World Leaders Bid Queen Elizabeth Farewell

Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President is one of 500 world leaders who attended the state burial ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II in London earlier on Monday. They were hosted by Prime Minister Liz Truss, whose confirmation was the last major official duty performed by the Queen two days before her demise. Osinbajo was there to represent President Muhammadu Buahri who is in the United States to attend the United Nations general assembly meeting. Other world leaders at the event include the United States President, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill; Justine Traudaeu, prime minister of Canada; Maruihito, Emperor of Japan and President Emmanuel Macron of France. The leaders were part of the about 2,000 people invited to witness the event from within and outside the United Kingdom.

The body of the late monarch was moved early in the morning from Westminister Hall, where she had been lying in state for about five days, to Westminister Abbey where the leaders witnessed the service presided by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. The clergy who said the deceased monarch “touched a multitude of lives” described the death of the queen as one that grieved scores of people all over the world. According to him, “The grief of today-felt not only by the Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world-arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.”

Prime Minister Truss read the Bible passage before the bishop gave his sermon. After the service the coffin was once again carried in procession through The Mall, Buckingham Palace, Green Park before going to Wellington Arch. As the procession moved, King Charles III, accompanied by his wife Camilar, the Queen consort, Prince Harry and Prince William, his children marched behind the coffin. She was later transferred to the State Hearse with which she was taken to Windsor Castle to be buried alongside her father King George VI, her mother Queen Elizabeth, her sister Princess Margaret and her husband Prince Philip who died last year at 99. That was preceded by the procession along the streets of London where thousands of people lined up to pay their last respect to the only monarch the majority of them had known in history, having ruled for 70 years, the longest in British history.

The ceremony that ended on Monday was the first televised state burial after that of Sir Winston Churchill, former prime minister, in 1965.

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