Queen’s 8 grandchildren hold silent vigil beside her coffin

Sep 16, 2022, 2:09 PM | Updated: Sep 17, 2022, 2:59 pm
People have a beer next to a portrait of the late Queen in London, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Queen ...

People have a beer next to a portrait of the late Queen in London, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

LONDON (AP) — All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silent vigil beside her coffin Saturday, capping another huge day in which thousands came to pay their respects. Mourners huddled in a line that snaked across London, enduring the city’s coldest night in months and waits that stretched up to 16 hours.

Authorities warned that more chilly weather was expected Saturday night. “Tonight’s forecast is cold. Warm clothing is recommended,” the ministry in charge of the line tweeted.

As U.S. President Joe Biden and other world leaders and dignitaries flew into London ahead of the queen’s state funeral on Monday, a tide of people wanting to say goodbye streamed into Parliament’s Westminster Hall for another day Saturday. That’s where the queen’s coffin is lying in state, draped in her Royal Standard and capped with a diamond-studded crown.

The numbers of mourners have grown steadily since the public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a queue that snakes around Southwark Park and stretches for at least 5 miles (8 kilometers).

Honoring their patience, King Charles III and his eldest son Prince William made an unannounced visit Saturday to greet people waiting to file past Elizabeth’s coffin, shaking hands and thanking mourners in the queue near Lambeth Bridge.

Later, all the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William, now the heir to the throne, stood, his head bowed, at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. Mourners continued to file past in silence.

Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British army officer, wore civilian clothes earlier in the week as the queen’s coffin left Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the royal family. He and his wife Meghan quit royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020. The king, however, requested that both William and Harry wear their military uniforms at the Westminster Hall vigil.

Before the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a statement praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.

People queuing to see the queen have been of all ages and come from all walks of life. Many bowed before the coffin or made a sign of the cross. Several veterans, their medals shining, offered sharp salutes. Some people wept. Others blew kisses. Many hugged one another as they stepped away, proud to have spent hours in line to offer a tribute, even if it lasted only a few moments.

Overnight, volunteers distributed blankets and cups of tea to people in line as temperatures fell to 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit). Despite the weather, mourners described the warmth of a shared experience.

“It was cold overnight, but we had wonderful companions, met new friends. The camaraderie was wonderful,” Chris Harman of London said. “It was worth it. I would do it again and again and again. I would walk to the end of the earth for my queen.”

People had many reasons for coming, from affection for the queen to a desire to be part of a historic moment. Simon Hopkins, who traveled from his home in central England, likened it to “a pilgrimage.”

“(It) is a bit strange, because that kind of goes against my grain,” he said. “I’ve been kind of drawn into it.”

Saturday’s vigil followed one on Friday in which the queen’s four children — Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward — stood vigil at the coffin.

Edward said the royal family was “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect (for) our dear mama.”

On Saturday, the new king was holding audiences with incoming prime ministers, governor generals of the realms and military leaders.

The Metropolitan Police arrested a man Friday night during the viewing for a suspected public order offense. Parliamentary authorities said someone got out of the queue and tried to approach the coffin.

Tracey Holland told Sky News that her 7-year-old niece Darcy Holland was pushed out of the way by a man who tried to “run up to the coffin, lift up the standard and try to do I don’t know what.” She said police detained the man in “two seconds.”

The lying-in-state continues until early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will be borne to nearby Westminster Abbey for a state funeral, the finale of 10 days of national mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Elizabeth, 96, died at her Balmoral Estate in Scotland on Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne.

After the service Monday at the abbey, the late queen’s coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London on a horse-drawn gun carriage. It will then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.

Late Saturday, the government revealed details of where the public can watch the day’s services and processions.

In addition to a number of viewing areas along the route, mourners will be able to watch on screens set up in Hyde Park, close to Buckingham Palace. There also will be screening sites at several towns and cities across the U.K and about 125 cinemas will open to screen the funeral.

Hundreds of troops from the British army, air force and navy held an early-morning rehearsal Saturday for the final procession. As troops lined the picturesque path leading to Windsor Castle, the thumping of drums echoed in the air as marching bands walked ahead of a hearse.

London police say the funeral will be the largest single policing event the force has ever handled, surpassing even the 2012 Summer Olympics and the Platinum Jubilee in June celebrating the queen’s 70-year reign.

___

Follow AP coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Pakistan’s army chief meets with US defense secretary

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s powerful military chief met Wednesday in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other security and government officials, the military said. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s trip to the United States comes weeks before he’s expected to retire after an extended six-year tenure. Although Pakistan has been ruled by the elected civilian […]
1 day ago
A woman holds a child at a clinic in Dollow, Somalia, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.  Somalia is in ...
Associated Press

‘So many children dying’: Somalia drought brings famine near

DOLLOW, Somalia (AP) — A man in a donkey cart comes wheeling through the dust, carrying two small, silent boys. The sky is overcast. It could rain. It won’t. It hasn’t for a very long time. Mohamed Ahmed Diriye is 60 years old, and he’s completing the grimmest journey of his life. He set off […]
1 day ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss, foreground and Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng look ...
Associated Press

UK’s Truss tries to shake off dismal start with party speech

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss will say Wednesday that all change brings disruption as she tries to convince her Conservative Party — and the country — that the turmoil unleashed by her tax-cutting economic agenda will bring more prosperity in the end. Truss is due to close a tumultuous Conservative conference […]
1 day ago
FILE - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, right, shakes hands with Albanian Prime ...
Associated Press

As Europe’s leaders meet, some fear for EU membership hopes

BRUSSELS (AP) — Leaders from more than 40 countries meeting in the Czech capital Thursday are set to launch a “European Political Community” aimed at boosting security and prosperity across the continent. But critics claim the new forum is an attempt to put the brakes on European Union enlargement. The Prague meeting is the brainchild […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this image from video, Tigray's regional president Debretsion Gebremichael speaks during ...
Associated Press

Ethiopia, Tigray head invited to peace talks in South Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The leader of Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region and the federal government have been invited to peace talks in South Africa this weekend as part of a pan-African effort to end one of the world’s most overlooked wars, according to a letter seen Wednesday by The Associated Press. If Debretsion Gebremichael attends […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo of a Nobel medal displayed during a ceremony in New York....
Associated Press

Nobel panel to announce winner of chemistry prize

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The winner, or winners, of the Nobel Prize in chemistry will be announced Wednesday at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Last year the prize was awarded to scientists Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for finding an ingenious and environmentally cleaner way to build molecules that the Nobel panel […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Queen’s 8 grandchildren hold silent vigil beside her coffin