Thousands of people ready to do anything to give the last goodbye to the coffin, while the greats of the world also arrive. Meanwhile, the avenues around Westminster are already dotted with tents and sleeping bags of those who want to be in the front row for the funeralThe last official portrait of Elizabeth, and the last queue to bid her farewell Photo Video
These are the last hours. The huge queue along the Thames will soon be closed and no one will be able to enter Westminster Hall, where the queen's coffin has been resting for four days. The last night of waiting, 12-13 hours or even more, with temperatures dropping. Susan and Emma, mom and 12 year old daughter, just got to see her Majesty. «We waited all night, a good twelve hours - Susan tells us with her eyes reddened more from sleep than from emotion - It was very cold but we had enough blankets. The queue was very well organized, the volunteers offered water and food, each section was equipped with chemical toilets ». It is something that happens only once in a lifetime, Emma tells us: 'And then who knows when we will have another woman on the throne, who is not the consort of a king,' she adds. The two exchange phone numbers with the people they met in the night. They form WhatsApp groups, send each other souvenir photos. Friendships that are born to pass the time, to stay awake, because what everyone here really wants is to share their experience with others – Photo | video 1 | video 2 | video 3
IN QUEUE WITH SUDDITI - An entire family leaves the Palace of Westminster distraught, mum, dad and four children, all in ski suits. The smallest latches on to the breast, the others cry. It was tiring - admits the father - but we wanted to be there. It's a historic event, ”he explains. And that's what almost everyone says. Here is history and I want to be there.
Far behind, hundreds of thousands still await. As soon as they enter the lawn in front of the parliament they are greeted by shouts of encouragement: «Come on, you're almost there! The last few meters », the volunteers urge. You have to get rid of food and drinks, which are not allowed inside. The boy scouts collect everything for the food banks of the city, which with inflation almost 10% and an impending recession have more and more requests. There are those who collect waste, those who assist the disabled, who have a separate queue, those who offer blue blankets and some sweets. Everything is organized down to the last detail.
THE IRON IN THE SILENCE - Beside the coffin the subjects parade silently. A bow, a gesture of the head, the sign of the cross. The body is guarded and protected by three circles of soldiers, from different departments and units of the armed forces and law enforcement, ten in all. There are also the Yeomans, the guardians of the Tower of London. Silence is total. Families, couples, elderly people in wheelchairs, babies in pushchairs, almost all elegant, in black. After a long wait they have only a few seconds available in front of the bier. At the exit everyone turns one last time. Some diehards get ready for today, take their places along Whitehall and along the Mall to watch the hearse parade followed by the family before it is transported to Windsor. Last night the front row in front of the barriers was almost full. Tents, sleeping bags, camping seats, mountains of blankets. Even a few bottles of prosecco to warm up and spend the night with a lighter heart.
THE BIDENS ARE ALSO ARRIVING - Joe Biden and the first lady are discreetly ushered into the huge Westminster Hall and escorted to the boxes in front of the coffin. No queues for them, for obvious security reasons. Olena Zelenska, wife of the Ukrainian president, French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte, both in dark glasses and sneakers, also pay tribute to Her Majesty before today's funeral, which sees some 500 world leaders gathered at Westminster Abbey. . The summit of the century, someone called it. But all this - the rites, the magnificence, the glories of tradition, the processions, the parades and a farewell that has lasted for ten days - was not meant for the powerful of the earth, but for the subjects. It is for them that Elizabeth had a special hearse built, with a 360-degree view and interior lights to illuminate the coffin. From any angle, people will be able to see the coffin wrapped in the Royal Standard flag. Elizabeth, to the last faithful to her mantra: 'I have to be seen to be believed.'Source: oggi.it