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28 September, 2022
 
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In a glorious ceremony, Queen Elizabeth is finally laid to rest

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets where the Queen's coffin passed

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

In a glorious ceremony, Great Britain said a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth.

Hundreds of world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, attended the ceremony while thousands of people gathered in central London.

The ceremony was majestic and was broadcast online on most of the world's media, creating a simultaneous global event.

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Queen Elizabeth's body now at Windsor

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Video of the procession to Westminster Abbey

Queen Elizabeth's funeral in pictures

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The last rites of Queen Elizabeth

Leaders and members of royal families from around the world gathered in London to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-serving monarch who won the respect of the world during her 70-year reign.

King Charles and other influential members of the British royal family followed Queen Elizabeth's coffin today to Westminster Abbey, carried by an eight-strong cortege. It was the first official funeral with such honours to be held in the country since 1965 and the death of Winston Churchill.

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets through which the Queen's coffin passed, making the short journey from Westminster Hall where she was laid out for four days on a popular pilgrimage.

In nearby Hyde Park, London, there was total silence as thousands of people, who had been there for hours, stood in silence as the Queen's coffin appeared on the screens that had been placed there so that the British people could watch the funeral.

Inside the Abbey, Bible passages were recited to the sounds of hymns that have been heard at every formal funeral service since the early 18th century. Among those who walked behind the coffin was the queen's grandson and future king, nine-year-old Prince George.

The 2,000 guests included around 500 leaders and members of royal families from around the world, including US President Joe Biden and leaders from France, Canada, Australia, China and Pakistan.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Anglican Church, paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II during the funeral service. "In a famous speech delivered on the occasion of her 21st birthday, Her late Majesty had declared that her entire life would be devoted to the service of the nation and the Commonwealth. Rarely has a promise been kept to such an extent," the Archbishop said.

Crowds of people had gathered in London from across Britain and abroad to pay tribute to the Queen, with some climbing lighting columns to see the royal procession - one of the largest of its kind in modern history in the British capital.

Millions more are watching Elizabeth's funeral on television in their homes as an official holiday has been declared in the country for today. It is the first time a funeral of a British monarch has been televised. After the funeral service, a two-minute silence was observed in memory of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London, as it was throughout the United Kingdom.

The Queen's body was then carried to the Wellington Arch, crossing central London and passing Buckingham Palace.

Members of the royal family visibly moved during Elizabeth's funeral.

Queen Elizabeth II's closest relatives followed her coffin to Westminster Abbey where her funeral was held, in a carefully choreographed procession.

Elizabeth's son, King Charles III, and his three younger siblings - Anne, Andrew and Edward - were first in line behind the gun carriage on which the late Queen's coffin was placed, drawn by a procession of 142 sailors, to be transported from Westminster Hall to the Abbey. Behind them were Charles' children, Princes William and Harry, and other senior members of the royal family.

Charles and William arrived in the same car at Westminster Hall, where they were greeted with cheers and applause from the assembled crowd who had rushed to attend the ceremony. As soon as the Queen's coffin appeared, held by a cortege of eight, everyone fell silent and members of the royal family followed the coffin to the sound of bagpipes and a funeral bell.

Charles and William arrived in the same car at Westminster Hall, where they were greeted with cheers and applause from the assembled crowd that had rushed to attend the ceremony. As soon as the Queen's coffin appeared, held by a cortege of eight, everyone fell silent and members of the royal family followed the coffin to the sound of bagpipes and a funeral bell.

Charles, Anne, Edward and William, in military uniforms, saluted militarily as the coffin was lifted from the cill in front of the Abbey. Andrew and Harry, as non-working members of the royal family, wore suits and did not salute militarily, despite both having served in war zones in the past, in the Falkland Islands and Afghanistan respectively.

Waiting inside the Abbey was the royal wife, Camilla, and William's wife Kate, along with two of their children, George, 9, and Charlotte, 7, as well as Harry's wife Meghan. Members of the royal family followed the coffin to the podium where it was placed. William and Kate had their children between them as they walked and held them by the shoulder.

The final journey

After the funeral service and procession in London, with hundreds of dignitaries in attendance, Queen Elizabeth's body began the journey to her final resting place in Windsor, where she will be buried later tonight, next to her beloved husband, Prince Philip.

Thousands of people had gathered along the route to honour the Queen.

When the procession reached Wellington Arch, very close to the Palace, the coffin was placed in the royal hearse, under the gaze of black-clad members of the royal family - among them Elizabeth's great-grandchildren, George, 9, and his sister Charlotte, 7.

The new King Charles III gave a military salute, the national anthem was played and the vehicle set off slowly, with a police escort, for Windsor, about 40 kilometres west of the capital. It arrived there shortly after 4.30 pm.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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