By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
King Charles III was due to address the nation at 18:00 local time. His wife, Queen Camilla, accompanied him as they saw thousands gathered amid tight security.
People were leaving flowers and tributes outside palaces and churches. Among the murders was Sylvia Usher, who said she was in the crowds at the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. She was a little girl but remembered it being a “magical day.” “It was a special moment in my life that I’ll never forget. I was there at the moment she started her reign, and I’d like to say goodbye here today at the end of it too.”
That sentiment was shared across Britain, where people marked the passing of the nation’s longest reigning monarch and head of the Anglican Church.
The Queen was a devoted Christian and personal friend of the late American evangelist Billy Graham, her supporters say.
Bells rang out at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Windsor earlier in tribute to her, followed by 96 gun salutes, one for each year of her life on earth.
Queen Elizabeth steered the monarchy through turbulent times, as Britain’s Empire ended and its place in the world fundamentally changed.
She was head of the state of Britain and 14 other countries, including Australia, Canada, and Jamaica.
Many state leaders were expected to arrive for the funeral, resuming traveling following the coronavirus pandemic.
As preparations were underway, a remembrance service was to be held Friday for the late Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Attendees were to sing the first official rendition of God Save the King.
Britain’s national anthem’s lyrics will change from “Queen” to “King” and “her victorious” to “him victorious.”
World leaders extended condolences and paid tribute to the queen.
In Canada, where the British monarch is the country’s head of state, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saluted her “wisdom, compassion and warmth.”
In India, once the “jewel in the crown” of the British empire, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on social media: “She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise.”
British Prime Minister Truss, appointed by the Queen just 48 hours earlier, pronounced the country “devastated” and called Elizabeth “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”
On Saturday, Charles was officially to be proclaimed King, with flags returning to full mast for 24 hours to mark the occasion.
But then the fiats will return to half-mast as Britain mourns a woman who led the country through wars and peace and was a royal presence for generations.