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After 10 days of mourning, Queen Elizabeth arrived home to Windsor Castle for the last time, greeted by tens of thousands of well-wishers, and accompanied by her family

Crowds stretch along the Long Walk in Windsor, England, to see the Queen's final journey on Sept. 19.Kiran Ridley/The Globe and Mail


The Queen arrived home to Windsor Castle for the last time on Monday, greeted by tens of thousands of well-wishers, accompanied by her family and welcomed by her beloved corgis.

Her home in the twilight of her reign will also be her final resting place.

After 10 days of mourning, the crowds that crammed the Long Walk leading to the castle on the hill came from all walks of life, from just down the street and from far-flung countries. They came to watch history in the making, to mark the end of one era and the start of another, and to celebrate a monarch described as a mother to her country.

The Cowland family, including Leo, left, and mother Vanessa.Kiran Ridley/The Globe and Mail

Fourteen-year-old Leo Cowland said he came to say goodbye to a Queen he only met briefly but who left him a memory he’s treasured his whole life.

Ten years ago at Windsor Castle he was selected from the crowd during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, to present a bouquet of pink roses to her. She was wearing one of her signature outfits – on that day it was light blue. “It was very special, it was just me and her, and her bodyguards around her, and she said ‘I hope you have a lovely day in Windsor,’ ” he said.

A decade later he said it was “good to see her again.”

His mother, Vanessa, said she wanted her children to be here to mark the moment in British history. “If you can be here, then you should be here. To respect the monarchy, to respect the 70 years of service, and appreciate everything that she did for us as a country.”

Since Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8, Britain has been consumed with processions and church services across the union in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. After her state funeral in London, her cortège made its way to Windsor for a committal service in St. George’s Chapel, on the castle grounds.

The jingle of horse tack and the drums of a military band signalled her procession’s arrival on the Long Walk. Christine Patterson said she could feel the drumbeats resonate through her as the procession marched slowly by in time to the beat.

She felt it in her heart, she said, “everybody saying goodbye to her.”

The procession down the Long Walk arrived at Windsor Castle on Monday afternoon. Members of the royal family gathered for a committal service where King Charles III placed the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin. Rupert Frere/Pool via REUTERS; Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images; Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP

During the committal ceremony in St. George’s Chapel on the castle grounds, Dean of Windsor David Conner praised the Queen for her “life of unstinting service” to the nation but also her “kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family and friends and neighbours.”

The public ceremonies for the country’s longest-reigning sovereign concluded with the symbolic severing of Queen Elizabeth from the throne.

For the last time her orb, sceptre and crown, which sat atop her coffin throughout the mourning period, were removed by the crown jeweller.

King Charles, her eldest son, then placed her regimental flag, the Grenadier Guards’ Queen’s Company Camp Colour, on the coffin.

Then the Queen’s head of household Lord Chamberlain broke his wand of office and placed it on the coffin.

The last hymn played as she was lowered into the royal vault.

Crowds watch the funeral service on giant screens alongside the Long Walk.Kiran Ridley/The Globe and Mail

Tens of thousands of people stayed outside of Windsor Castle to watch the ceremony on jumbo screens. Beth McCarthy wiped away tears as the people inside the chapel sang God Save The King and well-wishers along the Long Walk joined in.

“It was really emotional, because that’s it,” she said. “This is so final, it’s the end of an era.”

“No one will ever walk with so much nobility and grace as her majesty.”

Ms. McCarthy lives close to Windsor and on top of Monday’s ceremony also attended the Queen’s arrival from Scotland last week, the procession to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, and the lying in state. She wasn’t the only one on the Long Walk on Monday to return more than once to say farewell.

“I’m here on behalf of my dad,” said Sumitra Patel, as her voice caught. “It just brings back my dad and my mum.”

She said as farmers in India, her parents had an attachment to the Crown. That attachment stayed with her and this week she also attended the Queen’s procession in London and lying in state. The public outpouring for the Queen as she made her way from Balmoral in Scotland, to Edinburgh, then London and finally Windsor shows the Queen’s impact around the world, she said.

A soldier stands by floral tributes at Windsor Castle.Henry Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images

In Windsor, the Queen was also a neighbour, and St. George’s Chapel has played host to some of the Royal Family’s most prominent events, including Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle. The events have become the norm for Paula O’Shea and Sam Browne, who live just a 15-minute walk away. The two were watching the Queen’s funeral on the television and decided they should go see the final moments in real life.

“We’re privileged to be here,” Mr. Browne said. “It’s a once in a lifetime.”

The smaller ceremony at St. George’s Chapel was attended by Justin Trudeau and other prime ministers of the realm. After that the family held a private burial in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where the Queen was buried together with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mixed in with the mourning and solemnity was also celebration for a life lived, Arif Pimenta Lima said.

“Celebrating her life, celebrating what she’s done, she stood there for the country, she was the mother of the country,” he said. “It’s not just mourning.”

