December 2, 2022

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At Queen Elizabeth’s burial: World stands nonetheless, King Charles fights again tears, Joe Biden shunts 14 rows again in seating plan


The world actually stood nonetheless Monday at England, the United Kingdom as   Queen Elizabeth‘s coffin was lowered right into a vault at Windsor Citadel, her remaining resting place.

The memorable occasion got here after a day of inimitable pageantry that drew world leaders, together with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to her funeral and big crowds to the streets to say farewell to a revered monarch.

Lots of of hundreds of well-wishers lined the route her hearse took from London, throwing flowers, cheering and clapping because it handed from town to the English countryside that she so beloved a lot.

Many extra had crammed into the capital to witness the procession and funeral, in a transferring tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch who gained international respect throughout her 70-year-reign.

Contained in the majestic Westminster Abbey the place the funeral was held, some 500 presidents, prime ministers, international royal members of the family and dignitaries, together with Joe Biden of the US, had been among the many 2,000 congregation.

Later, the eye switched to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Citadel, the place some 800 visitors attended a committal service forward of her burial.

It concluded with the crown, orb and sceptre – symbols of the monarch’s energy and governance – being faraway from the coffin and positioned on the altar.

The Lord Chamberlain, essentially the most senior official within the royal family, then broke his ‘Wand of Workplace’, signifying the top of his service to the sovereign, and positioned it on the casket earlier than it slowly descended into the royal vault.

Because the congregation sang the nationwide anthem, King Charles gave the impression to be combating again tears.

Later within the night, in a personal household service, the coffin of Elizabeth and her husband of greater than seven a long time, Prince Philip, who died final yr aged 99, might be buried collectively in the identical chapel the place her mother and father and sister, Princess Margaret, additionally relaxation.

It was in the identical huge constructing that the queen was photographed mourning Philip alone in the course of the pandemic lockdown, reinforcing the sense of a monarch in synch along with her folks throughout a testing time.

‘Plentiful life’

On the funeral, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, advised these current that the grief felt by so many throughout Britain and the wider world mirrored the late monarch’s ‘considerable life and loving service’.

“Her late majesty famously declared on a twenty first birthday broadcast that her entire life can be devoted to serving the nation and Commonwealth,” he stated.

“Hardly ever has such a promise been so properly saved. Few leaders obtain the outpouring of affection that we now have seen.”

Music that performed on the queen’s marriage ceremony in 1947 and her coronation six years later once more rang out. The coffin entered to strains of scripture set to a rating used at each state funeral because the early 18th century.

After the funeral, her flag-draped casket was pulled by sailors via London’s streets on a gun carriage in one of many largest navy processions seen in Britain, involving hundreds of members of the armed forces wearing ceremonial finery.

They walked in step to funeral music from marching bands, whereas within the background town’s well-known Huge Ben tolled every minute. King Charles and different senior royals adopted on foot.

The casket was taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and transferred to a hearse to journey to Windsor, the place extra huge crowds waited patiently.

Amongst those that got here from round Britain and past, folks climbed lampposts and stood on limitations and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.

Some wore good black fits and clothes. Others had been wearing hoodies, leggings and tracksuits. A lady with dyed inexperienced hair stood subsequent to a person in morning go well with as they waited for the London procession to start.

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Tens of millions extra watched on tv at residence on a public vacation declared for the event, the primary time the funeral of a British monarch has been televised.

“I’ve been coming to Windsor for 50 years now,” stated Baldev Bhakar, 72, a jeweller from the close by city of Slough, talking outdoors Windsor Citadel.

“I noticed her many occasions over time; it felt like she was our neighbour and he or she was only a pretty lady; a phenomenal queen. It was good to say one final goodbye to our neighbour.”

‘Invincible’

Elizabeth died September 8 at Balmoral Citadel, her summer season residence within the Scottish highlands.

Her well being had been in decline, and for months the monarch who had carried out tons of of official engagements properly into her 90s had withdrawn from public life.

