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Queen Elizabeth II mourned by Britain and world at funeral

LON­DON — The Unit­ed King­dom and the world bade farewell to Queen Eliz­a­beth II on Mon­day with a state fu­ner­al that drew pres­i­dents and kings, princes and prime min­is­ters — and crowds in the streets of Lon­don and at Wind­sor Cas­tle — to ho­n­our a monarch whose 70-year reign de­fined an age.

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In a coun­try known for pomp and pageantry, the first state fu­ner­al since Win­ston Churchill’s was filled with spec­ta­cle: Be­fore the ser­vice, a bell tolled 96 times — once a minute for each year of Eliz­a­beth’s life. Then, 142 Roy­al Navy sailors used ropes to draw the gun car­riage car­ry­ing her flag-draped cof­fin to West­min­ster Abbey, where pall­bear­ers car­ried it in­side and about 2,000 peo­ple rang­ing from world lead­ers to health­care work­ers gath­ered to mourn.

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The trap­pings of state and monar­chy abound­ed: The cof­fin was draped with the Roy­al Stan­dard and atop it was the Im­pe­r­i­al State Crown, sparkling with al­most 3,000 di­a­monds, and the sov­er­eign’s orb and scep­tre.

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But the per­son­al was al­so present: The cof­fin was fol­lowed in­to the church by gen­er­a­tions of Eliz­a­beth’s de­scen­dants, in­clud­ing King Charles III, heir to the throne Prince William and nine-year-old George, who is sec­ond in line. On a wreath atop the cof­fin, a hand­writ­ten note read, “In lov­ing and de­vot­ed mem­o­ry,” and was signed Charles R — for Rex, or king.

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“Here, where Queen Eliz­a­beth was mar­ried and crowned, we gath­er from across the na­tion, from the Com­mon­wealth, and from the na­tions of the world, to mourn our loss, to re­mem­ber her long life of self­less ser­vice, and in sure con­fi­dence to com­mit her to the mer­cy of God our mak­er and re­deemer,” the dean of the me­dieval abbey, David Hoyle, told the mourn­ers

The ser­vice end­ed with two min­utes of si­lence ob­served across the Unit­ed King­dom, af­ter which the at­ten­dees sang the na­tion­al an­them, now ti­tled God Save the King

The day be­gan ear­ly when the doors of Par­lia­ment’s 900-year-old West­min­ster Hall were closed to mourn­ers af­ter hun­dreds of thou­sands had filed in front of her cof­fin

Yes­ter­day was de­clared a pub­lic hol­i­day in ho­n­our of Eliz­a­beth, who died Sep­tem­ber 8 — and hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple de­scend­ed on cen­tral Lon­don to wit­ness his­to­ry. As the pro­ces­sion passed Buck­ing­ham Palace, the queen’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence in the city, staff stood out­side, some bow­ing and curt­sey­ing

Arch­bish­op of Can­ter­bury Justin Wel­by said in his ser­mon at West­min­ster Abbey that “few lead­ers re­ceive the out­pour­ing of love we have seen” for the queen

More peo­ple lined the route the hearse took from the cap­i­tal to Wind­sor Cas­tle, and many tossed flow­ers at the cortège as it passed. Mil­lions more tuned in­to the fu­ner­al live, and crowds flocked to parks and pub­lic spaces across the UK to watch it on screens. Even the Google doo­dle turned a re­spect­ful black for the day

As the cof­fin ar­rived at the cas­tle, there were poignant re­minders of her love of an­i­mals: A groom stood at the road­side with one of her ponies, Em­ma, and an­oth­er mem­ber of staff held the leash­es of two of her beloved cor­gis, Sandy and Muick

Dur­ing the com­mit­tal cer­e­mo­ny in St George’s Chapel on the cas­tle grounds, Dean of Wind­sor David Con­ner praised Eliz­a­beth for her “life of un­stint­ing ser­vice” to the na­tion but al­so her “kind­ness, con­cern and re­as­sur­ing care for her fam­i­ly and friends and neigh­bours.”

Then the crown and the orb and scep­tre were re­moved from atop the cof­fin and placed on the al­tar — sep­a­rat­ing them from the queen for the last time. Her cof­fin was low­ered in­to the roy­al vault through an open­ing in the chapel’s floor. Charles looked weary and emo­tion­al as mourn­ers sang the na­tion­al an­them

The mourn­ers at West­min­ster Abbey in­clud­ed US Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, all of the liv­ing for­mer British prime min­is­ters and Eu­ro­pean roy­al­ty

Af­ter the pomp and pageantry of a grand state fu­ner­al, Queen Eliz­a­beth II was laid to rest in an in­ti­mate cer­e­mo­ny away from pry­ing cam­eras in Wind­sor, where she was re­unit­ed with her hus­band and her par­ents

The queen was in­terred to­geth­er with Prince Philip’s re­mains at the King George VI memo­r­i­al chapel, an an­nex with­in St. George’s

Eliz­a­beth II’s par­ents, King George VI and Queen Eliz­a­beth, were al­so in­terred there along with the ash­es of Princess Mar­garet, the late monarch’s younger sis­ter who died in 2002. (AP)

St George’s is the rest­ing place of 10 for­mer British mon­archs, in­clud­ing Hen­ry VI­II and the be­head­ed Charles I. It is al­so the home of the Or­der of the Garter, an an­cient or­der of chival­ry found­ed by King Ed­ward III in 1348