© Reuters. Members of the general public file previous the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped within the Royal Customary with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, mendacity in state on the catafalque in Westminster Corridor, on the Palace of Westminster, London, a
By Kylie MacLellan
LONDON (Reuters) – Stepping foot inside parliament’s imposing Westminster Corridor, mourners coming to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth are struck by a robust scene.
In full silence, a sombre procession of younger and outdated slowly file previous the coffin of Britain’s longest serving monarch, who’s laying in state within the oldest a part of the Palace of Westminster forward of her funeral on Monday.
On the centre lies the queen’s coffin, lined by the Royal Customary flag on prime of a purple shrouded catafalque. The Imperial State Crown, glinting sometimes within the mild, sits on a cushion on prime, alongside a wreath of flowers.
At its 4 corners, massive candles flicker gently. Troopers in full ceremonial uniform and law enforcement officials stand vigil as two strains of individuals make their well past on both facet.
Wrapped in heat coats after queuing for so long as 10 hours exterior by means of the evening, members of the general public descend the steps into the corridor, the morning mild streaming in by means of an enormous stained glass window behind them.
The sound of lots of of footsteps crossing the outdated stone ground is muffled by a large beige carpet, briefly laid alongside either side of the coffin.
On reaching the queen, most cease to bow their head in a second of silent reflection, some make the signal of the cross. One man blows her a kiss. Outdated troopers salute.
As they stroll away, many wipe away tears. Some are visibly sobbing, overcome with emotion whereas others merely stroll arm-in-arm with their buddies or household, comforting one another. Just a few search for in awe on the medieval timber hammer-beam roof.
They arrive from all walks of life; dad and mom with buggies carrying sleeping infants, kids in class uniform, former troopers carrying medals and berets. Some are aided by strolling sticks, others are pushed in wheelchairs.
Each 20 minutes, the silence is damaged by a double faucet on the stone ground which signifies it’s time to change the guard, and the sound of the rhythmic footsteps of troopers descending the steps into the corridor fills the air.
The regular procession of individuals submitting previous the coffin is halted whereas 10 guards resplendent in scarlet uniforms slowly march throughout the corridor, over plaques on the ground commemorating earlier lyings-in-state, to alleviate their colleagues standing vigil across the catafalque.
After just some moments paying their respects, mourners make their method in the direction of the large double doorways to go away the corridor into the cool London air, most unable to withstand the urge to cease for a last look again on the coffin.