Nevertheless, in step with her sense of responsibility, she was photographed simply two days earlier than she died, wanting frail however smiling and holding a strolling stick as she appointed Liz Truss as her fifteenth and remaining prime minister.

Such was her longevity and her inextricable hyperlink with Britain that even her circle of relatives discovered her passing a shock.

“All of us thought she was invincible,” Prince William advised well-wishers.

Her reign

The fortieth sovereign in a line that traces its lineage again to 1066, Elizabeth got here to the throne in 1952 and have become Britain’s first post-imperial monarch.

She oversaw her nation attempting to carve out a brand new place on the earth, and he or she was instrumental within the emergence of the Commonwealth of Nations, now a grouping comprising 56 international locations.

When she succeeded her father George VI, Winston Churchill was her first prime minister and Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union. She met main figures from politics to leisure and sport together with Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Pele and Roger Federer.

Regardless of being seemingly 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall, she dominated rooms along with her presence and have become a towering international determine, praised in demise from Paris and Washington to Moscow and Beijing. Nationwide mourning was noticed in Brazil, Jordan and Cuba, international locations with which she had little direct hyperlink.

“Individuals of loving service are uncommon in any stroll of life,” Welby stated in the course of the funeral. “Leaders of loving service are nonetheless rarer. However in all circumstances, those that serve might be beloved and remembered when those that cling to energy and privileges are lengthy forgotten.”

The tenor bell of the Abbey – the location of coronations, weddings and burials of English after which British kings and queens for nearly 1,000 years – tolled 96 occasions.

Among the many hymns chosen for the service had been “The Lord’s my Shepherd”, sung on the marriage ceremony of the queen and her husband Philip within the Abbey in 1947. Within the royal group following the casket into the Abbey was the queen’s great-grandson and future king, Prince George, aged 9.

Along with dignitaries, the congregation included these awarded Britain’s highest navy and civilian medals for gallantry, representatives from charities supported by the queen and people who made “extraordinary contributions” to coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In direction of the top of the service, the church and far of the nation fell silent for 2 minutes. Trumpets rang out earlier than the congregation sang “God Save the King”. Exterior, crowds joined in and broke into applause when the anthem was over.

The queen’s piper introduced the service to an finish with a lament known as “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep” that light to silence. (Reuters)

Biden shunts 14 rows again

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In the meantime, as essentially the most highly effective man on the planet, Joe Biden is often entrance and centre of any gathering of world leaders.

Not so in relation to British Royal decorum. The US President and First Woman had been relegated to Westminster Abbey’s rear seats, assigned a pew seven rows from the again of Westminster Abbey’s south transept.

Protocols dictate that at the late Queen’s funeral, Commonwealth political leaders outrank these from the remainder of the world, no matter their significance. And so it was that  Biden discovered himself 14 rows from the entrance and 9 behind Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, the neighbour that the US usually seems down upon. On this aspect of the pond, the world order can typically flip the wrong way up.

There have been different awkward encounters. Spain was abuzz that its disgraced former King Juan Carlos, a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, had not solely been invited, however was sat subsequent to his son King Felipe – the primary time the boys had been photographed collectively in public because the previous king went into exile.

Biden, 79, sat in an aisle seat immediately behind Andrzej Duda, the Polish chief, and one row in entrance of Petr Fiala, the prime minister of the Czech Republic. Jill Biden, America’s First Woman, might benefit from the firm of Ignazio Cassis, the president of Switzerland, who sat to her left for the hour-long service.

Throughout the aisle from Mr Biden was South Korea’s head of state President Yoon Suk-yeol whereas two rows additional forward within the pecking order sat Emmanuel Macron, the French president.

 The seating preparations had been overseen by Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, who was answerable for the state funeral’s sometimes tough problems with protocol. The International Workplace – when requested what enter it had had into the seating plan – referred all calls to Buckingham Palace.

With 2,200 visitors packed into Westminster Abbey, the state funeral was at all times going to throw up potential difficulties. Slightly below 1 / 4 of these invited – within the area of 500 folks – had been abroad heads of state or international dignitaries.

