Outpouring of affection for Queen Elizabeth II to culminate in state funeral today

·3 min read

LONDON — After 10 days of tributes and mourning, the world will bid a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II in a state funeral in London today.

The funeral has drawn the world's most powerful and ordinary people alike, who have poured into the United Kingdom's capital city to pay tribute to its longest-reigning monarch.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden will attend the ceremony at historic Westminster Abbey, as will other world leaders, royalty, church leaders and members of the public who have been recognized for their service.

After the funeral service, King Charles III and other members of the Royal Family will walk behind the gun carriage carrying the queen’s coffin in a procession that will include members of the armed forces from around the Commonwealth, including the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP.

She will then be transferred to a hearse and taken to Windsor Castle, where she'll be buried at St George's Chapel alongside the late Prince Philip, her husband of almost 74 years.

The queen's death has prompted an outpouring of grief and affection from around the world.

In London, an entire park near Buckingham Palace has filled with floral tributes, while people at one point were waiting up to 24 hours in line for a chance to view the queen's casket at her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.

Crowds have swelled in the areas surrounding the royal residences and Westminster, prompting a huge number of police and security staff to cordon off entire sections of the city with metal barricades in an effort to control traffic.

The procession will pass by thousands of members of the public, some of whom have been camping outside for days in hopes of getting a front-row seat.

Tim Thompson ofFredericton set up a tent on the flag-lined road leading to Buckingham Palace early Sunday morning to ensure he would get a good view.

As a military member with the Cadet Instructors Cadre, he said it was worth spending a night out in the cold in order to pay his respects to Canada's commander-in-chief and head of state.

Thompson, who also lined up for 13 hours to attend the queen's lying in state earlier in the week, said he was feeling mixed emotions surrounding the funeral. While the event is a sad one, he said he was proud and happy to see different nations come together to mourn the queen.

"We have a shared grief that we're going through, so it's nice to see that camaraderie between Canadians, Australians and British people," he said in an interview.

Evert McLaughlin, a Toronto native living in London, said it felt "surreal" to be living through such an important moment.

"I think she still means a lot to a lot of Canadians," he said of the queen outside the park where people were laying flowers.

In addition to Trudeau, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and their spouses, Canada's delegation will include former governors general Michaëlle Jean and David Johnston, as well as former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.

Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders will also attend, as will several Order of Canada recipients including former swimmer Mark Tewksbury and actress Sandra Oh.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press