October 7, 2022
Lankan first from UK public to pay respect to Queen Elizabeth II-BPN TODAY

Lankan first from UK public to pay respect to Queen Elizabeth II

A Sri Lankan on Wednesday became the first UK member of the public to pay respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

An AFP report said Vanessa Nanthakumaran, a 56-year-old administration assistant originally from Sri Lanka, was the first member of the public to file past the casket, having waited for more than 48 hours in the queue which runs alongside the River Thames.

“I just really wanted to be part of it,” the 56-year-old Londoner said, according to a PTI report.

My family is a “great admirer” of Britain’s royal family, she added.

“It is sort of like payback. Whatever they did for the Commonwealth, we have to appreciate what they did, and for the independence they eventually gave back when Sri Lanka wanted the rights back,” said Vanessa Nanthakumaran as per The Guardian report.

The public will be able to file past the coffin 24 hours a day until the monarch’s funeral on Monday, 19 September.

AFP report said the report said the first members of the public, some in tears, filed past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it lay in state in the grand Westminster Hall in London.

A queue three miles (five kilometres) long snaked through the British capital as mourners braved hours of waiting to pay their respects at the casket of the late monarch before her funeral on Monday. 

Many people stopped and bowed or curtsied towards the coffin. Others crossed themselves, or removed their hats. Some prayed towards the casket or wiped away tears with tissues.

As Westminster Hall opened to the public, the queue was around a third of the capacity of the line which can stretch to 10 miles. The first vigil was mounted by four officers from the Household Division – two each from the Blues and Royals and Life Guards regiments.

 

 
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