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Britain and the world to lay Queen Elizabeth II to rest

London — Britain and the world are laying Queen Elizabeth II to rest on Monday at a state funeral that is drawing presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers — and up to a million people lining the streets of London to say a final goodbye to a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an age.

A day packed with funeral events in London and Windsor began early when the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her flag-draped coffin. Many had waited for hours in line, including through cold nights, to pay their respects in an outpouring of collective grief and respect.

“I felt like I had to come and pay my final respects to our majestic queen. She has done so much for us and just a little thank you really from the people,” said Tracy Dobson, who was among the last to join the line.

In a country known for pomp and pageantry, the first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s promised to be a spectacular display: 142 Royal Navy sailors are set to pull the gun carriage carrying Elizabeth’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, where 2,000 people ranging from world leaders to health care workers and volunteers plan to mourn her. Ahead of the ceremony, one of the Abbey’s bells is tolling 96 times — once a minute for each year of her life.

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