The Queen’s funeral: Hundreds attend screening of service in Birmingham City Centre
While Centenary Square is usually bustling with life, the atmosphere was sombre today and people grieved openly while bidding farewell to the longest reigning monarch of the UK
While Centenary Square is usually bustling with life, the atmosphere was sombre today and people grieved openly while bidding farewell to the longest reigning monarch of the UK.
Young and old, together or alone, residents and visitors came to attend the service on Monday 19 September. Many people had settled in by 10AM to watch the grand procession when the coffin was pulled by 98 Royal Navysailors from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, via Parliament Square.
When the coffin was brought to the Abbey, members of the royal family were seen taking up their places inside. Before the hour-long service started at 11AM, Centenary Square filled with more people, who came prepared with camping chairs, umbrellas, and hot drinks on the cold and gloomy day.
Even rain didn’t deter some, and they persisted during the service conducted by the Dean Of Westminster. Residents and visitors either stood or sat for the sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury and a reading by PM Liz Truss. A little later, one man sat still glued to the large outdoor screen even as others hurried to take shelter under the Library.
One resident of Jamaican ancestry, Mycha McPherson, came with a Jamaican flag and flowers for the Queen. She wanted to thank the deceased monarch and pay her respects. Mycha’s parents were part of the Windrush generation and are now citizens, just like her.
Another resident who did not want to be named said she prefers having a monarch than a president. She said she did not want to be home alone on this emotional day.
There were many tourists who stood with bagpacks and suitcases alongside locals. One couple, Antonio from Portugal, and Daniela, from Czech Republic, wanted to pay respects like the rest of the people. They live in the city and wanted to honour the head of the state in the UK.
Another couple from India said it was an emotional day and as a Commonwealth citizen, they wanted to attend the funeral as well.
There were many teary eyes towards the end, when the two-minute silence was observed. The public square stood still to mark the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s era. She reigned for more than 70 years and devoted her life to the service of her people.
After the end of the service, while the Queen’s coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, people didn’t disperse and continued watching the procession on the screen.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.