Queen laid to rest in Windsor after emotional public farewell
By PA Reporters
The Queen was laid to rest following 70 years of service after family, friends and the nation said a fond farewell to the late monarch.
For the woman who was never meant to be sovereign, the Queen fulfilled her pledge to serve nation and Commonwealth and came to earn the respect of many – from world leaders to the public.
Her grieving family walked behind her coffin throughout the long day, a simple but public tribute, and the emotion was clear to see on the face of the King, who looked close to tears during the earlier Westminster Abbey state funeral service.
The royal family were united in their loss, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex briefly back with the family they left, but as the Queen’s son the Earl of Wessex said in tribute, in death, as in life, they were sharing their “beloved mama” with others.
Hundreds of thousands lined the Queen’s funeral procession that carried the monarch from lying in state at Westminster Hall to her state funeral and on to Windsor Castle for the committal service.
Her state hearse arrived at the royal fortress strewn with flowers after the sight of the Queen had been cheered and applauded by mourners along the route.
When the Queen was lying in state, a river of people flowed past her coffin, paying their respects over four days.
At the end there were touching moments, with the Queen’s fell pony Emma, held by her stud groom and manager, standing a few feet from the coffin as the procession entered the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Waiting in the royal residence’s quadrangle were her two corgis Muick and Sandy – gifts from her son the Duke of York – as the funeral procession passed.
The Queen was head of state but also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and, in a personal touch, the wreath adorning her coffin had a handwritten note from the King.
The message said: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R”.
Charles had requested the floral tribute, which replaced a wreath of Balmoral flowers, with foliage and blooms cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove.