By Alexander Zhang
World leaders and royalty have attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London’s Westminster Abbey to mourn Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who died on Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne.
Tens of thousands of people lined the streets as the Queen’s coffin made the short journey to the abbey from Westminster Hall, where she had been lying in state for the past four days.
King Charles III and other senior British royals walked behind the flag-draped coffin, which was carried on a gun carriage pulled by 142 sailors with arms linked.
Among the 2,000-strong congregation in the abbey, there were some 500 presidents, prime ministers, foreign royal family members, and dignitaries, including U.S. President Joe Biden and leaders from Canada, Australia, France, Germany, India, and Brazil.
The British royal family were sat opposite foreign kings and queens including King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Prince Albert of Monaco, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, and Japanese monarch Naruhito and his wife Masako.
During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the congregation the outpouring of emotion for the Queen “arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.”
Welby, standing in the church where kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, also said that the Queen had declared on her 21st birthday “that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth.”
“Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen,” he added.
The funeral was broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
Several big screens were also set up in Hyde Park, while London’s City Hall said all public viewing areas for the Queen’s funeral procession were full.
Following the service, the Queen’s coffin began its final journey from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle.
Later on Monday evening in Windsor, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family, where the Queen will be reunited with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will move from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.
PA Media and Reuters contributed to this report.
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