The Queen In State

The Queen is lying in state in Westminster Hall until Monday morning so people can pay their respects. This is going on 24 hours a day. The queue, or line as we Americans would say, is almost 3 – 5 miles long. People have been told to expect an 8-hour wait to pay their respects to her for just a few seconds. She has been the heart of England for most of its citizens for their whole lives and it shows in this outpouring for her.

The two guards at the head of her casket with the white swan feathers on their helmets are the Honorable Gentlemen at Arms and were established by Henry VIII. The four guards on the floor, two on each side, with the flat style hats are the Yeoman of the Guard and were established by Henry VII. The four guards, two on each side closest to the casket with the bear skin helmets are the Queens Guards who were established in the 17th century.

An opposite view of Westminster Hall which is 900 years old.

The ten guards mentioned above stand guard for 20 minutes and then there is a formal changing of the guard. The new guards approaching for the change.

The relieved guards exiting the hall.

As people pass there are various expressions. Some just pass. Some bow their heads. Some women curtsey. Some do the sign of the cross. Some have tears in their eyes. Some blow kisses. Old soldiers stand to attention and salute.

There is a sense of the importance of tradition between the people of England and their Queen. Whether this will be maintained into the future only God knows.

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