Britain and the world say farewell to Queen Elizabeth II
Britain and the world say farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

London: Queen Elizabeth II is laid to rest on Monday, after a grand state funeral attended by leaders from around the world, and a historic last ceremonial journey through the packed streets of London.

The longest-serving monarch in British history died aged 96 at Balmoral, her Scottish Highland retreat, on September 8 after a year of declining health.

The last state funeral to be held in Britain was in 1965 for the country´s wartime prime minister Winston Churchill.

Then, the cranes that once unloaded the spoils of Britain´s vast empire that Elizabeth inherited were lowered in respect as his coffin was borne up the River Thames by barge.

In the six decades since, Britain´s global reach has been much diminished and its place in the modern world has become less certain.

But the country will still dig deep into its centuries of tradition to honour the only monarch that most Britons have ever known.

Many ordinary people have camped out for days to witness the elaborate spectacle of pageantry and to pay their final respects.

After the funeral, the flag-draped coffin of the queen, topped with the majestic Imperial State Crown, will be taken west to Windsor Castle.

She will be buried alongside her father king George VI, her mother queen Elizabeth the queen mother, and sister princess Margaret, reuniting in death the family who once called themselves “us four”.

The coffin of her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will also be transferred to lie alongside her.

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