*** ----> HM King Hamad arrives in London to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

HM King Hamad arrives in London to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II

TDT | Manama           

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa arrived in London yesterday for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, which will take place on Monday at Westminster Abbey in the presence of a host of world leaders, royalty and other dignitaries. Later yesterday, as the world leaders continued to arrive, the focus shifted to Queen’s eight grandchildren, including Prince Harry in his military uniform as they stood by her coffin in her honour as she lies in state in Westminster Hall as weeping mourners file past.

The two sons of King Charles, attired in military uniforms, stood in silence at a 15-minute vigil in the vast Westminster Hall where the coffin has been lying since Wednesday, draped in the Royal Standard and with the bejewelled Imperial State Crown on top.

The other cousins at Saturday’s vigil were Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, the children of Princess Anne, and Louise and James, the children of Prince Edward. The Queen died on Sept. 8 after a 70-year reign, sparking grief and mourning across the United Kingdom and around the world. The state funeral on Monday is to be attended by nearly 100 presidents and heads of government is likely to be one of the biggest ceremonial events ever held in Britain.

HM the King will offer his condolences to HM King Charles III, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to the Royal Family and the British Government and people. Reports also said US President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, headed to London yesterday. The White House said earlier this week that the royal invitation to the funeral was for the Bidens only.

People continue to flock to central London, adding to the already hundreds of thousands who have filed past the coffin in a solemn stream to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. London’s police force said on Friday the funeral would be the biggest security operation it has ever undertaken as prime ministers, presidents and royals come together. Underscoring the risk, police said one man had been detained and arrested after a witness told Sky News he “ran up to the queen’s coffin”. Footage showed a man being pinned to the ground by police officers and taken away.

Meanwhile, King Charles shook hands and spoke to well-wishers queuing for hours in central London yesterday to file past the coffin of his mother. His son and heir, Prince William, also chatted to the crowds wanting to honour the queen. In the silent hall, some mourners wept, many were tearful while current soldiers and veterans saluted their former commander-in-chief. Others fell to their knees. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were among the dignitaries to pay their respects.