U.K. and the rest of the world say final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II

By The Associated Press

Britain and the world said a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II at a state funeral Monday that drew presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers — and crowds who massed along the streets of London to honor a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.

In a country known for pomp and pageantry, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s was filled with spectacle: 142 Royal Navy sailors drew the gun carriage carrying Elizabeth’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, with King Charles III and his sons, Princes William and Harry, walking behind as bagpipers played.

“In loving and devoted memory”

The trappings of state and monarchy abounded: The coffin was draped with the royal standard and atop it sat the Imperial State Crown, sparkling with almost 3,000 diamonds, and the sovereign’s orb and scepter.

But the personal was also present: a handwritten note from her son, King Charles III, that read, “In loving and devoted memory” and was signed Charles R — for Rex, or king.

Pall bearers carried the coffin into the abbey, where around 2,000 people ranging from world leaders to health care workers gathered to mourn her.

“Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer,” the dean of the medieval abbey, David Hoyle, told the mourners.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in his sermon that “few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen” for Elizabeth.

The funeral drew to a close with two minutes of silence observed across the United Kingdom. The attendees then sang the national anthem.

Queen’s final resting place at Windsor Castle

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II completed a procession at walking pace through central London and headed in a hearse for her final resting place at Windsor Castle.

After being pulled more than 1.6 kilometers from Westminster Abbey on a gun carriage by 142 Royal Navy sailors, the coffin was transferred to a hearse at Wellington Arch, near Buckingham Palace.

The procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin to Windsor Castle.

The procession of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin to Windsor Castle. CITYNEWS

Dozens of Buckingham Place staff stood in a neat line in the palace courtyard, and many bowed or curtseyed as the procession passed by.

The coffin was then driven to Windsor for another procession along the Long Walk, a five-kilometer avenue leading to the town’s castle.

Later, during the committal ceremony in St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, the Imperial State Crown and the sovereign’s orb and scepter were removed from the coffin and placed on the altar — separating the queen from her crown for the last time. Her coffin was then lowered into the royal vault through an opening in the chapel’s floor.

She will later be laid to rest with her husband, Prince Philip, at a private family service.

As the queen’s coffin arrived at the castle, there were poignant reminders of her love of animals: A groom stood at the roadside with one of her ponies, Emma, and another member of staff held the leashed of two of her beloved corgis, Sandy and Muick.

Related: IN PHOTOS: State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Monday had been declared a public holiday in honor of the Queen, who died Sept. 8 at the age 96.

Her funeral was broadcast live to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and screened to crowds in parks and public spaces across the U.K.

You can watch the full Citytv live special, hosted by Lisa LaFlamme, Cynthia Mulligan and Tammie Sutherland, on Citytv, CityNews 24/7, and citynews.ca.

Ahead of the Queen’s funeral, King Charles III sent out a message saying he and his wife were deeply touched by the many messages of condolences they have received from around the world.

“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief,” read the new monarch’s statement.

For the funeral, Elizabeth’s coffin was be taken from Westminster Hall, across the road to Westminster Abbey, on a royal gun carriage drawn by 142 Royal Navy sailors.

Hours before the service was set to begin, London authorities said all viewing areas along route of the funeral procession were full.

Prior to the Queen’s funeral service, the tenor bell tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.

Canada pays tribute to the Queen

Following the service in London, Canada will be honouring the late queen with a televised ceremony and parade Monday in Ottawa.

Members of the military and RCMP will parade through the streets of the nation’s capital and sound a 96-gun salute at 12:10 p.m.

“Few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen [for Elizabeth]”

A service at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa will include eulogies by former prime minister Brian Mulroney and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson.

The ceremony will also include tributes, music and readings by prominent Canadian artists.

After the church service, Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter jets will perform a flypast over the cathedral and Parliament Hill.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, led the Canadian delegation attending the Queen’s funeral.

They were seated a few rows behind Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and her husband, the Canadian delegation members sitting closest to King Charles III and other senior royals.

Canada’s delegation also includes former governors general Michaelle Jean and David Johnston, as well as former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.

With files from Meredith Bond of CityNews

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