Ms. Madgwick survived, her leg broken by a dislodged radiator. Her sister and brother, Marilyn and Carl, both died.

The scale of the disaster quickly made it a moment of national introspection and trauma, and the queen soon decided to visit.

One of the biggest regrets of her reign was that she did not go sooner, a leading aide later said, and some villagers say the eight-day delay rankled the community at the time. But today, the residents largely remember her arrival as a moving gesture of solidarity from someone they never expected to lay eyes on.

research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Other wings of the British state angered the village by refusing to prosecute any coal industry officials for negligence. Successive governments also declined to cover the whole cost of removing other dangerous slurry tips near the village, forcing villagers to dip into donations intended for survivors, until they were finally fully reimbursed in 2007.

But the queen’s concern for Aberfan meant that she was seen as separate from the state’s indifference, despite being its titular head.

Elsewhere in Britain, people have debated whether the queen could really ever rise beyond politics, given the monarch’s interest in maintaining her own role in Britain’s political system. But in Aberfan, there was less doubt.

“There’s no political agenda there,” said Jeff Edwards, 64, the last child to be rescued from the rubble. “The queen is above all that.”

In Aberfan, most people expressed sympathy for her family and respect for her sense of duty. But there are those, particularly among young generations, who have had a more ambivalent response to the queen’s death.

For some, the accession of King Charles III — as well as the abrupt appointment of his son William to his former role of Prince of Wales — is more problematic.

“I should be Prince of Wales, I’m more Welsh than Charles or William,” said Darren Martin, 47, a gardener in the village, with a laugh. Of the queen, he said: “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the woman. But I do think the time has come for us in Wales to be ruled by our own people.”

The abruptness of the queen’s death was a psychological jolt that has prompted, in some, a rethinking of long-held norms and doctrines.

“If things can change drastically like that, why can’t things change here?” asked Jordan McCarthy, 21, another gardener in Aberfan. “I would like Welsh independence.”

Of a monarchy, he added: “Only if they’re born and raised in Wales — that’s the only king or queen I’ll accept.”

Generally, though, the mood in Aberfan has been one of quiet mourning and deference. The local library opened a book of condolence. Villagers gathered in the pub to watch the new king’s speeches and processions. Some left bouquets beside the tree planted by the queen.

On Monday night, a men’s choir, founded by grieving relatives half a century ago, gathered for their biweekly practice. Proud Welshmen, they were preparing for their next performance — singing songs and hymns, some of them in Welsh, on the sidelines of the Welsh rugby team’s upcoming game.

But halfway through, the choir’s president, Steve Beasley, stood up.

“We all know about the queen,” Mr. Beasley said. “Please stand up for a minute’s silence.”

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Queen’s 8 Grandchildren Hold Silent Vigil Beside Her Coffin

All of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silence by her coffin, as thousands of mourners continued to file past and pay their respects.

All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silent vigil beside her coffin Saturday, capping another huge day in which thousands came to pay their respects. Mourners huddled in a line that snaked across London, enduring the city’s coldest night in months and waits that stretched up to 16 hours.

Authorities warned that more chilly weather was expected Saturday night. “Tonight’s forecast is cold. Warm clothing is recommended,” the ministry in charge of the line tweeted.

As U.S. President Joe Biden and other world leaders and dignitaries flew into London ahead of the queen’s state funeral on Monday, a tide of people wanting to say goodbye streamed into Parliament’s Westminster Hall for another day Saturday. That’s where the queen’s coffin is lying in state, draped in her Royal Standard and capped with a diamond-studded crown.

The numbers of mourners have grown steadily since the public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a queue that snakes around Southwark Park and stretches for at least 5 miles.

Honoring their patience, King Charles III and his eldest son Prince William made an unannounced visit Saturday to greet people waiting to file past Elizabeth’s coffin, shaking hands and thanking mourners in the queue near Lambeth Bridge.

Later, all the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William, now the heir to the throne, stood, his head bowed, at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, were in uniform. Mourners continued to file past in silence.

Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British army officer, wore civilian clothes earlier in the week as the queen’s coffin left Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the royal family. He and his wife Meghan quit royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020. The king, however, requested that both William and Harry wear their military uniforms at the Westminster Hall vigil.

Before the vigil, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie issued a statement praising their “beloved grannie.”

“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever,” the sisters wrote.

People queuing to see the queen have been of all ages and come from all walks of life. Many bowed before the coffin or made a sign of the cross. Several veterans, their medals shining, offered sharp salutes. Some people wept. Others blew kisses. Many hugged one another as they stepped away, proud to have spent hours in line to offer a tribute, even if it lasted only a few moments.

Overnight, volunteers distributed blankets and cups of tea to people in line as temperatures fell to 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the weather, mourners described the warmth of a shared experience.

“It was cold overnight, but we had wonderful companions, met new friends. The camaraderie was wonderful,” Chris Harman of London said. “It was worth it. I would do it again and again and again. I would walk to the end of the earth for my queen.”

Saturday’s vigil followed one on Friday in which the queen’s four children — Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward — stood vigil at the coffin.

Edward said the royal family was “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect (for) our dear mama.”

On Saturday, the new king was holding audiences with incoming prime ministers, governor generals of the realms and military leaders.

The lying-in-state continues until early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will be borne to nearby Westminster Abbey for a state funeral, the finale of 10 days of national mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Elizabeth, 96, died at her Balmoral Estate in Scotland on Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne.

After the service Monday at the abbey, the late queen’s coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London on a horse-drawn gun carriage. It will then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Thousands Wait In Shivering Temps To Pay Respect To The Queen

Overnight, volunteers distributed blankets and warm cups of tea to people waiting in line as temperatures fell to 43 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thousands of people spent London’s coldest night in months huddled in line to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, and authorities warned Saturday that arriving mourners face a 16-hour wait.

A tide of people wanting to say goodbye streamed into Parliament’s Westminster Hall, where the queen’s coffin is lying in state, draped in her Royal Standard and capped with a diamond-studded crown. The numbers have grown steadily since the public was first admitted on Wednesday, with a queue that snakes around Southwark Park and stretches out at least 5 miles.

Honoring their patience, King Charles III and his eldest son Prince William made an unannounced visit Saturday to greet people waiting to file past Elizabeth’s coffin. The two senior royals shook hands and thanked the mourners in the queue near Lambeth Bridge.

Charles has made several impromptu walkabouts since he became king on Sept. 8, in an attempt to meet as many of his subjects as possible. People in the crowds offered their condolences.

Overnight, volunteers distributed blankets and cups of tea to people in line as temperatures fell to 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the weather, mourners described the warmth of a shared experience.

“It was cold overnight, but we had wonderful companions, met new friends. The camaraderie was wonderful,” Chris Harman of London said. “It was worth it. I would do it again and again and again. I would walk to the end of the earth for my queen.”

People had many reasons for coming, from affection for the queen to a desire to be part of a historic moment. Simon Hopkins, who traveled from his home in central England, likened it to “a pilgrimage.”

“(It) is a bit strange, because that kind of goes against my grain,” he said. “I’ve been kind of drawn into it.”

The public kept silently streaming into Westminster Hall even as the queen’s four children — Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — stood vigil Friday night around the flag-draped coffin for 15 minutes. A baby’s cry was the only sound.

Before the vigil, Edward said the royal family was “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect (for) our dear mama.”

Later Saturday, all eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren will stand vigil beside her coffin. Charles’ sons, William and Prince Harry, will attend along with Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

William, now the heir to the throne, will stand at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot. Both princes, who are military veterans, will be in uniform.

Harry, who served in Afghanistan as a British army officer, wore civilian clothes during the procession of the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace because he is no longer a working member of the royal family. He and his wife Meghan quit royal duties and moved to the United States in 2020.