In accordance with protocol, the governors-general of the realms that retain the monarch as their head of state, had been seated first with and elected Commonwealth leaders behind them.

That meant sitting Biden a ways again, behind the brand new King. On the identical row as Biden, however on the opposite aspect of the aisle, sat China’s consultant on the funeral, its vp Wang Qishan. He was distinguishable by the facemask he wore as he walked into the abbey and which he saved on in the course of the service.

Usually too, the US president is the final to reach at any main operate, the remainder of the world saved ready for him to point out up. The US president arrived simply after 10am, an hour earlier than the service started and sat ready together with his spouse with out safety element.

The Bidens arrived on the abbey slightly later than deliberate. World leaders had been alleged to be seated in a 20-minute window between 9.35am and 9.55am. However the Bidens arrived 10 minutes after the cut-off and quite than being proven straight to their seats had been compelled to attend whereas a procession of George and Victoria Cross-holders went forward of them. Solely as soon as they’d handed might the president and First Woman enter the abbey. 

Biden had been granted the fitting to eschew the coaches that introduced different world leaders and journey as a substitute to the abbey in “The Beast”, the closely armour plated limousine that was flown over particularly for the event. 

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Video footage confirmed the automotive travelling slowly down Oxford Road, en path to the funeral, even being dropped at a halt at one level outdoors a department of the sandwich chain Pret a Manger.

Mr. Macron was additionally given permission to reach in his personal automotive.

There was seemingly a protocol to the coaches too. Mr Trudeau had additionally requested his personal automotive however that was turned down. “A number of nice conversations can occur on a bus,” he stated later. These world leaders arriving for the buses, held ready for them on the Royal Chelsea Hospital, did so in model. 

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s president, was dropped off in a black BMW with the quantity plate GER 1, whereas Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia selected a Jaguar. President Sergio Mattarella of Italy was dropped off in a Maserati with the licence plate ITA 1, which triggered fairly the stir amongst onlookers.

In Westminster Abbey, the international royals sat reverse their British counterparts with Europe’s longest-serving dwelling monarch, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, on the entrance. King Charles III, the at present shortest reigning monarch, sat reverse.

King Abdullah of Jordan and his spouse, Queen Rania, had been seated two rows in entrance of the Gulf royals, who got here unaccompanied by their wives.

Different international royals within the entrance pews included the King and Queen of Bhutan, who arrived with the Emperor and Empress of Japan aboard a royal bus from the Royal Chelsea Hospital.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain additionally travelled by bus, seemingly avoiding the difficulties of an encounter with the king’s estranged and disgraced father, Juan Carlos, who fled Spain below suspicion of fraud two years in the past. Besides that within the abbey, protocol seemingly dictated that King Felipe sit subsequent to his father.

Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 after a collection of scandals and publicised amorous affairs, and his spouse Sofía, arrived individually on the cathedral.

However tv cameras quickly revealed that the disparate members of the Spanish royal household had been positioned on the identical pew. It was the primary {photograph} of King Felipe and his father collectively because the latter entered self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi greater than two years in the past. (The Telegraph)

 My relationship with Queen Elizabeth II – Obasanjo

 In a associated improvement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo opened up on his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, describing it as good.

In a press release Monday by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the previous Nigerian chief described her as a character with nice human relations, whom he equally had good relationship with.

Obasanjo additional eulogised the late Head of Commonwealth of Nations, hinting that he was about to go away the Secondary college, when the late Queen first visited the nation in 1956.

Obasanjo stated he was lucky to have hosted the Queen as Nigerian President in the course of the Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly (CHOGM), in Abuja in 2003, “and I can say that she was fantastic.”

Obasanjo stated: “My relationship with the Queen was good; she was an incredible, nice lady, who had proven nice instance in human relationship. She carried herself so graciously, so dignified. She was any individual I’ve super respect for.

“I be a part of the remainder of the world to mourn along with her household, the UK, the Commonwealth (as a result of she was the Head of the Commonwealth), and the remainder of the world. I additionally mourn with Prince Charles, who promised to proceed from the place she had stopped. Could her soul relaxation in peace.”