• Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren maintain vigil
  • Line to see queen’s coffin stretches for 11 hours
  • World leaders begin arriving in London for funeral

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Princes William and Harry stood vigil at both finish of the coffin of their grandmother Queen Elizabeth on Saturday, heads bowed as a line of mourners streamed previous the late monarch’s lying-in-state.

The two sons of King Charles, attired in army uniforms, stood in silence at a 15-minute vigil within the huge Westminster Hall the place the coffin has been mendacity since Wednesday, draped within the Royal Standard and with the bejewelled Imperial State Crown on high.

William and Harry have been joined by their six cousins, together with Princess Beatrice and Eugenie who earlier paid tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The queen died on Sept. 8 at her summer time property within the Scottish highlands, aged 96.

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“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world,” mentioned the sisters, daughters of Prince Andrew. “You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever. For now dear grannie, all we want to say is thank you.”

Hundreds of 1000’s of individuals have lined up for lengthy hours in a queue stretching alongside the River Thames, ready to file previous the coffin and honour the queen – an affidavit to the love by which she was held.

The different cousins at Saturday’s vigil have been Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, the kids of Princess Anne, and Louise and James, the kids of Prince Edward.

Earlier on Saturday, Charles and his inheritor William shook palms and greeted well-wishers within the queue, asking folks how lengthy that they had been there and whether or not they have been heat sufficient.

To cheers of “hip, hip, hurrah” and shouts of “God save the King”, Charles and William spoke to mourners close to Lambeth Bridge, as they neared the top of the large line to see the lying-in-state within the historic Westminster Hall.

On Friday night time, Charles joined his three siblings – Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward – in a silent vigil at the coffin.

“She wouldn’t believe all this, she really wouldn’t,” William was heard telling one man of the late queen, who got here to the throne in 1952.”It’s amazing.”

One lady informed Charles it had been “worth the wait” and others wished him effectively and cheered as he moved down the road.

Ahead of the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, world leaders additionally beginning arriving within the British capital.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese have been among the many dignitaries to pay their respects on Saturday whereas New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was seen curtsying to the coffin on Friday.

U.S. President Joe Biden was anticipated to go to the lying-in-state on Sunday.

On Saturday, Charles met leaders of the 14 international locations the place he’s head of state resembling Canada, Australia, and Jamaica after assembly the governors-general – the individuals who signify the monarch in abroad realms – at Buckingham Palace.

SECURITY OPERATION

London’s police drive has described the funeral as the largest safety operation it has ever undertaken as prime ministers, presidents and royals come collectively and enormous crowds throng the streets. The king visited police headquarters on Saturday to thank emergency providers staff concerned within the planning.

Underscoring the dangers, police mentioned one man had been detained and arrested after a witness informed Sky News he “ran up to the queen’s coffin”. Footage confirmed a person being pinned to the bottom by cops and taken away.

By 5 p.m. (1600 GMT), Britain’s tradition ministry mentioned the ready time to succeed in the lying-in-state was as much as 11 hours.

Inside the silent corridor, some mourners wept, many have been tearful whereas present troopers and veterans saluted their former commander-in-chief. Others within the line fell to their knees.

New friendships, acts of kindness and the struggles of standing in line for hours, typically within the chilly in a single day, have come to outline what has grow to be often known as simply “the queue”.

Film-maker Matthew West described how a army man was provided the possibility to get to the entrance however declined. “That was the highlight. The lowlight was when we stood still for two hours and I lost the will to live.”

There has been an outpouring of emotion throughout the nation and 10 days of choreographed occasions because the queen died at Balmoral in Scotland. Her coffin was at first laid at relaxation in Edinburgh earlier than being flown south to London.

The queen’s kids have described being overwhelmed by the response to their mom’s dying.

The state funeral, to be attended by practically 100 presidents and heads of presidency, is more likely to be one of many largest ceremonial occasions ever held in Britain.

Soldiers took half in early morning rehearsals in Windsor, the place the queen’s coffin will probably be taken after the funeral at Westminster Abbey. Marching bands enjoying music and Grenadier Guards, who put on a tall bearskin hat on ceremonial duties, have been seen marching down the High Street in preparation.

Liz Kelshall from Leatherhead, southern England, mentioned she had introduced her two kids to Windsor so they might always remember the queen. “It’s really important for them to grow up and remember this and it’s important for us as a family to come and show some respect for an amazing woman,” she mentioned.

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Additional reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Elizabeth Piper
Editing by Rosalba O’Brien, Alison Williams and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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