The king, however, has requested that both William and Harry wear their military uniforms at the Westminster Hall vigil.

People queuing to see the queen have been of all ages and come from all walks of life. Many bowed before the coffin or made a sign of the cross. Several veterans, their medals shining in the spotlights, offered sharp salutes. Some people wept. Others blew kisses. Many hugged one another as they stepped away, proud to have spent hours in line to offer a tribute, even if it lasted only a few moments.

Authorities on Saturday closed a separate line for people with disabilities or conditions that mean they can’t queue for hours on end, saying all spaces available have been allocated.

The lying-in-state continues until early Monday morning, when the queen’s coffin will be borne to nearby Westminster Abbey for a state funeral, the finale of 10 days of national mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Elizabeth, 96, died at her Balmoral Estate in Scotland on Sept. 8 after 70 years on the throne.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden flew to the U.K. on Sunday, one of hundreds of heads of state, royals and political leaders from around the world coming to London to attend the funeral. Charles was holding audiences Saturday with incoming prime ministers, governor generals of the realms and military leaders.

After the service Monday at the abbey, the late queen’s coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London on a horse-drawn gun carriage. It will then be taken in a hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.

Hundreds of troops from the British army, air force and navy held an early-morning rehearsal Saturday for the final procession. As troops lined the picturesque path leading to Windsor Castle, the thumping of drums echoed as marching bands walked ahead of a hearse.

London police say the funeral will be the largest single policing event the force has ever handled, surpassing even the 2012 Summer Olympics and the Platinum Jubilee in June celebrating the queen’s 70-year reign.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Mourners Line Up For Miles To Pay Respects To Queen Elizabeth II

Thousands have already paid their respects, filing past the casket draped with the royal standard and topped with a diamond-encrusted crown.

Thousands of mourners lined up through the night to file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Parliament’s Westminster Hall on Thursday, as King Charles III spent a day in private to reflect on his first week on the throne.

The queue to see the queen lying in state grew through the day to stretch for 4.4 miles, past Tower Bridge. The line snaked along the south bank of the River Thames and then over a bridge to Parliament. Thousands in the line didn’t mind the hours of waiting.

“I’m glad there was a queue because that gave us time to see what was ahead of us, prepared us and absorbed the whole atmosphere,” said health care professional Nimisha Maroo. “I wouldn’t have liked it if I’d had to just rush through.”

Buckingham Palace released details of the queen’s funeral on Monday, the first state funeral to be held in Britain since the death of Winston Churchill in 1965. Royalty and heads of state from around the world will be among 2,000 people attending the Westminster Abbey service, which will be followed later in the day by a smaller committal service at Windsor Castle.

At the end of the day, the queen will be buried in a private family service at Windsor alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.

After a day of high ceremony and high emotion on Wednesday as the queen was borne in somber procession from Buckingham Palace, the king was spending the day working and in “private reflection” at his Highgrove residence in western England. Charles has had calls with U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron and is speaking to a host of world leaders — many of whom will come to London on Monday for the queen’s funeral.

Heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales, will visit the royal family’s Sandringham estate in eastern England to see some of the tributes left by well-wishers.

On Wednesday the queen left Buckingham Palace for the last time, borne on a horse-drawn carriage and saluted by cannons and the tolling of Big Ben, in a solemn procession through the flag-draped, crowd-lined streets of London to Westminster Hall.

Charles, his siblings and sons marched behind the coffin, which was topped by a wreath of white roses and her crown resting on a purple velvet pillow.

The military procession underscored Elizabeth’s seven decades as head of state as the national mourning process shifted to the grand boulevards and historic landmarks of the U.K. capital.

The 900-year-old Westminster Hall is now the focus of events, as the queen lies in state until Monday.

The display of mass mourning is an enormous logistical operation, with a designated 10-mile route lined with first aid points and more than 500 portable toilets. There are 1,000 stewards and marshals working at any given time, and 30 religious leaders from a range of faiths to stop and talk to those in line.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Church of England, wore a high-visibility vest emblazoned with the words “Faith Team” as he spoke to mourners.

