US President Joe Biden is expected to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in London on Sunday, joining hundreds of thousands of people who have passed by the late British monarch as she lies in state.
Biden will later join King Charles and dozens of other world leaders and royals from around the world for a reception ahead of the grand state funeral for Elizabeth on Monday.
Elizabeth’s body has been lying in state in historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday, with people from all walks of life and from around the world pouring in in a constant, emotional stream, many queuing at night and some up to 24 hours.
“Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history and in the story of our world,” Biden said in a post following news of the Queen’s death on Sept. 8.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who bowed to the coffin, are among the dignitaries who have already paid their respects.
Britain has staged a series of poignant, carefully choreographed ceremonies in the 10 days following Elizabeth’s death, reflecting the traditions and pageantry of the British Royal Family whose lineage dates back nearly 1,000 years.
On Saturday night, the Queen’s eight grandchildren, including Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, held a solemn vigil next to her coffin, following a similar celebration by her children the previous day.
“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs that guided us through this world,” Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew, the second son of the Queen and Duke of York, said in a statement.
“Hello dear grandma, it was the honor of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we are so very proud of you.”
A minute of national silence will be held later on Sunday at 8pm (1900 GMT)
The royals and British government are now looking ahead to Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, the site of coronations, weddings and burials of English and then British kings and queens since William I in 1066.
London police have described the ceremony as the largest security operation it has ever undertaken.
About 500 guests from nearly 200 countries and territories will be in attendance – including presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens and sultans – and huge crowds are expected to crowd the streets.
Britain has not held a state funeral on the scale planned for the Queen since that for World War II leader Winston Churchill.
The government said large screens would be set up to watch the ceremony in London’s Hyde Park and in cities across the country. The funeral will also be broadcast live by three broadcasters.
Television viewing service Overnights.TV estimated that on the day of her death, the TBEN and other news channels had tuned in about 33 million people in Britain.
The desire to pay tribute to the popular monarch, the only one most Britons have known since her accession in 1952, has been so great that tens of thousands have waited patiently in a line stretching along the River Thames for a few seconds. to spend on the side of her coffin.
By the time she is laid out on Monday, officials have estimated that perhaps 750,000 have passed.
“She wouldn’t believe any of this, really,” Prince William said as he joined his father Charles, the new king, to address mourners waiting in line. “It is awesome.”
The post Biden to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth who is able appeared first on International Business Times.