Queen Elizabeth funeral ‘Crowds gathered to witness last roar of vanished British empire’

Published date20 September 2022
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
It was the last act after an extraordinary funeral service which began in bright sunshine and a stretching, imperious military procession through the historical arteries, lined with mourners, that run between Buckingham Palace and Westminster. The nation, given the day off, watched on big screens and at home

World leaders gathered in Westminster to experience the rare sensation of being invisible while in full view. All attention was riveted to the small casket which was moved, in a show of precious care, from Westminster Hall, where the queen lay in state for four days, and placed on the historical gun-carriage and rope-pulled by navy officers as a succession of marching regiments and guards escorted her to Westminster Abbey. All morning, canon sounded across the city as vast crowds gathered to witness a process which might serve as the last roar of the vanished British empire.

Dissolution of Britain The queen's 70-year reign as monarch has coincided with the dissolution of Britain as a colonial power and, in more recent decades, with intense media scrutiny and a series of controversies which have cast the royal family in an unflattering light. But her unwavering commitment to her duty as monarch and her place as a figurehead in British life through seven decades of immense change renders her an irreplaceable figure in the eyes of the millions who have mourned her this week. "People of loving service are...

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