Charles Leaves Note Atop Queen's Coffin

London pauses for funeral of Elizabeth II
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2022 6:25 AM CDT
No Military Uniform, Salute for Harry at Queen's Funeral
The coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is carried into Westminster Abbey.   (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain and the world said a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II at a state funeral Monday that drew presidents and kings, princes, and prime ministers—and crowds who massed along the streets of London to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age, per the AP.

  • Spectacle: In a country known for pomp and pageantry, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill's was filled with spectacle: 142 Royal Navy sailors drew the gun carriage carrying Elizabeth’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, with King Charles III and his sons, Princes William and Harry, walking behind as bagpipers played. Pall bearers carried the coffin into the abbey, where around 2,000 people ranging from world leaders (including President Biden) to health care workers gathered to mourn her. Ahead of the service, a bell tolled 96 times—once a minute for each year of her life.
  • A note: Charles left a handwritten note atop the coffin that reads, "In loving memory. Charles R," per CNN. The "R" is a reference to "Rex," Latin for king. Metro adds that the note is near a bouquet personally requested by the king, one of rosemary, English Oak, and myrtle. The myrtle is from a plant grown for her wedding.

  • Harry: Metro notes that Harry, despite serving 10 years in the Army, did not wear a military uniform like other members of the royal family or join in a ritual salute of the coffin. He lost the right when he and Meghan dropped their royal duties and moved to the US.
  • Fitting locale: “Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer,” the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle, told the mourners.
  • Shutting down: Monday has been declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth, who died Sept. 8—and hundreds of thousands of people descended on central London to partake in the historic moment. Long before the service began, city authorities said viewing areas along the route of the funeral's procession were full. Millions were expected to watch on television.
(Read more Queen Elizabeth II stories.)

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