Mr. Pimenta Lima was outside Windsor Castle with his wife Ruhana and their three children. Ms. Pimenta Lima, who grew up in London, said they brought their children to witness history and develop an appreciation for the country’s monarchy.

“It’s not an elected head of state, it’s someone who rightfully is deserving of that title,” Ms. Pimenta Lima said.

They also came to Windsor to show their support for their new King, said Ms. Pimenta Lima. He learned from “the best.”

With a report from the Associated Press


In photos: Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral

  • King Charles III, left, watches as The Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker breaks his Wand of Office, marking the end of his service to the sovereign, during a committal service for Queen Elizabeth.Joe Giddens/The Associated Press

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Map: Windsor Castle in depth

The Queen’s final resting place is Windsor Castle, west of London, whose chapel is where her late husband, parents and many ancestors buried.

State

apartments

Round Tower: Houses Royal Archives

St. George’s Chapel:

Spiritual home of Order of the Garter, order of chivalry established by Edward III in 1348

Curfew

Tower

Private apartments

Buckingham

Palace

LONDON

King Henry

VIII Gate

Windsor

0

20

ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL

Among finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Construction begun by

Edward IV in 1475

and completed by

Henry VIII in 1528

KM

High Altar

Royal Vault:

Ten former

Sovereigns are buried

at St. George’s Chapel.

Nave

Tomb of George V and Queen Mary, Queen’s grandparents

Electric lift: Lowers funeral plinth into the Royal Vault

Quire: Tombs include Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I, executed in 1649

KING GEORGE VI MEMORIAL CHAPEL

Small chapel with its own vault, added in 1969. First structural addition to exterior of St. George’s Chapel since 1528

King George VI

Dec. 14, 1895 –

Feb. 6, 1952

Queen Elizabeth

The Queen Mother

Aug. 4, 1900 –

March 30, 2002

Princess Margaret

Aug. 21, 1930 –

Feb. 9, 2002

Prince Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh

June 10, 1921 –

April 9, 2021

Black marble gravestone Inscribed in gold lettering with names of George VI and his wife, Elizabeth

graphic news, Sources: Windsor Castle, The Royal Family

State

apartments

Round Tower: Houses Royal Archives

St. George’s Chapel:

Spiritual home of Order of the Garter, order of chivalry established by Edward III in 1348

Curfew

Tower

Private apartments

Buckingham

Palace

LONDON

King Henry

VIII Gate

Windsor

0

20

ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL

Among finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Construction begun by

Edward IV in 1475

and completed by

Henry VIII in 1528

KM

High Altar

Royal Vault:

Ten former Sovereigns are buried at St. George’s Chapel.

Nave

Tomb of George V and Queen Mary, Queen’s grandparents

Electric lift: Lowers funeral plinth into the Royal Vault

Quire: Tombs include Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I, executed in 1649

KING GEORGE VI MEMORIAL CHAPEL

Small chapel with its own vault, added in 1969. First structural addition to exterior of St. George’s Chapel since 1528

King George VI

Dec. 14, 1895 –

Feb. 6, 1952

Queen Elizabeth

The Queen Mother

Aug. 4, 1900 –

March 30, 2002

Princess Margaret

Aug. 21, 1930 –

Feb. 9, 2002

Prince Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh

June 10, 1921 –

April 9, 2021

Black marble gravestone Inscribed in gold lettering with names of George VI and his wife, Elizabeth

graphic news, Sources: Windsor Castle, The Royal Family

State apartments

Round Tower: Houses Royal Archives

St. George’s Chapel:

Spiritual home of Order of the Garter, order of chivalry established by Edward III in 1348

Curfew

Tower

Private apartments

Buckingham

Palace

LONDON

King Henry

VIII Gate

Windsor

0

20

KM

ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL

Among finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Construction begun by Edward IV in 1475 and completed by Henry VIII in 1528

Royal Vault:

Ten former Sovereigns are buried at St. George’s Chapel. Kings George III (d.1820), George IV (d.1830); William IV (d.1837) lie in Royal Vault. Prince Philip was temporarily laid to rest in Royal Vault in 2021. He will be relocated to George VI Memorial Chapel, to lie alongside his wife of 73 years

High Altar

Nave

Tomb of George V and Queen Mary, Queen’s grandparents

Electric lift: Lowers funeral plinth into the Royal Vault

Quire: Tombs include Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I, executed in 1649

KING GEORGE VI MEMORIAL CHAPEL

Small chapel with its own vault, added in 1969. First structural addition to exterior of St. George’s Chapel since 1528

King George VI

Dec. 14, 1895 –

Feb. 6, 1952

Early death at age 56

made Elizabeth Queen

Queen Elizabeth

The Queen Mother

Aug. 4, 1900 –

March 30, 2002

Died at age 101

Princess Margaret

Aug. 21, 1930 –

Feb. 9, 2002

Ashes interred in chapel

Prince Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh

June 10, 1921 –

April 9, 2021

Black marble gravestone Inscribed in gold lettering with names of George VI and his wife, Elizabeth

graphic news, Sources: Windsor Castle, The Royal Family