Welby, who led a service for the royal family when Elizabeth’s coffin reached Westminster Hall, paid tribute to the queen as “someone you could trust totally, completely and absolutely, whose wisdom was remarkable.”

Thousands have already paid their respects, filing past the casket draped with the royal standard and topped with a diamond-encrusted crown.

People old and young, dressed in dark suits or jeans and sneakers, walked in a steady stream through the historic hall, where Guy Fawkes and Charles I were tried, where kings and queens hosted magnificent medieval banquets, and where previous monarchs have lain in state.

After passing the coffin, most mourners paused to look back before going out through the hall’s great oak doors. Some wiped away tears; others bowed their heads or curtsied. One sank onto a knee and blew a farewell kiss.

Keith Smart, an engineer and British Army veteran, wiped away tears as he left the hall. He had waited more than 10 hours for the chance to say his goodbye.

“Everybody in the crowd was impeccably behaved. There was no malice, everybody was friends. It was fantastic,” he said. “And then, to come into that room and see that, I just broke down inside. I didn’t bow — I knelt to the floor, on my knees, bowed my head to the queen.”

The late-night silence was broken when one of the guards standing vigil around the coffin collapsed and fell forward off a raised platform. The man, his chest adorned with medals, could be seen on livestreams of the queen’s coffin lying in state swaying on his feet before pitching forward onto the floor. Two police officers rushed to his assistance.

Crowds have lined the route of the queen’s coffin whenever it has been moved in its long journey from Scotland — where the monarch died Sept. 8 at age 96 — to London.

On Tuesday night, thousands braved a typical London drizzle as the hearse, with interior lights illuminating the casket, drove slowly from an air base to Buckingham Palace.

Earlier, in Edinburgh, about 33,000 people filed silently past her coffin in 24 hours at St. Giles’ Cathedral.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Charles III Arrives In Edinburgh For Queen’s Coffin Procession

By Associated Press
September 12, 2022

Charles flew to Scotland after receiving condolences at Parliament and telling lawmakers he would follow his late mother’s example of “selfless duty.”

King Charles III landed in Edinburgh on Monday to accompany his late mother’s coffin on an emotion-charged procession through the historic heart of the Scottish capital to a cathedral where it will lie for 24 hours to allow the public to pay their last respects.

Charles flew to Scotland after earlier receiving condolences at Parliament and telling lawmakers he would follow his late mother’s example of “selfless duty.”

Earlier, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince Harry hailed her as a “guiding compass” and praised her “unwavering grace and dignity.”

The government, meanwhile, announced that the nation will observe a minute of silence on Sunday, the evening before the queen’s funeral. The “moment of reflection” will take place at 8 p.m. People were encouraged to mark the silence at home or at community events.

Hundreds of lawmakers crowded into the 1,000-year-old Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament for the service, rich in pageantry, in which Parliament offered its condolences to the king, and he replied.

A trumpet fanfare greeted the king and his wife Camilla, the queen consort, as they entered the hall, which was packed with hundreds of legislators.

Charles told members of the House of Commons and House of Lords that he would follow his late mother Queen Elizabeth II in upholding “the precious principles of constitutional governance” that underpin the U.K.’s political system.

He paid tribute to his mother, saying: “As Shakespeare said of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was a pattern to all princes living.”

The hall, with its magnificent hammer-beam roof, is the oldest part of the parliamentary complex — a remnant of the medieval Palace of Westminster that once stood on the site.

“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all,” Charles said.

The ceremony was held in Westminster Hall because monarchs are not allowed inside the House of Commons. That rule dates from the 17th century, when King Charles I tried to enter and arrest lawmakers. That confrontation between crown and Parliament led to a civil war which ended with the king being beheaded in 1649.

Earlier Monday, a personal statement posted on Harry and his wife Meghan’s Archwell website said he cherished their times together “from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved greatgrandchildren.”

