QUEEN ELIZABETH II BURIAL

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan will join over 500 world leaders and other foreign dignitaries at the burial ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II which is scheduled to be held at Westminster Abbey Church in London today.

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 a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication, the Tanzanian President was among world leaders who were on Sunday invited to pay last respects to the body of Queen Elizabeth II and sign a condolence book at Westminster Hall.

“After paying the last respect and signing the condolence book, President Samia will attend a brief ceremony to be hosted by King Charles III,” the statement read in part.

The ceremony which was also co-hosted by Queen Consort, Ms Camilla Parker Bowles, was held at the Buckingham Palace in central London.

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, breathed her last on September 8, this year, at the age of 96.

According to media reports from the UK, the Queen’s funeral will be screened in parks, squares and cinemas across the European country.

The news of his death was announced by his son Prince Charles who is now the King of Britain following the death of his mother.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the new king, her eldest son Charles, said.

“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” the 73-year-old said in a statement.

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.

Hundreds of service personnel have been rehearsing in preparation for the Queen’s funeral procession to be held today.

The body of the late Queen will be carried on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy, drawn by 142 sailors, during the procession to Westminster Abbey.

The Queen was the first female member of the Royal Family to serve in the armed forces in 1945.

As Head of the Armed Forces, she held more than 50 ranks and appointments in the UK and Commonwealth Armed Service.

Her funeral procession route to Westminster Abbey will be lined by members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, with a guard of honour standing in Parliament Square, made up of all three military services.

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