Britain bids farewell to Queen Elizabeth with an outpouring of emotion

Britain is bidding farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with a majestic funeral steeped in tradition and a send-off reflective of the broad popularity she managed to retain over her

remarkable seven-decade reign. Royal family members and dignitaries gathered at Westminster Abbey for a somber service. Thousands more flocked to streets along the 25-mile

(40-kilometer) procession route from central London to Windsor, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sovereign’s flag-draped coffin as it travels by hearse to her final resting place

in St. George’s Chapel, within the grounds of Windsor Castle, for the rest of the funeral proceedings. Crowds wait for the Queen's arrival along the Long Walk outside

Windsor Castle. - Alastair Grant/Pool/AP Though the death of Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, had been anticipated and carefully planned for for years

– funeral arrangements, codenamed “Operation London Bridge,” were long the subject of speculation – the magnitude of this moment of mourning and the public outpouring of emotion

has still caught many off guard. Even for those who are not fans of the royal family, her death marks the end of an era, a shift in the national landscape. At 96, the Queen

had become an almost mythical symbol of stability amid constant change. Her 70-year rule was bookended by war and pandemic, punctuated by uncertainty about Britain’s role on the

world stage. She came to power as the sun had started to set on the British Empire, and her death has renewed a conversation about the country’s dark colonial past. It comes at a

time of great political and economic upheaval, not only in the United Kingdom, but across the globe.