Amid acrimony in the House of Windsor, Harry quit as a senior royal and moved to the U.S. two years ago. On Saturday, there was a possible sign of a reconciliation as Harry and Meghan joined his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Catherine in meeting mourners outside Windsor Castle.

The national outpouring of grief continued Sunday as thousands of people lined streets and roadsides as the oak coffin was borne from the late queen’s beloved Balmoral Castle summer retreat, where she died on Thursday, to Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh, the king will walk behind his mother’s coffin as it is slowly transported from Holyroodhouse to St. Giles’ Cathedral, where the crown of Scotland will be placed on the coffin ahead of a service of prayer and reflection on the life and 70-year reign of the widely cherished monarch.

The queen’s coffin will lie at the cathedral for 24 hours, giving members of the public a chance to file past and pay their respects. On Tuesday, it will be flown to London where the coffin will lie in state at the Houses of Parliament Palace from Wednesday afternoon until the morning of the funeral on Sept. 19.

Authorities already have issued rules and guidelines for people wanting to pay their respects in London, with a long queue expected.

After visiting Scotland, Charles embarks on a tour of the other nations that make up the United Kingdom — he visits the Northern Ireland capital, Belfast, on Tuesday and Wales on Friday.

Harry’s statement ended on a poignant note alluding to the death last year of his grandfather, Prince Philip, saying that “We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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White House Flags Fly At Half-Staff To Honor Queen Elizabeth II

President Biden expressed gratitude for the queen’s consistency with the 14 U.S. presidents throughout her 70-year reign.

There’s a storied history between Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. presidents that reflects a deep bond between the two countries.

Over her 70-year reign, she met with 13 of 14 sitting presidents — with Lyndon Johnson being the exception.

“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after her passing.

Her official visits to the U.S. go back to 1951, when then-Princess Elizabeth was greeted by President Harry Truman in Washington.

“I think your visit will improve, if that’s possible, the cultural relations which exist between our two great countries,” he said.

Then in 1957, she visited as queen hosted by President Eisenhower at the White House. In 1976, during America’s bicentennial celebration, she attended a state dinner hosted by President Ford.

“Mr. President, the British and American people are as close today as two peoples have ever been,” the queen stated.

In 1991, she visited President George H.W. Bush and attended a state dinner. During her visit they planted a tree on the South Lawn of the White House, replacing one previously planted in honor of her father. Then in 2007, she visited the White House again meeting with his son, President George W. Bush.

“Administrations in your country and governments in mine may come and go but talk we will, listen we have to, disagree from time to time we may, but united we must always remain,” the queen stated during a toast.

Through the years, the queen was the constant.

“Queen Elizabeth really represents to our country the manifestation of the special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain and for seven decades she has been the embodiment of that friendship,” said Anita McBride, former chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush and former assistant to George W. Bush, and a staff member in the George H.W. Bush administration. “The relationship I think she had with each of our presidents was one of great admiration and respect on their part, vis-a-vis her.”

McBride said of the relationship between the queen and the Bushes: “I think there was a long friendship, a bond that was very special.”

She recalled the care and attention that went into making the White House shine, and the excitement in the months of planning the visit with all hands on deck, down to coordinating colors of dresses.

“I think the other thing I remember about Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2007 that was really meaningful to the Bushes was Queen Elizabeth and President George H.W. Bush visited the World War II memorial together,” said McBride. “Here are these two world leaders; of course, she was still a sitting world leader, he was a former, but who so much of their life, you know, was formed by that incredible pivotal, historical, dramatic event in world history.”

She said Laura Bush had a great respect for the queen, noting in private moments they had a sense of humor and laughed over their dogs. The 2007 visit was timed with the Kentucky Derby, which the queen attended. Laura Bush invited the winning jockey to White House for the state dinner, as the queen was an avid horse rider.

