British Monarchy: Tears and Bell Ringing: Funeral procession for the Queen's coffin

The royal family, guardsmen and countless observers have accompanied the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II on its way through London.

British Monarchy: Tears and Bell Ringing: Funeral procession for the Queen's coffin

The royal family, guardsmen and countless observers have accompanied the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II on its way through London. King Charles III and his siblings walked behind the coffin bearing the royal standard and crown worn by Elizabeth at her coronation 70 years earlier.

Gun salutes were fired every minute on the way from Buckingham Palace to the British Parliament. Hundreds of thousands followed the funeral procession, wept and applauded to the sound of solemn music and the chimes of the famous Big Ben bell. You can now say goodbye at the coffin until Monday morning.

Looking solemn, Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walked behind the horse-drawn coffin. The family was united - despite all the scandals and disagreements. Just behind the new king was his eldest son Prince William, the new heir to the throne, alongside brother Harry.

Nevertheless, the different paths in life of the brothers could not be overlooked: William wore a military uniform as a working royal, Harry, who distanced himself from the royal family with his wife Meghan, wore a mourning suit. Despite his service in Afghanistan, the Queen's grandson had to resign his military titles when he left the royal family.

Memory of train for Diana 1997

Some were reminded of how the brothers walked behind Princess Diana's coffin after her mother died in 1997. Now the two are fathers themselves and paid tribute to their grandmother. Also in the procession were Anne's son Peter Philips and her husband Tim Laurence, as well as the Duke of Gloucester, a cousin of the Queen, and the Earl of Snowdon, her nephew. Charles' wife Camilla drove with Princess Kate in a car on another loop to Parliament, Edward's wife Sophie and Duchess Meghan in another.

When the train reached Westminster Hall after almost 40 minutes, the crowd erupted in applause. Eight young soldiers carried the coffin, wrapped in the royal standard and decorated with flowers, on their shoulders into the building, where it was laid out on a pedestal. After a short service, the family left the building. Only Harry and Meghan were able to comfort each other with touch: holding hands is not intended for active members of the royal family.

Soon after, the doors to Westminster Hall were opened to the general public. The first people bowed before the coffin. People can now slowly walk past the coffin until Monday morning. But patience is required: Waiting times of up to 30 hours are expected. The queue stretched several kilometers along the Thames through the center of the British capital on Wednesday. It is estimated that up to two million people could come.

BBC broadcasts laying-in for 109.5 hours

The responsible British Ministry of Culture announced on Wednesday that there should not only be first-aid tents along the route, but also 500 mobile toilets. Different colored wristbands indicate the place in the queue - in case the people in line want to disappear or buy food. More than 1,000 volunteers, security staff and police officers are said to be on duty at all times. There are also hundreds of paramedics. For people who do not dare to wait long or cannot travel to London, the public broadcaster BBC also broadcasts the laying out in a live stream – for a total of 109.5 hours.

Queen Elizabeth II died last Thursday at the age of 96 at her Scottish country estate, Balmoral Castle. On Sunday, her coffin was transferred to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, and on Monday, a funeral march attended by King Charles III. and his siblings participated on foot, had been taken to a cathedral.

The coffin containing the Queen's remains was then flown from Edinburgh to London on a British Air Force transport on Tuesday evening. He was greeted with loud applause by thousands of people outside Buckingham Palace and then welcomed by King Charles, his siblings and the Queen's grandchildren.

The Queen's state funeral is next Monday. Hundreds of heads of state and government, members of royal families and other dignitaries are expected in London. It is considered a great honor that Japan's Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako, will arrive. Traditionally, Japanese monarchs do not actually attend funerals, either at home or abroad. The fact that Emperor Naruhito is still coming is an expression of the deep bond between the royal and imperial families, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are also expected. In all likelihood, the Queen's beloved corgis will have to be absent. The formal character of the event already excludes the animals, according to the TV channel Sky News. In addition, the rules of Westminster Abbey forbid the taking - "no dogs," says the well-known London church. "Dogs are not even allowed to move around the abbey grounds," the broadcaster emphasized.

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