LONDON (AP) — 1000’s of police, tons of of British troops and a military of officers made last preparations Sunday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — a spectacular show of nationwide mourning that may even be the biggest gathering of world leaders for years.

U.S. President Joe Biden and different world leaders have flown into London for the funeral, to which round 500 royals, heads of state and heads of presidency from across the globe have been invited.

Because the dignitaries poured in, the clock was ticking down for these looking for a spot in most huge queue any of them have ever seen to file previous the queen’s coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall. The miles-long queue is predicted to be closed to new arrivals later Sunday so that everybody in line can view the coffin earlier than Monday morning, when it will likely be taken to Westminster Abbey for the queen’s funeral.

The King’s Physique Guard, shaped of Gents at Arms, Yeomen of the Guard and Scots Guards, change guard duties across the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, Mendacity in State inside Westminster Corridor, on the Palace of Westminster in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (Adrian Dennis/Pool Photograph by way of AP)

Adrian Dennis/Pool Photograph by way of AP

Household by household, hundreds of individuals stored lining up across the clock, braving chilly in a single day temperatures and waits of as much as 17 hours in a queue that stretched for over 5 miles (8 kilometers).

Lauren Wilson, a 36-year-old scholar, was within the a lot shorter queue for folks with mobility points. She mentioned she wished to expertise in particular person the coffin mendacity in state.

“The world is in such a bizarre place after which this occurred. It feels extra momentous,” she mentioned.

She frightened that the pageantry surrounding Elizabeth’s dying deprives the queen’s relations of the power to return to phrases with their loss.

“The household should not allowed to grieve. I discover it fairly heartbreaking,” she mentioned.

The queen’s eight grandchildren, led by inheritor to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with their heads bowed throughout a silent vigil on Saturday night.

Among the many international leaders in London was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who informed the BBC she was humbled to characterize her nation on the funeral and to witness the nationwide outpouring of grief and respect for the late queen.

“The factor that I’ll take away from this era is simply the fantastic thing about the general public’s response, the kindness that you simply see from members of the general public, the endurance, the camaraderie. That has been, for me, probably the most shifting tribute of all, has been the general public response of the British folks,” she mentioned.

King Charles III was holding a reception for heads of state and different leaders Sunday night at Buckingham Palace.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at London Stansted Airport, in Stansted, Britain, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The Bidens are in London to attend the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Joe Biden and first woman Jill Biden arrive at London Stansted Airport, in Stansted, Britain, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The Bidens are in London to attend the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. (AP Photograph/Susan Walsh)

Individuals throughout the U.Ok. may even pause Sunday night for a nationwide minute of silence to recollect the queen, who died Sept. 8 at 96 after 70 years on the throne. Monday has been declared a public vacation, and the funeral can be broadcast to an enormous tv viewers worldwide and screened to crowds in parks and public areas throughout the nation.

Cops from across the nation can be on obligation as a part of the largest one-day policing operation in London’s historical past.

Crowds additionally gathered Sunday close to Windsor Fort, the place the queen can be laid to relaxation at a personal household ceremony on Monday night.

“I feel it’s been superb,” mentioned Anna Pettigrew, a 55-year-old trainer. “It’s been very emotional, and I feel it’s been a really becoming tribute to a beautiful queen.”

Camilla, the new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “carved her personal function” as a “solitary girl” on a world stage dominated by males.

“I’ll all the time bear in mind her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” mentioned Camilla, who’s married to Charles.

Prince Andrew additionally paid tribute to his mom, saying he would ceaselessly treasure “your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence.”

“I’ll miss your insights, recommendation and humor,” he mentioned.

Andrew, the third of the queen’s 4 kids, has been relieved of official royal duties and stripped of his honorary navy titles over his friendship with the late intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein.

After queen’s 4 kids — Charles, Princess Anne, Andrew and Prince Edward — held a vigil Friday round her coffin, on Saturday evening it was the grandchildren’s flip.

William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, have been joined by Anne’s kids, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Edward’s two kids — Woman Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William stood along with his head bowed on the head of the coffin and Harry on the foot. Each princes, who’re navy veterans, have been in uniform. The group stored slowly, silently submitting previous.

“You could possibly see that they have been pondering exhausting about their grandmother, the queen,” mentioned Ian Mockett, a civil engineer from Oxford in southern England. “It was good to see all of them collectively as a set of grandchildren, given the issues which have occurred over the previous couple of years.”

A painting of the Queen Elizabeth II is seen next to flowers at Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
A portray of the Queen Elizabeth II is seen subsequent to flowers at Inexperienced Park, close to Buckingham Palace, in London, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (AP Photograph/Felipe Dana)

Earlier than the vigil, Beatrice and Eugenie issued a press release praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you’d be right here ceaselessly. And all of us miss you terribly. You have been our matriarch, our information, our loving hand on our backs main us by means of this world. You taught us a lot and we are going to cherish these classes and reminiscences ceaselessly,” the sisters wrote.

The silence in Westminster Corridor was damaged briefly Friday when a person lunged on the coffin. London police mentioned Sunday that 28-year-old Muhammad Khan of London has been charged with habits supposed to “trigger alarm, harassment or misery.” He’ll seem in court docket on Monday.

The lying-in-state continues till early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin can be moved on a gun carriage pulled by 142 Royal Navy sailors to close by Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the finale of 10 days of nationwide mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

After the service Monday on the abbey, the late queen’s coffin can be transported by means of the historic coronary heart of London on the state gun carriage. It would then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, the place the queen can be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died final 12 months at 99.

Comply with AP protection of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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