Adieu Queen Elizabeth II

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan was on Monday among world leaders, members of the British royal family and high-level dignitaries who attended the state funeral service of the late Queen Elizabeth II which was held at Westminster Abbey.

President Samia arrived at Luton Airport in the United Kingdom on Saturday where she was received by a representative of King Charles III, Ms Cynthia Gresham, and Tanzania’s High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Asha Rose-Migiro.

According to the statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication, Ms Samia was among global leaders who on Sunday paid last respects to the body of Queen Elizabeth II and signed a condolence book at Lancaster House.

The funeral church service yesterday was attended by over 2,000 leaders, members of the British royal family led by King Charles III and other high-level dignitaries.

After escorting the queen’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, the royal family joined dignitaries at the state funeral for the service which included tributes and prayer that culminated in a two-minute silence and the singing of the national anthem.

The heir to the throne, King Charles III and his grief-stricken family surrounded the Queen’s coffin at her state funeral in Westminster Abbey in a moving and majestic farewell to the late monarch.

During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the late Queen touched “a multitude of lives” during her 70-year reign.

Her coffin was placed close to the altar with her crown, orb and sceptre on its top surrounded by flowers chosen by the King from gardens she loved.

The UK’s most important church, packed with presidents, prime ministers and the Queen’s family, was serene aside from the sound of hymns and prayers in the funeral service.

In a highly emotional occasion for Britain and the world, the Queen was carried in her oak coffin to the gun carriage used by her parents.

Outside Westminster Abbey, an estimated two million people in central London followed along procession routes and watched on big screens.

Some of the mourners were so overcome with emotion as the procession passed by that they struggled to speak.

The metropolitan city came to a standstill for a better part of yesterday as members of the public gathered in their thousands along the route of the late Queen’s funeral procession heading from Westminster Abbey to Windsor.

Crowds watched as the state hearse passed through London, with some people throwing flowers in the direction of the convoy.

About 3,000 military personnel and police stood guard along the route as the hearse made its way through London’s most famous landmarks.

The procession arrived at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle late in the evening where a committal service took place.

The private event was attended by about 800 guests, mostly members of the British monarch, government officials and close family friends.

In recent years, the chapel has been the equivalent of the Queen’s Parish Church during the years she lived in Windsor Castle.

It is where she worshipped at Easter and celebrated baptisms, confirmations and weddings during her reign. It is where she said her own final farewell to her husband Prince Philip last year.

It was the final moment for sombre members of the public to see the hearse carrying the Queen beyond the gates of Windsor Castle.

The fallen long-serving monarch in British history was finally laid to rest in a private service at Windsor next to her husband Prince Philip and her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother.

The Queen, whose husband Prince Philip died last year, had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace had called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

Queen Elizabeth II was the 40th monarch in the British royal line that followed Norman King William the Conqueror, who claimed the English throne in 1066 after defeating Anglo-Saxon ruler Harold II at the Battle of Hastings.

At the time of her death the queen was head of state of not only the UK but also Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea in addition to Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21, 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in central London. She was just 25 years old when her father King George VI died and she became Queen Elizabeth II on February 6, 1952.

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