it’s really overwhelming. It’s really unbelievable.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said “absolute silence” was one of the things that left the person in a state of shock, adding that she shared her moment next to the coffin on Friday with people waited in line for 20 hours or so.
“The Queen was here for her people and now her people are there for her,” she told the BBC on Sunday.
Prince William joined his father Charles to address the waiting line on Saturday. “She wouldn’t believe all this, she really wouldn’t,” he said. “Surprised.”
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England held a series of carefully choreographed ceremonies in the 10 days after Elizabeth’s death, reflecting the traditions and pageantry of a royal family whose lineage spanned nearly 1,000 years.
A National Minute of Silence will be held at 8pm (1900 GMT) on Sunday, marked by Big Ben’s highlight event, towering over the Westminster Building.
The London Police Force described the funeral as the largest security operation they have ever carried out.
Members of the public camped out to secure positions on the procession route and near Westminster Abbey, where the coronations, weddings and burials of English kings and queens were held, followed by by William I in 1066.
Britain has not held a state funeral on the scale planned for the queen since then for World War II leader Winston Churchill in 1965.