With advertising suspended, visitors and tourists at Piccadilly Circus interact below a color image of Queen Elizabeth II displayed on large-scale advertising screens the day after her death on September 9, 2022 in London, United Kingdom.
Mike Kemp | In Images | Getty Images
US President Joe Biden is expected to pay his respects at Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in London on Sunday, joining hundreds of thousands of people who have passed by the late British monarch as she resides in the state.
Biden will later join King Charles and dozens of other world leaders and royals from around the world for a reception ahead of Elizabeth’s grand state funeral on Monday.
Elizabeth’s body has been in historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday, and people from all walks of life and around the world have passed by in a steady stream of emotion, many queuing overnight and some for up to 24 hours.
“Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history and the history of our world,” Biden said in a message following news of the Queen’s death on September 8.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was seen bowing at the coffin, are among the dignitaries who have already paid their respects.
Britain has hosted a series of poignant and carefully choreographed ceremonies in the 10 days since Elizabeth’s death, reflecting the traditions and prestige of the British royal family whose lineage goes back nearly 1,000 years.
On Saturday evening, the Queen’s eight grandchildren, including Charles’ sons Princes William and Harry, held a solemn vigil by the coffin, following a similar observation by their children the previous day.
“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs that led us through this world,” Princesses Beatrice and Eugenia, daughters of Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, said in a statement and Duke of York.
“Goodbye dear grandma, it has been the honor of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we are so proud of you.”
Later on Sunday, a national minute’s silence will be held at 8pm (1900 GMT).
The British royals and government now await Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, the site of coronations, weddings and burials of English and later British kings and queens since William I in 1066.
London police have described the ceremony as the biggest security operation ever carried out.
Some 500 guests representing nearly 200 countries and territories will attend – presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens and sultans among them – and a large crowd is expected to gather in the streets.
The UK has not held a state funeral on the scale expected for the Queen since World War II leader Winston Churchill.
The government said big 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.
TV ratings service Overnights.TV estimated that on the BBC and other news channels, some 33 million people in Britain had tuned in on the day of his death.
Such has been the desire to pay tribute to the popular monarch, the only one most Britons have known since her accession in 1952, that tens of thousands have waited patiently in a line stretching alongside the River Thames for spend a few seconds next to it. of his coffin
By the time their lie in state ends Monday, officials have estimated that as many as 750,000 may have turned up.
“She wouldn’t believe all of this, she really wouldn’t,” Prince William said as he joined his father Charles, the new king, to speak to mourners waiting in line. “It’s fantastic.”