By Lee Sun-ho

Owing to my interest in watching the once-in-a-century pomp and magnificent ceremonial proceedings of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, I set a new personal record ― watching BBC consecutively for over seven hours from 10:50 a.m. through 6 p.m. GMT on Sept. 19.

The well-organized state funeral was attended by 90 world leaders, including Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. Also, 500 dignitaries from all over the world, including 53 British Commonwealth nations, gathered at Westminster Abbey.

One peal from the Great Bell of Big Ben represented each of her 96 years as queen, and the footage of her 1947 wedding and 1953 coronation were shown as hundreds of thousands bade farewell. Some tossed flowers onto the hearse, while others yelled "God bless the queen."

It was the most complex security challenge Britain has faced since World War II, far bigger than its last state funeral for wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965. The two minutes of silence brought the mourning land to a full stop.

The queen's coffin, draped in a royal banner with her crown on top, traveled the short distance from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey atop the Royal Navy's State Gun Carriage, drawn not by horses but by 90 sailors.

The coffin was carried out into the streets, and moved from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, with the procession of 4,500 people, possibly the largest military parade of its kind, I presume.

I felt the backdrop was full of pathos for Britain's glorious past. Soldiers surrounded the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, a symbol of an era when "the sun never set on the British Empire."

From there, the coffin was taken in a custom Jaguar-Land Rover hearse to Windsor Castle, where her corgis, Muick and Sandy, were waiting to see her hearse, to my surprise.

At the closing of the one-hour service at Windsor, the congregation sang the national anthem. Then, there came a last piece of music, "Sleep, Dearee, Sleep," a lament commemorating death, played by a lone musician on a bagpipe. The queen was buried in a vault inside St. George's Chapel, alongside the remains of her parents and husband, Prince Philip.

I am pretty sure that such a splendid international diplomatic event would scarcely take place in the forthcoming decades. I was lucky enough to witness the rare event, disclosing the solemn, spectacular and intense dignity and grace of the queen on the throne for 70 years.

As her 11-day funeral period went down in history, I wish she will rest in peace and glory forever.


The writer (wkexim@naver.com) is a freelance columnist living in Seoul.



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Fantastic royal funeral

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27.09.2022

By Lee Sun-ho

Owing to my interest in watching the once-in-a-century pomp and magnificent ceremonial proceedings of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, I set a new personal record ― watching BBC consecutively for over seven hours from 10:50 a.m. through 6 p.m. GMT on Sept. 19.

The well-organized state funeral was attended by 90 world leaders, including Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. Also, 500 dignitaries from all over the world, including 53 British Commonwealth nations, gathered at Westminster Abbey.

One peal from the Great Bell of Big Ben represented each of her 96 years as queen, and the footage of her 1947 wedding and 1953 coronation were shown as........

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