“What I particularly am grateful for, too, was Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were very gracious to those of us on the staff of the White House who really had been deeply involved in the planning of her visit. And she invited us to come over to Blair House, so she could say thank you to us. And I felt it was my time to say thank you to her for what she meant, what she represented the great respect I had for her and, and really the privilege that it was to work on her visit. So I’ll always be grateful for that,” McBride said.

Over the years, Queen Elizabeth also welcomed U.S. Presidents to Great Britain, including the Nixons, Reagans, Kennedys, Clintons, Obamas, Trumps and President Biden, and met presidents in other locations — George H.W. Bush at a Baltimore Orioles game and the Reagans at their ranch in California.

“They, I think, in some ways were the closest relationship of a president and the Queen of England,” said Barbara Perry, the presidential studies director at the University of Virginia Miller Center, about the Reagans and the queen. “She asked if she could come visit them there because she wanted to go horseback riding with President Reagan as they had done at Windsor.”

Perry said each president seemed to find their own relationship with the queen.

“I really do think it went from this father-daughter relationship to a, perhaps, a son-and-mother or son-and-grandmother relationship, and that each president seemed to find sort of a special link with her and vice versa,” Perry said.

But it reflected a significant and important relationship for the countries.

“Well, for example, in the case of the Reagan administration, particularly important as the cold war comes to its height, and ends then with the vice president under Reagan, when he becomes president Bush 41 was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union,” Perry said. “But again, to maintain that Atlantic Alliance that is embodied in NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that had been conceived by FDR and Winston Churchill, who was the first prime minister that that the queen served with, was really important to keep that alliance going particularly at the height and peak of the Cold War.”

Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, President Biden ordered flags to fly at half staff and visited the British embassy in Washington, D.C., where people had placed flowers outside.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” the president said in a statement.

Former American presidents reflected on her legacy.

“Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration,” former President Jimmy Carter stated.

“Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity, and genuine care for the welfare of all its people.  In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity, and strength,” former President Bill Clinton stated.

“Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark moments with her confidence in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow. Our world benefited from her steady resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign. Americans in particular appreciate her strong and steadfast friendship,” stated former President George W. Bush.

“Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance,” former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stated.

“Her leadership and enduring diplomacy secured and advanced alliances with the United States and countries around the world. However, she will always be remembered for her faithfulness to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow countrymen and women,” stated former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Source: newsy.com

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Updates: King Charles III Arrives in London as U.K. Prepares for New Era

LONDON — When Chris Levine, a Canadian artist, was commissioned to make a holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, who died in Scotland on Thursday, he took an unusual approach to getting her to relax.

Levine burned incense in the Yellow Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace where the shoot was taking place, and installed a light sculpture to gently pulse soothing colors around the space. Later, he encouraged the queen to shut her eyes between shots and focus on her breathing as if she were in a meditation class.

“Looking back, it was quite surreal,” Levine said in an interview in February. “I was trying to get beyond the persona of the queen, through to the essence of her being,” he recalled of his meetings with the monarch. “That’s where the real beauty is.”

Levine’s methods may be unorthodox, but they produced several celebrated images of the queen, particularly “Lightness of Being,” which depicts her with her eyes closed, as if caught in a moment of spiritual reflection.

According to Levine, when Mario Testino, the fashion photographer, saw “Lightness of Being,” he said: “People need to see this. It’s the most beautiful image.” Levine said he expected the image to be shared widely on social media after the queen’s death.

Queen Elizabeth sat for hundreds of official portraits like Levine’s during her seven decades on the British throne. But what was it like for artists to meet her, and try to make a distinct image? We spoke to three artists behind key portraits of the queen to find out.

Here are edited extracts from those conversations.


Credit…Thomas Struth

‘Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II,’ 2011

Thomas Struth, photographer

I did much more preparation than I normally would for a family portrait.

I looked at a ton of photographs that exist of her — hundreds — and thought, “People don’t look at her as a person, as a woman.” I wanted to show the queen and Prince Philip as an elderly couple who’re very close to each other and used to each other.

