Placed around it, turning their backs head down, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward watched for ten minutes over the coffin draped with the royal standard and adorned with the imperial crown, placed on an imposing catafalque in the oldest room of the British Parliament, Westminster Hall.
They had already done the same on Monday in Edinburgh, where the remains of the sovereign had arrived after her death at her estate in Balmoral, Scotland, on September 8.
For the occasion, Andrew, deprived of military titles following a sex scandal, was authorized to wear the uniform, like his siblings.
During this solemn
vigil of princesa tradition dating back to the death of King George V in 1936, the crowd was able to continue to file past the coffin, as it has done in a steady stream since Wednesday afternoon.
Proof of the immense emotion aroused by the death of Queen Elizabeth, unanimously hailed for her devotion to the Crown, the interminable line to collect has continued to lengthen Friday, exceeding at one point more than 24 hours of ‘waiting.
My ankles hurt horribly, but it’s a small sacrifice to maketold AFP Peter Stratford, 70, resting briefly after waiting eight hours.
I wouldn’t have wanted to miss thisadded this former firefighter who intervened during a major fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, where Elizabeth II will be buried on Monday.
As earlier in the day, the authorities once again temporarily suspended access to the long queue that winds for miles in the capital on Friday evening. This access will reopen at noon on Saturday.
Like thousands of people, former soccer star David Beckham had waited patiently for more than 12 hours since 2 a.m., dressed in dark clothes. In front of the remains, he soberly bowed his head and wiped away a tear.
It is very moving. The silence and atmosphere in the room is very difficult to explain, but we are all here to say thank you to Her Majesty for being so kind, caring, comforting over the yearshe said when he left, stormed by journalists.
She was our queen and the legacy she leaves is amazinghe added.
The King in Cardiff
The funeral wake of the princes came to close for Charles III a day rich in emotion, during which he was applauded in Cardiff during the last stage of his tour of the four nations of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales).
For about twenty minutes, the 73-year-old former Prince of Wales enjoyed a walkabout, shaking many hands. You could sometimes hear chanting
Long live the King! (Long live the king!)
He left with Queen Consort Camilla to the sound of the anthem God Save the King intoned by the public, after attending a church service and renewing their promise, in a speech delivered partly in Welsh to Parliament, in order to follow
The example from his mother.
It was very moving to see someone so special for the countryFfion Driscoll, 14, told AFP, crying bitterly with his mother.
But while the king was cheered on by conquered Welshmen, a handful of anti-monarchists carrying placards
abolish the monarchy Where
democracy now were gathered in front of the castle.
A petition protesting the passing of the Prince of Wales title – for some a symbol of English oppression – to the new heir to the throne William rather than a Welshman has garnered nearly 30,000 signatures.
Back in London, Charles III, head of the Anglican Church, had received the country’s religious leaders at Buckingham Palace, pledging to defend all faiths.
The public will be able to parade until early morning Monday in front of the coffin of Elizabeth II, before the state funeral at 11 a.m. (local time), the first of its kind since that of Winston Churchill in 1965.
Then, a procession will accompany the coffin to Westminster Abbey where the funeral will be held.
Millions of people are expected to watch the event on their televisions on this UK public holiday.
Some 2,000 guests, including several hundred leaders from around the world, crowned heads, but also anonymous people decorated for their associative commitment, will attend the ceremony.
Joe Biden, Ursula von der Leyen, the Emperor of Japan and Emmanuel Macron are expected, while the Pope will be represented. The leaders of Russia, Afghanistan, Burma, Syria and North Korea were not invited.
The event represents an unprecedented security challenge for the United Kingdom, which has deployed an impressive system in the capital, with numerous reinforcements from all over the country.
This will be the biggest event that the London police had to frame, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Stuart Cundy said on Friday, even bigger than at the 2012 Olympics.
A few hours earlier, the attack on two police officers, stabbed in central London, which is not considered a terrorist act by the authorities, raised the tension a notch.
Not conquered ground
Many challenges await Charles III, often described as a transitional king preceding his son, the popular William, but also as a modernizer anxious to reduce the wings of the monarchy.
Between Scotland’s quest for independence, tensions in Northern Ireland, the economic and social crisis in the country, but also the republican temptations emerging in some of its 14 other kingdoms, he will have a lot to do to embody the national unity.
Thus, a few meters from the entrance to Cardiff Castle, Zahra Ameri, 22, who works in a tea shop, says she is already tired by all the commotion surrounding the king.
I hope Wales will become independent, she told AFP. [Le roi] is just a person [il n’est] not really important to me.
The first steps of Charles III were considered rather dignified, with the exception of a few gestures of annoyance much commented on the Internet. Many are now waiting to see how he will take on the role of his immensely respected mother and how he will handle family crises.