Joe Biden says ‘the world is a better place’ thanks to Queen Elizabeth as Britain observes minute of silence

Britain observed a minute’s silence on Sunday in a final tribute to Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her state funeral, after her son King Charles III greeted world leaders at Buckingham Palace.
US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron were among the stream of dignitaries who paid their respects at the coffin of the late monarch, with Biden crossing himself and touching his heart as he stood on a gallery in the historic Westminster Hall in London.
Members of the public have filed for time to pay their last respects to the only sovereign most Britons have ever known before she was laid to rest on Monday.
Mr Biden said Queen Elizabeth, who reigned for a record 70 years until her death on September 8 at the age of 96, was “decent, honorable and service-oriented”.

“All the people of the UK: our thoughts are with you, and you were blessed to have had her for 70 years; we all were. The world is a better place for her,” Mr Biden said. after signing a book of condolences.

Dignitaries pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II

US President Joe Biden, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, signs a condolence book at Lancaster House in London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 18, 2022 in London, England. Source: Getty / (Photo by Jonathan Hordle-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The US President then attended a reception hosted by King Charles and the Royal Family for around 500 visiting dignitaries.

They included Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, King Felipe VI of Spain, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
The minute’s silence took place at 8 p.m. local time to honor the late Queen’s life of service.

Prime Minister Liz Truss stood in a black dress outside her official residence at 10 Downing Street for the ‘national moment of reflection’ before the eyes of the world focused on the British capital for the Queen’s farewell.

British royals

Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss, right, and her husband Hugh O’Leary observe a minute’s silence outside 10 Downing Street, London, Sunday September 18, 2022, ahead of tomorrow’s funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Brittany. Source: PA / (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Members of the public camped out ahead to catch a glimpse of the grand farewell at Westminster Abbey, which is expected to bring London to a standstill and be watched by billions of viewers around the world.

EJ Kelly, a 46-year-old schoolteacher from Northern Ireland, secured a prominent place with friends on the route the motorcade will take after the funeral.
“Watching it on TV is wonderful but being here is something else,” she told AFP, equipped with camping chairs, warm clothes and extra socks.

“I’m probably going to feel very emotional about this, but I wanted to be here to pay my respects.”

The nation prepares to pay its last respects to Queen Elizabeth II

A flag bearing a picture of Queen Elizabeth II flies from a building on September 18, 2022 in London, UK. Source: Getty / (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The “glue” of the country

Crowds also pressed around Windsor Castle, west London, where the Queen’s coffin will be taken after the service for a private burial alongside her late husband Prince Philip, her parents and of his sister.
“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never seen it so busy,” said Donna Lumbard, 32, manager of a local restaurant.

The latest of the estimated hundreds of thousands of mourners who flocked to London to see the Queen’s coffin lined up along the banks of the River Thames until Sunday evening.

They have until 6.30 a.m. local time on Monday to go to Westminster Hall opposite the Abbey.
As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the official estimated queue time was around seven hours.

Wait times peaked at more than 25 hours early Saturday.

Supermarket manager Andy Sanderson, 46, was among those who finally made it to Parliament after braving miles of queues.
“She was the glue that held the country together,” he said.

“She doesn’t have an agenda unlike politicians, so she can speak for the people.”

“Reassuring presence”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who saw the lie and met King Charles on Saturday, told Sky News Australia the Queen was “a constant reassuring presence”.
There was also a private audience at Buckingham Palace for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who, like Australia, Britain and 12 other Commonwealth realms, now has King Charles as sovereign.

“You could see it meant a lot (to King Charles) to have seen the extent and the outpouring of people’s love and affection for Her late Majesty,” Ms Ardern told the BBC television.

GREAT BRITAIN-KINGS-QUEEN-DEATH

King Charles III meets New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, during a meeting of prime ministers of the realms, in Room 1844 at Buckingham Palace in London on September 17, 2022. Source: Getty / (STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

But in an indication of the challenges ahead for the new king, Ms Ardern added that she expected New Zealand to give up its constitutional monarchy “within my lifetime”.

Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral, the first in Britain since the death of her first Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965, will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m. local time on Monday.

Reflecting on the Queen’s wishes for the hour-long ceremony, former Archbishop of York John Sentamu told BBC television she ‘didn’t want what you call long, boring services’ .

Death of Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III and the Queen Consort leave the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales, after a visit to receive a motion of condolence following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Tributes from Camilla, Andrew

Leaders from Russia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea were not invited to join the 2,000 invitees.
As their private heartbreak has played out in the spotlight of global attention, a new opinion poll has shown the royal family’s popularity has risen in the UK.

William and his wife Kate topped the ranking of the most popular royals while Charles has seen his approval rating rise by 16 points since May.

The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, in disgrace for his links to US billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, paid tribute on Sunday to the Queen’s “infinite knowledge and wisdom”.

Camilla made her first public comments as the new queen consort, recalling her mother-in-law’s smile and “wonderful blue eyes”.

“It must have been so hard for her to be a lonely woman” in a male-dominated world, King Charles’ wife said in televised comments.

When she ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of 25, “there were no female prime ministers or presidents. She was the only one, so I think she carved out her own role .”