One of my requests was that I needed to choose the queen’s dress, because I didn’t want the danger that she’d show up in a bright yellow one that would make it impossible for me to make a good picture. When I’d looked at other portraits, so many had her wearing something bright, and it just makes her chest the dominant signal and her face look small.

On the day, my feeling was they were surprised everything was so well prepared. The queen’s dresser said, “You may touch the queen if necessary,” and after two or three exposures I realized a pillow behind her back was lining up badly, so I walked to her, moved her forward and changed its position. She found that somewhat surprising.

I exposed 17 plates and then knew I was done. I just sensed I had the image. I had 15 more minutes left, but I gave them that as a gift — some unprogrammed time.

I heard later that when they saw the picture in a museum, they stood in front of it for a long time. It’s quite big — eight feet wide and maybe six feet high — and it’s very, very sharp. You can see all her veins. Prince Philip said, “How did he do that?”


Credit…Justin Mortimer; Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufacturers & Commerce; Bridgeman Images

‘The Queen,’ 1998

Justin Mortimer, painter

I was commissioned not long after Diana died.

I was 27, and do think they chose me because they were keen to modernize the public’s view of the monarchy, since they were being lambasted at the time as these inward-looking, irrelevant people.

It was a little overwhelming at the first sitting. When she walked in, I instantly addressed her the wrong way!

I started by taking some photos. She had a very, very straight gaze, and she never blinked, even though I was going closer and closer with my Polaroid camera. When I pulled back from her, I realized I’d shot all these Polaroids straight into her lap, which was embarrassing, but she was, like, “Don’t worry, dear. Lord Snowden used to shoot me all the time on these.”

I just remember thinking: “I’m in the presence of this human being who has met all the iconic people of the 20th century. Just down the corridor, she would have met Jackie and J.F.K., and Churchill and Idi Amin. Everyone from heroes to criminals.”

In my studio, the only way I could approach it was to paint her in the context of my other works at the time, and I did have these figures with disjoined limbs and slightly dismembered heads, so I ended up basically taking out her neck. It was a bit cheeky. I knew people would bring ideas, like, “Cut off her head!” to it.

I didn’t go in as a raging republican. I just wanted to suggest this vein of unease about the royal family at the time.

After it appeared, I had newspapers all around the world calling me and interviewing me, and people seemed really affronted by what I’d done. But the fact it’s still remembered shows the work has an almost iconic status.

I don’t know what the queen thought of it. But funnily enough, I was asked to do another portrait for the Royal Collection of Lord Chamberlain, who was this very grand old gentleman in the royal household. I’m wondering if that gives you an inkling of the queen’s sense of humor, getting me to “do the business” on this fellow.


Credit…Chris Levine (artist) and Rob Munday (holographer); Jersey Heritage Trust

Chris Levine

I was going to make a holographic portrait of her and was originally thinking of making a pulse laser hologram, which would have involved exposing Her Majesty under laser light. But I got nervous on health and safety grounds, that someone was going to say, “You’re kidding, aren’t you? You want to fire lasers at the queen?”

So we came up with a different approach, where we have a camera move along a track taking a series of 200 stills from left to right, and then making a hologram from each still.

I had an idea in my mind from the beginning — to get beyond all the noise and reduce her to a kind of essence. I wanted to make it really iconic, something that would resonate.

At the time, I was really getting into meditation and was almost evangelical about it. So when the camera had finished a run and was resetting, I asked Her Majesty to breathe. I had another camera in the middle of the track, and took the image that became “Lightness of Being” while she was resting.

I called the first portrait I made “Equanimity,” and I do think she developed this mechanism of being equanimous and not giving anything away, to protect herself almost.

I showed her the work in progress at Windsor Castle — just me, her and her corgis — and asked what she felt about the title and she said, cryptically, “Well, things aren’t always as they seem.”

We did talk about meditation, yes. She said her meditation was gardening at Balmoral.

Whatever indifference I might have had about the queen up until the commission, I felt a real affection for her by the end.

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