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State funeral for Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of an era

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Earlier, tens of thousands lined the Mall in London to watch the procession that followed the funeral.

The monarch’s farewell – whose 70-year reign began in the aftermath of World War II, lasted longer than the Cold War, and spanned the beginnings of the space race to the ubiquity of the Internet — also affirming the reign of its new one.

Her coffin was carried on a Royal Navy gun carriage from the funeral service to Wellington Arch near Hyde Park. It was then transferred to a state hearse for the trip to Windsor.

For the funeral service, Westminster Abbey’s tenor bell rang 96 times, once for each year of Elizabeth’s life, before her coffin was carried inside for the state funeral.

Behind the coffin followed her eldest son, Charles, who finally takes over the reins of the kingdom at the age of 73.

Then for the next hour there were tributes to Elizabeth and hymns culminating in two minutes of silence, observed by those in attendance and across the country.

In his sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recalled how when Elizabeth turned 21, she swore: in a radio address to her millions of subjects around the world, to dedicate her life to serving the British nation and the Commonwealth.

“Rarely has such a promise been so well kept,” he said.

Towards the end of the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, mourners gathered in the old building sang “God Save the King,” a version of the national anthem not heard there in 70 years.

The service took place after the epic line of devoted mourners who had marched past her coffin for four days ended, and more than a week of ceremonies steeped in ancient tradition came to an end.

And it was a broadcast that took place on a large scale.

About 4,000 soldiers were gathered to parade through the streets of London and Windsor. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands lined the streets. At Westminster Abbey, the guest list included leaders such as President Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron, European royals, as well as British doctors and other aid workers.

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