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Millions bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II as state funeral held in London




Queen Elizabeth II has been laid to rest at Windsor Castle near London, the United Kingdom, after a state funeral watched by millions of people around the world.

The Queen’s coffin was placed into the Royal Vault in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel after a day of ceremony and pageantry unlike any seen in London since her father’s death in 1952.

The day began with a funeral service in the medieval Westminster Abbey in front of over 500 ­dignitaries, including royalty, the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese, the President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.

Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese (back left) with Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (front right) entering Westminster Abbey for the funeral. Photo: James Veysey / Shutterstock.

King Charles III led the royal family in a procession ­behind his mother’s cortege into Westminster Abbey. There they were joined by nine-year-old Prince George, the second in line to the throne, and his seven-year-old ­sister, Princess Charlotte, who is third in line.

They walked behind their parents, William, the Prince of Wales, and Catherine, the ­Princess of Wales, ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

King Charles III walked beside the coffin. Photo: AFP / Ben Stansall.

The funeral service then began once the Queen’s coffin was laid proudly in the Abbey topped by ­flowers and a card reading ‘In loving and devoted memory, Charles Rex.’ A number of sermons, Lessons and prayers were read out, including one by the new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.

After the hour-long service, the sombre procession with seven ­distinct groups followed the coffin from the abbey to Wellington Arch. Once there, the procession continued by car to Windsor Castle.

The route was lined with hundreds of thousands of people wanting to farewell the late monarch on her final journey, as well as several dozen Australian Defence Force personnel and other Commonwealth military.

Mourners threw flowers at the convoy as it passed. Photo: AP / Andreea Alexandru.

The day ended at Windsor, where about 800 guests were present for a final committal service that featured traditions signifying the end of the Queen’s reign.

Towards the end of the service, the sovereign’s crown, orb and sceptre were removed from the top of the coffin — separating Queen Elizabeth from her crown for the final time.

King Charles placed the Queen’s company camp flag atop the coffin, while the Lord Chamberlain broke his wand of office before also placing it on top of the coffin — representing the end of his service to the monarch.

The Queen’s coffin was then lowered into the Royal Vault.

Later on Monday night, a private burial service was held in the King George VI memorial chapel — which is inside the Abbey’s St George’s Chapel — with just members of the royal family in attendance.

The Queen will be buried next to her late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April 2021.

The couple will lie alongside the Queen’s father, King George VI, her mother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and her sister Princess Margaret.

READ MORE: ‘She looked at me and smiled’: Greek Australians remember Queen Elizabeth II.

Source: ABC News and The Australian.

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