Isabel II, the funeral of the century: Carlos III shares a bench with Andrés (in the first row)

It is the biggest day for the country, which fires Isabel II at a state funeral, the first the UK has held this century. The ceremony, with all the symbology that marks the protocol, has moved Charles III, who presided over the first bench on the right with his brothers. The new king has shared space with Andrésthe queen’s only son who wore civilian clothes having been stripped of his military honours.

The Royal Navy gun carriage, escorted by 142 sailors, has carried the coffin. The lead-lined English oak coffin was made 30 years ago, according to The Times.

The newly proclaimed King Carlos III led the funeral procession, along with his brothers, Edward, Anne y Andrés; and the sons of the monarch, Guillermo and Harry, who at the funeral acts of their grandmother have staged a rapprochement between them. During the tour the bagpipes and drums of the Scottish and Irish regiments have sounded. Members of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Royal Marines and the honor guard have paraded in the procession.

London has armored itself to welcome the 500 leaders who attend the funeral. Among them, the kings of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia; and the emeritus, Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía. The four kings, who met at Buckingham Palace this Sunday the 18th, have seen each other again. This time, in front of the cameras. They have shared a bench in Westminster Abbey. It was the first meeting of the four in a public act since the funeral of the Infanta Pilar, in January 2020.

The abbey, a historical setting that hosts the coronation of kings in the United Kingdom, has great significance for Elizabeth II: she married Felipe there in 1947; and, like her predecessors, she was crowned there too. It was in 1953, a year after her proclamation.

Dean David Hoyle and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led the service and delivered the sermon. The minister, Liz Truss, has also spoken a few words in tribute to the queen.

Up to two million people have traveled to London these days to pay tribute to the sovereign. More than 800,000 Britons have passed through the funeral chapel of Westminster Hall. The 10-kilometer queue, the longest in the country’s history, closed on Sunday 18 with an average wait of 14 hours. At 8:00 in the morning (local time) the doors were opened in Westminster Abbey to receive the mortal remains of the sovereign.