King Charles III (L) watches as the Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office at the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II held at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on September 19, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai — It was history in the making today as Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch of Britain, was laid to rest at Windsor Castle in the English county of Berkshire, 35 kilometres outside London.

Watched by millions around the world, the funeral witnessed emotive scenes as thousands lined up along the route, tossing Chrysanthemums, lilies and myrtles on the royal hearse.

Many held up their mobile phones to capture a slice of history as the cortège drove past. At many places they held aloft children, wanting them to witness, both literally and figuratively, the passing of an era.

20220919 committal service
Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. Image Credit: AP

This was a nation mourning for the monarch — one who was beloved, not only in the United Kingdom but far and wide across her realms, the Commonwealth and the world.

Earlier in the day, the Queen’s funeral was held at the 1000 year old Westminster Abbey. Attended by world royalty, heads of state, who’s who of politics, peers and barons, the event marked a unique moment in British history. 

queen funeral
Members of the public pay their respects as they attend the coffin Procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch in London on September 19, 2022, after the State Funeral Service of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Image Credit: REUTERS

For 70 years, the crown was moulded in Elizabeth II’s image. Her funeral projected an end-of-an-era feel. As the majestic English oak casket, carried by eight pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards, entered the Abbey, a hush fell over the elite gathering. Outside tenor bells tolled, declaring a rite of royal passage and a sense of renewal.

There they sat in the Abbey — princes and prime ministers, kings and presidents, heads of royalty from Japan’s King Naruhito and Empress Masako to King Harald V of Norway. Outside stood the people — all the way from London to Windsor, holding a vigil for their sovereign, whose duty and dedication they came to honour. It was a grand public send-off, a funeral fit for a Queen.

King Charles III
King Charles III and members of the Royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey after her State Funeral, in London, Monday Sept. 19, 2022. Image Credit: AP

Beamed onto big screens across the UK — everyone from Belfast City Hall to Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and London’s Hyde Park watched with rapt attention. Across the world — from Dubai to Delhi, and New York to Nairobi — news alerts kept tricking in.

20220919 queens coffin 2
The Queen’s coffin is pulled past Buckingham Palace following her funeral service in Westminster Abbey in central London. Image Credit: AP

There was something about the Queen that made people connect to her. It was as if she belonged to the world and not the UK alone. In the words of one of her biographers, at some point during her long reign, Elizabeth became the world’s Queen. And today, in many ways, marked the end of this chapter of the world’s shared history.

As the September sun sank in Windsor, and Queen Elizabeth was being lowered into her final resting place at St George’s memorial chapel, besides Prince Philip, King George VI, Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret, it felt as if a golden chain, an anchor, was snapping.

At the final service, the Queen’s Piper’s lament, Sleep, dearie, sleep was a highlight. Yes, her role was symbolic, the pageantry was ceremonial, the wands and staffs were highfalutin but when history mixed with myths, you couldn’t tell.

All these years Elizabeth II acted like a torch. That light has gone out today.