Two million people have invaded London since dawn. Four billion viewers around the world. Two thousand guests including almost all the leaders of the world. And an endless parade of crowned heads. Without forgetting the little princes George and CharlotteAll images from Queen Elizabeth's funeral Photo Video
At 7 am Whitehall is closed to the public. The same goes for the Mall, the huge boulevard opposite and Buckingham Palace. Both have now reached the maximum possible capacity and the police divert the subjects to Hyde Park, where a dozen large screens show the ceremony. This is the funeral of the century, the long farewell to one of the longest-lived queens in history, and even London can't hold back so much affection. Two million people flock to the center of the capital, 4 billion watch the live event from home. A steel cord blocks Trafalgar Square, no one can reach Westminster, where hundreds of royal super fans like Sandra Chu, 62, have been encamped for nights on the street since Saturday morning, near Downing Street. Her camping chair, duffel bag full of blankets and a radio to pass the time. Or like Sally and Charlie, husband and wife who arrived from Kent 'to pay their respects' to the queen of queens - Photo | video 1 | video 2 | video 3 | video 4 | video 5
THE ARRIVAL OF THE FERETRO IN WESTMINSTER - At 11 am, As people flock to Hyde Park Corner, the only viewpoint still open, 142 Royal Navy cadets (sailors, as was Prince Philip), drag the coffin, lying on a cannon chariot, with huge ropes. Hand in hand, they pull the vehicle that was also used for Queen Victoria's funeral on the pavement, in a magnificent and spectacular choreography. Behind the coffin, once again, the family. King Charles III and his brothers William and Harry (again without uniform) and cousin Peter Phillips. Windsor women only reach the procession inside Westminster Abbey. There are also the princes George and Charlotte, but not the younger brother Louis. Meghan Markle and Kate Princess of Wales wear the Queen's jewels. The Dukes of Sussex end up in the second row, behind the king and Camilla. It is worse for Joe Biden and his wife, in the fourteenth row, behind the Polish president. The leaders, except for the American president, arrived in minibuses, no one was able to use private vehicles.
THE TEARS - During the mass officiated by the Dean of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury, King Charles is moved several times. He holds the sword with one hand and the order of service with the other, the program of the ceremony. He looks at the coffin and lowers his head. But Meghan, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, princesses Eugenie and Beatrice also cry. And little Charlotte also bursts into tears, immediately consoled by her mother. Inside the church two thousand people, including leaders, crowned heads, ambassadors. The ceremony lasts an hour. Then the coffin goes back to the wagon and the sailors get ready for the last effort.
THE PROCESSION - The crowd falls silent. Until now it had been the celebration of the life of an extraordinary woman. But when the hearse begins to parade through the city, the atmosphere becomes sober and solemn. The procession goes up Whitehall, the avenue of power where the government buildings are located. Behind the coffin the usual formation with the sovereign's children and grandchildren. The queen consort, Kate with her children, Meghan and Sophie of Wessex, follow in the car. The procession is spectacular, it stretches for 400 meters. All units of the armed forces present, including the king's guards, archers with eagle feathers on their hats, yeomans, guardians of the Tower of London, RAF airmen, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, accompanied by bands military. Every minute a cannon salvo and a Big Ben chime. The crowd cheers, whoever has their hands free from their mobile phones throws flowers. Caroline Weel, camped out since Friday, lets herself go to the emotion. “This repays me for the cold and the few hours of sleep. I wouldn't have missed it for the world », she sobs. The procession cuts through the huge courtyard of Horse Guards Parade, reaches the Mall and continues towards Buckingham Palace, where all of the Queen's staff are lined up in front of the gates. Elizabeth passes in front of her house for the last time. Slowly the coffin arrives at the Wellington Arch where it is loaded onto the hearse. The journey to Windsor begins.
TO WINDSOR NEXT TO FILIPPO - As the crowds in London begin to slip away, storming the underground stations, the funeral procession heads to Windsor, the oldest of the royal residences, the burial place of kings. When he arrives, a shower of flowers welcomes her. Here, too, thousands of people along the road and the Long Walk, the five-kilometer boulevard that leads to the castle. Here the bouquets of flowers brought by the subjects were placed, planted in the ground to form a very long flowerbed. Inside the castle, family members await. At 4 o'clock (5 o'clock in Italy), the funeral oration begins, the last public part of the funeral, in the chapel of San Giorgio. While at 20.30 with the cameras off, the family in private will separate forever from the matriarch. The imperial crown, scepter and orb will be removed from the coffin by the court jeweler and returned to the Tower of London. The coffin will be buried in the tiny private chapel of King George VI where the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret are also buried. Prince Philip will be moved here, from the royal crypt. So that he is forever next to his Lilibet.Source: oggi.it