People across Britain paused for a minute of silence Sunday evening in memory of Queen Elizabeth II on the eve of her funeral.
The government had encouraged people to spend a minute in reflection, either at home, with neighbors or in locally organized ceremonies.
In Westminster Hall, where the queen is lying in state, the line of mourners halted for 60 seconds.
In Windsor, where the queen will be laid to rest on Monday after her funeral at Westminster Abbey, rain began to fall as the crowd fell silent for the moment of reflection. The rain stopped as the crowd erupted in applause.
Royal bling to handmade: 70 years of iconic gifts US presidents exchanged with the queen
The president signed the official condolence book and attended a reception Sunday at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III before he attends the queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Biden is among many world leaders who traveled to the United Kingdom to honor Queen Elizabeth’s long reign.
Biden shares condolences, honors Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy in London
After signing the book of condolences for Queen Elizabeth II, President Biden spoke on the impact Britain’s longest-reigning monarch had on the world.
Patrick Colson-Price, Associated Press
During his visit, Biden told media the queen “was the same in person as her image: decent, honorable and all about service.”
“Our hearts go out to the royal family, King Charles and all of the family. It’s a loss that leaves a giant hole and sometimes you think you’ll never overcome it,” the president said, adding that he told Charles the queen will be with him “every step of the way, every moment.”
In the official condolences book, first lady Jill Biden wrote, “Queen Elizabeth II lived her life for the people she served with wisdom and grace,” according to a photo tweeted by New York Times’ White House correspondent Zolan Kanno-Youngs.
Prince Andrew has paid tribute to his mother, saying he will forever treasure “your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence.”
Addressing the late monarch as “Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty,” Andrew said: “It has been an honor and privilege to serve you.”
Andrew, 62, said “I have found your knowledge and wisdom infinite,” adding, “I will miss your insights, advice and humor.”
Andrew, the third of the queen’s four children, has been relieved of official royal duties and stripped of his honorary military titles over his friendship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Last year he reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by Epstein and filed a U.S. lawsuit accusing the prince of sexual assault when she was 17. Andrew denies the allegations.
London’s transport authority expects around 1 million people to visit the British capital Monday for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral.
Transport for London chief Andy Byford said the capital has seen “huge numbers of additional passengers” since the queen died on Sept. 8. But he said demand will “reach a climax” on Monday.
Across the country, some 250 extra train services will run, including some overnight trains. Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, said Monday will see the “biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
More than 100 Heathrow Airport flights will be canceled to prevent aircraft noise from disturbing the funeral at Westminster Abbey Monday morning and the queen’s committal service at Windsor Castle afterward.
The west London airport said 15% of its 1,200 flights scheduled to take off or land on Monday will be disrupted.
Camilla, the new queen consort, paid tribute to the queen in a video message, saying the monarch “carved her own role” as a “solitary woman” on a world stage dominated by men.
“She’s got those wonderful blue eyes, that when she smiles, they light up her whole face. I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable,” said Camilla, wife of King Charles III.
The infamous queue to see Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state will soon come to an end.
As the nation prepares to lay its monarch to rest, officials announced that the queue will close to the public Sunday once it reaches final capacity.
“To avoid disappointment, please do not set off to join the queue,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a tweet, adding the line was already at a 13-and-a-half-hour wait and could increase. For four days, thousands of people have joined the miles-long wait to see the monarch’s coffin in the Palace of Westminster. The crowds are the latest manifestation of a nationwide outpouring of grief for the only monarch most Britons have ever known.
After queen’s death, Britons say: We need to talk about the monarchy
Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stand vigil by coffin
All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silent vigil beside her coffin early Saturday evening.
King Charles III’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the two children of Prince Edward, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
The heir to the throne, William, stood with his head bowed, at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. Harry wore civilian clothes days ago during the procession of the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the royal family, but the king requested that both his sons wear their military uniforms at the vigil.
Before the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a statement praising their “beloved grannie.”
“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.
Waiting to see the queen: 24 hours of wait, 15% of air traffic halted and 500 toilets
Contributing: Maureen Groppe, Edward Segarra, Naledi Ushe and Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the cheaper, easier way to send money abroad. It helps people move money quickly and easily between bank accounts in different countries. Convert 60+ currencies with ridiculously low fees - on average 7x cheaper than a bank. No hidden fees, no markup on the exchange rate, ever.
How to access the offer?
1- Click here
2- Select “Register''
3- Enter your email address, create a password, and select your country of residence
4- Fill out the required personal information, and the free first transfer offer will be applied automatically.
Benefits of the Multi-Currency Account:
- Free to create online
- Hold 50+ currencies
- Get multiple local bank details in one account (including EU, UK, US)
- Convert currency at the real exchange rate, even on weekends
- Spend whilst travelling on the Wise debit card without high conversion fees
Wise International Transfers:
- $1.5 billion saved by customers every year
- Send money to over 60 target currencies
- Lower fees for larger transfers
- No hidden fees. No bad exchange rates. No surprises.
- Send your money with a bank transfer, or a debit or credit card