Westminster Abbey ceremony complete, Queen’s coffin on its way to Wellington’s Arch

From London | The fascinating ceremonial ballet in front of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey offered a fascinating formal ballet, bringing together for this last farewell to the Queen the main leaders of the world. In this game, heads of state are relegated to mere extras. Emmanuel Macron arrived by bus, preceded by, among others, the Irish president. All these heads of government and state entered through the side of the abbey.

Then, the level went up a notch. Joe Biden had the right to arrive in the famous “beast”, his armored car, and to enter through the back of the abbey, that is to say the main entrance. It was then the turn of the former British prime ministers, each in a car, but arriving in groups of three: Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron, then Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major. Finally, Liz Truss, the current Prime Minister, had the right to her own convoy. It was just the beginning. It was then time for the real stars of the day. First, in three buses, the members of the royal family who are of the second circle. Finally came the Rolls-Royces of Queen Consort, Camilla, and Kate, wife of Prince William.

The bagpipes began to sound, in the total silence of the crowd. The queen’s coffin is placed on the State Gun Carriage, a gun carriage which served in the British army until 1901, before carrying the coffins of Queen Victoria, then of Kings Edward VII, George V, George VI, Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten. At the back of the funeral procession, with a serious face, Charles III advances slowly. He is accompanied by the tight royal family, including Prince William, now the direct heir to the Crown, and his brother Harry.

Eric Albert (London, correspondence)

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