Queen honoured in procession, commemorative service in Victoria, B.C.

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VICTORIA — Dignitaries including British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin have joined a commemorative service in honour of Queen Elizabeth II in the capital city named after her great-great-grandmother.

The service at Victoria's Christ Church Cathedral follows a procession that began at the legislature and was led by a Royal Canadian Navy band and members of a 100-member guard carrying their rifles upside down as a mark of mourning.

A riderless horse, symbolizing a fallen comrade and representing the queen's love of horses, was part of the 1.4-kilometre march with a 21-cannon salute amid the sound of drumming and the clip-clop of hoofs.

Many of the mourners who lined the procession route under blue skies have filled the church, where the service included a choir singing "My Help Comes from the Lord," based on Psalm 121.

Schools and most Crown corporations are closed in B.C. for the queen's day of mourning, but most private businesses are open as usual.

Horgan and Austin are scheduled to speak at the service, and prayers are being offered by an Islamic studies teacher, a rabbi, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Victoria and the Bishop of the Diocese of British Columbia.

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

The Canadian Press