Queen Elizabeth II was given an emotional farewell with a state funeral drawing leaders and royalty from around the globe. They honored a monarch whose 70-year reign defined an era for the United Kingdom. Britain’s first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s was filled with spectacle. After a majestic funeral service at Westminster Abbey, Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was interred alongside her husband, late Prince Philip, at a private burial at St George's Chapel on Monday evening. However, the cost of arrangements made for the royal sendoff to Britain's longest reigning monarch is also drawing the attention of many.
Thousands throng streets for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral
The roughly 40-km route by road from Westminster Abbey in London, the site of a grand state funeral attended by thousands earlier in the day, to Windsor included the coffin processing by state gun carriage and then in the state hearse, a customised Jaguar, to the steps of the chapel. Thousands lined the streets on the route of this final procession, which Buckingham Palace said had been drawn up with the public in mind, and the Order of Service for the Committal Service was discussed with the late monarch “over a number of years”. Members of the Royal family, including King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince William, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and others were also present with hearts filled with grief.
Royal family, World leaders at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral
With many mourners bidding farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, heavy police deployment was witnessed in London over the past few days. In addition to the public, special security arrangements were made for the safety of the Royal family and international state heads. Many world leaders were in the UK for the funeral ceremony, including US President Joe Biden and Fisrt Lady Jill Biden, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, The emperor of Japan and Empress Masako, President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Spain's king and queen and others.
Heavy police deployment and security arrangements made
The government hasn’t confirmed the exact cost of the funeral event, but a former royal security officer told the New York Post that he believes the security alone will cost more than USD 7.5 million (Rs 59.78 crore). “This is the biggest policing operation that United Kingdom policing has ever undertaken,” Simon Morgan told the outlet. Morgan also said that the total cost of security is likely greater than the price of security for the 2012 Olympics held in London. Additionally, the intelligence agencies Mi5 and Mi6, the London Metropolitan Police, the US Secret Service and global intelligence bureaus were roped in for protection of the attendees.
Who is paying for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral?
According to Fox News, the cost of the funeral will be paid by the taxpayers. A former royal security officer said, “When you look at the other events, they were big — the Prince and Princess of Wales’ (Harry and Kate Middleton) wedding in 2011 was the biggest, costing around USD 7 million (Rs 55.79 crore) — but in comparison to this, you can't compare it." The total cost of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral may end up being USD 11.43 million (Rs 91.15 crore).
(With inputs from news agencies)