Biden pays respects to Queen Elizabeth as world leaders arrive in London for funeral

Hundreds of police, tons of of troops and a military of officers made remaining preparations Sunday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — a spectacular show of nationwide mourning that will even be the largest gathering of world leaders for years.

President Biden and different dignitaries arrived in London for the funeral, to which round 500 royals, heads of state and heads of presidency from across the globe have been invited. 

Mr. Biden and first girl Dr. Jill Biden paid their respects at Westminster Corridor on Sunday, the place they had been joined by Jane Hartley, U.S. ambassador to the UK. The president and first girl every then signed the official condolence e book for the queen at Lancaster Home.

“She was the identical in individual as her picture — respectable, honorable, all about service,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “Our hearts exit to the royal household, King Charles and all of the household. It is a loss that leaves an enormous gap, and typically you assume you will by no means overcome it, however as I’ve advised the king, she’s going to be with him each step of the best way, each minute, each second. And that is a reassuring notion.”

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President Biden and first girl Jill Biden pay their respects as they view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Corridor in London on Sept. 18, 2022.

JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Photographs


Hundreds of individuals continued to line up across the clock to file previous the queen’s coffin because it lies in state at Parliament’s Westminster Corridor, braving chilly in a single day temperatures and waits of as much as 17 hours. The queen’s eight grandchildren, led by inheritor to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with heads bowed throughout a silent vigil on Saturday night.

The miles-long queue at Westminster Corridor is anticipated to be closed to new arrivals later Sunday so that everybody in line can file previous the coffin earlier than Monday morning, when will probably be borne on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey for the queen’s funeral.

Individuals throughout the U.Okay. are as a consequence of pause Sunday night for a nationwide minute of silence to recollect the queen, who died Sept. 8 on the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public vacation, and the funeral will likely be broadcast to an enormous tv viewers and screened to crowds in parks and public areas throughout the nation.

Hundreds of law enforcement officials from across the nation will likely be on responsibility as a part of the largest one-day policing operation in London’s historical past.

Crowds additionally gathered Sunday close to Windsor Fortress, the place the queen will likely be laid to relaxation at a personal household ceremony on Monday night.

“I feel it has been wonderful,” mentioned Anna Pettigrew, a 55-year-old trainer. “It has been very emotional, and I feel it has been a really becoming tribute to a beautiful queen.”

Camilla, the brand new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “carved her personal position” as a “solitary girl” on a world stage dominated by males.

“I’ll at all times bear in mind her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” mentioned Camilla, who’s married to King Charles III.

A tide of individuals continued to stream into Westminster Corridor, the place the queen’s coffin is mendacity in state, draped within the Royal Normal and capped with a diamond-studded crown. The variety of mourners has grown steadily because the public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a queue that stretches for at the least 5 miles alongside the River Thames and into Southwark Park within the metropolis’s southeast.

Honoring their persistence, Charles and William made an unannounced go to Saturday to greet individuals within the line, shaking fingers and thanking mourners within the queue close to Lambeth Bridge.

Later, all of the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, had been joined by Princess Anne’s kids, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the 2 kids of Prince Edward — Woman Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood together with his head bowed on the head of the coffin and Harry on the foot. Each princes, who’re navy veterans, had been in uniform. Mourners continued to file previous in silence.

Queen Elizabeth II's Grandchildren Mount Vigil At Westminster Hall
Prince William stands in entrance of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Corridor on Sept. 17, 2022 in London.

Yui Mok / Getty Photographs


“You may see that they had been pondering exhausting about their grandmother, the queen,” mentioned Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “It was good to see all of them collectively as a set of grandchildren given the issues which have occurred over the previous couple of years.”

Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British military officer, wore civilian garments earlier within the week because the queen’s coffin left Buckingham Palace as a result of he’s not a working member of the royal household. He and his spouse Meghan stop royal duties and moved to the USA in 2020. The king, nonetheless, requested that each William and Harry put on their navy uniforms on the Westminster Corridor vigil.

Earlier than the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued an announcement praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you would be right here without end. And all of us miss you terribly. You had been our matriarch, our information, our loving hand on our backs main us by way of this world. You taught us a lot and we’ll cherish these classes and reminiscences without end,” the sisters wrote.

The queen’s 4 kids — Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — held an identical vigil across the coffin on Friday.

The silence within the corridor was briefly damaged Friday when a person lunged on the coffin. London police mentioned Sunday {that a} 28-year-old London man, Muhammad Khan, has been charged with habits supposed to “trigger alarm, harassment or misery.” He’ll seem in court docket on Monday.

The lying-in-state continues till early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will likely be moved to close by Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the finale of 10 days of nationwide mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

After the service Monday on the abbey, the late queen’s coffin will likely be transported by way of the historic coronary heart of London on a gun carriage. It can then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, the place the queen will likely be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died final 12 months.

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