Bidens amongst hundreds paying respects to Queen Elizabeth II


LONDON (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden paid his respects at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Sunday as hundreds of police, a whole lot of British troops and a military of officers made last preparations for the queen’s state funeral — a spectacular show of nationwide mourning that will even be the most important gathering of world leaders for years.

Folks throughout Britain paused for a minute of silence at 8 p.m. in reminiscence of the one monarch most have ever identified. At Westminster Corridor, the place the queen is mendacity in state, the fixed stream of mourners paused for 60 seconds as folks noticed the minute of reflection in deep silence.

In Windsor, the place the queen will probably be laid to relaxation on Monday night after her funeral at Westminster Abbey, rain started to fall as the gang fell silent for the second of reflection. Some have arrange small camps and chairs outdoors Windsor Citadel, with plans to spend the evening there to order the perfect spots to view the queen’s coffin when it arrives.

“Effectively, it’s only one evening and day of our lives. Elizabeth gave us – – 70 years. So the remainder of it’s not lots to ask, is it?” stated Fred Sweeney, 52, who kitted out his spot with two Union flags on massive flag poles.

Biden and first woman Jill Biden had been amongst hundreds of mourners — from locals and vacationers to royals and world leaders — to pay their respects. The president made the signal of the cross and put his hand to his coronary heart as he stood quietly close to the casket within the ornate 900-year-old corridor along with his spouse and U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley.

Biden then signed the official condolence e book and attended a reception Sunday at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III. He’s certainly one of 500 world leaders and royals invited to the queen’s state funeral Monday, together with a whole lot of dignitaries, politicians, army veterans and British charity employees.

Biden known as Queen Elizabeth II “respectable” and “honorable” and “all about service” as he signed the condolence e book, saying his coronary heart went out to the royal household.

“Queen Elizabeth lived her life for the folks,” Jill Biden wrote in a e book for spouses and ambassadors. “She served with knowledge and style. We’ll always remember her heat, kindness and the conversations we shared.”

One no-show will probably be Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose invitation drew criticism from human rights teams due to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Saudi Arabia is anticipated to be represented by one other royal, Prince Turki bin Mohammed.

Because the dignitaries poured in, the clock was ticking down for these searching for a spot within the longest queue many have ever seen to file previous the queen’s coffin. The miles-long queue is anticipated to be closed to new arrivals later Sunday so that everybody now within the line can view the coffin earlier than Monday morning, when it will likely be taken to Westminster Abbey for the queen’s funeral.

Household by household, hundreds of individuals saved becoming a member of the road across the clock, braving chilly in a single day temperatures and waits of as much as 17 hours in a queue that stretched for over 5 miles (8 kilometers.)

Lauren Wilson, 36, was within the much-shorter queue for folks with mobility points. She stated she needed to expertise in particular person the coffin mendacity in state.

“The world is in such a bizarre place after which this occurred. It feels extra momentous,” she stated.

She apprehensive that the pageantry surrounding Elizabeth’s loss of life deprives the queen’s family of the power to return to phrases with their loss.

“The household usually are not allowed to grieve. I discover it fairly heartbreaking,” she stated.

The queen’s eight grandchildren, led by inheritor to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed throughout a silent vigil on Saturday night.

Among the many international leaders in London was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who advised the BBC she was humbled to characterize her nation on the funeral and to witness the nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the late queen.

“The factor that I’ll take away from this era is simply the great thing about the general public’s response, the kindness that you just see from members of the general public, the endurance, the camaraderie. That has been, for me, probably the most shifting tribute of all, has been the general public response of the British folks,” she stated.

Monday has been declared a public vacation in honor of Elizabeth, who died Sept. 8 at 96 after 70 years on the throne. Her funeral will probably be broadcast reside to over 200 nations and territories worldwide and screened to crowds in parks and public areas throughout the nation.

Cops from across the nation will probably be on responsibility as a part of the most important one-day policing operation in London’s historical past.

Camilla, the queen consort, paid tribute to her mother-in-law in a video message, saying the monarch “carved her personal function” as a “solitary lady” on a world stage dominated by males.

“I’ll all the time keep in mind her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” stated Camilla, who’s married to Charles.

Ukraine’s first woman, Olena Zelenska, was additionally amongst mourners paying respects to the queen’s coffin. British royal officers stated Zelenska met with Catherine, the Princess of Wales, at Buckingham Palace on Sunday afternoon. They didn’t launch additional particulars. The British authorities has been among the many strongest supporters of Ukraine because it was invaded by Russia in February.

On Saturday evening, it was the grandchildren’s time to mourn. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, had been joined by Princess Anne’s youngsters, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Prince Edward’s two youngsters — Girl Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood along with his head bowed on the head of the coffin and Harry on the foot. Each princes, who’re army veterans, had been in uniform. The group saved slowly, silently submitting previous.

“You possibly can see that they had been considering arduous about their grandmother, the queen,” stated Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “It was good to see all of them collectively as a set of grandchildren, given the issues which have occurred over the previous few years.”

The lying-in-state continues till early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will probably be moved on a gun carriage pulled by 142 Royal Navy sailors to close by Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the finale of 10 days of nationwide mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

After the service Monday on the abbey, the late queen’s coffin will probably be transported via the historic coronary heart of London on the state gun carriage. It’ll then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, the place the queen will probably be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died final yr at 99.

Sumita Tanda put down brilliant purple roses as an enormous floral tribute bloomed close to Windsor Citadel.

“I really feel so privileged to be a neighborhood resident of Windsor,” she stated. “I simply needed to pay my respects.”


Related Press journalists Sylvia Hui and David Keyton contributed.


Observe AP protection of Queen Elizabeth II at


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