Marcos distances from father’s legacy on US trip

LONDON: US President Joe Biden paid his last respects to Queen Elizabeth II in London on Sunday as time ran out for ordinary mourners to view her coffin before the funeral.
Biden crossed himself and put his hand over his heart as he stood with his wife Jill on a gallery overlooking the flag-draped coffin in the cavernous Westminster Hall while members of the public passed.
After witnessing the somber scene, the US leader, Japanese Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders made their way to a reception with King Charles III.
Biden, who flew in late Saturday, said Charles’ mother, who ruled for a record-breaking 70 years until her death on September 8 at the age of 96, “defined an era.”
Australia’s anti-monarchy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who looked at the state lie and met Charles on Saturday, told Sky News Australia that the Queen was “a constant reassuring presence”.

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Britain’s Princess Catherine of Wales (L) speaks with Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska (L) during a meeting at Buckingham Palace September 18, 2022. (AFP)

There was also a private audience at Buckingham Palace for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who, like Australia and 12 other Commonwealth realms, now counts Charles as its sovereign.
“You could see it meant a great deal (to Charles) to have seen the sheer scale and outpouring of people’s love and affection for Her late Majesty,” she told BBC television on Sunday.
But in a sign of the challenges ahead for the new king, Ardern added that she expects New Zealand to drop the British monarchy “in the course of my life”.
The public were already camping out in advance to catch a glimpse of Monday’s grand farewell at Westminster Abbey, set to bring London to a standstill and be watched by billions of viewers worldwide.

EJ Kelly, a 46-year-old schoolteacher from Northern Ireland, secured a prime spot with friends on the route that the procession will take after the funeral.
“It’s wonderful to see it on TV, but being here is different,” she told AFP, outfitted with camp chairs, warm clothes and extra socks.
“I’ll probably be very emotional when it comes down to it, but I wanted to be here to pay my respects.”
Crowds also thronged around Windsor Castle, west of London, where the Queen’s coffin will be driven to a private funeral after the service, to be buried alongside her late husband Prince Philip, her parents and sister.
“I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve never felt it so full,” said Donna Lumbard, 32, manager of a local restaurant.
Beginning with a single toll from Big Ben, Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss will initiate a national minute’s silence at 20:00 (1900 GMT) on Sunday to reflect on the Queen’s “life and legacy”.
Near the Scottish town of Falkirk, 96 lanterns were to be lowered in a ‘reflection pool’ at the foot of the Queen Elizabeth II Canal before wreaths were placed in the water.
Those wishing to see the flag-draped coffin have until 06:30 (0530 GMT) on Monday to make it to Westminster Hall, opposite the Abbey.
As the queue continued to snake for miles along the Thames on Sunday, the wait was more than nine hours and the line is likely to be closed until evening.
“To avoid disappointment, please do not wait in line,” the government said.
Andy Sanderson, 46, a supermarket section manager, waited in line and finally reached Parliament.
“She was the glue that held the country together,” he said.
“She doesn’t have an agenda, unlike politicians, so she can speak for the people.”

As mourners slowly filed past on Saturday night, Prince William and his estranged younger brother Prince Harry led the Queen’s eight grandchildren around the coffin in a 12-minute vigil.
Harry – who has made two tours with the British Army in Afghanistan – wore the uniform of the Blues and Royals cavalry regiment in which he served.
The move appeared to be the last olive branch Charles offered to Harry and his wife Meghan after they gave up royal duties and relocated to North America, where they later accused the royal family of racism.
Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral, the first in Britain since the death of her first Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965, will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday at 11am.
Reflecting on the Queen’s wishes for the hour-long ceremony, former Archbishop of York John Sentamu said she did not want “long, boring services”.
“People’s hearts and cockles are being warmed,” he told BBC television.
Leaders from Russia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea were not invited to join the 2,000 guests.
Moscow’s foreign ministry last week called the decision “deeply immoral” and “blasphemous” in memory of the queen. China will participate in the abbey but has been barred from the property by parliamentary leaders.
While her private mourning played out in the glare of global attention, a new YouGov opinion poll showed the royal family’s popularity in the UK has risen.
William and his wife Kate topped the list of most popular royals, while Charles saw his approval ratings rise 16 points since May.
The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, in shame at his ties to billionaire and US pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, paid tribute to the Queen’s “infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom without limit or containment” on Sunday.
Camilla made her first public comments as the Queen’s new consort, recalling her mother-in-law’s smile and “wonderful blue eyes”.
“It must have been so difficult for her to be a lonely woman” in a male-dominated world, Charles’ wife said in TV commentary.
“There were no female prime ministers or female presidents. She was the only one, so I think she created her own character.”

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