Highlights

  • King Charles III thanks public ahead of Queen Elizabeth's state funeral
  • "Moved beyond measure" by the outpouring of public sympathy: King Charles
  • Queen Elizabeth's coffin has been lying in state since Wed evening

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Ahead of Queen Elizabeth's state funeral, King Charles III thanks public

King Charles said that he and his wife Queen Consort Camilla had been "so deeply touched" by messages of condolence and support from Britain and around the world.

Britain's King Charles III said Sunday he had been "moved beyond measure" by the outpouring of public sympathy following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in a message of thanks on the eve of her grand state funeral.

King Charles said that he and his wife Queen Consort Camilla had been "so deeply touched" by messages of condolence and support from Britain and around the world.

Britain held a minute's silence on Sunday in a tribute to Queen Elizabeth before Monday's farewell.

"We were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, The late Queen," he said in a statement.

"As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief."

Queen Elizabeth's coffin has been lying in state on a catafalque in London's historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday evening.

US President Joe Biden and Japan's Emperor Naruhito were among the stream of dignitaries who paid tribute at the late monarch's casket, Biden crossing himself and touching his heart as he stood on a gallery in the mediaeval hall.

Others who paid their last respects included French President Emmanuel Macron, King Harald V of Norway, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Letsie III of Lesotho and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

- Final queue to see coffin -
The last of the estimated hundreds of thousands of public mourners who have flocked to see the queen's coffin queued along the banks of the River Thames into Monday morning.

The queue to attend the lying-in-state "is at final capacity and is now closed to new entrants", the culture ministry said late Sunday on its live queue tracker on YouTube.

"Please do not attempt to join the queue."

Waiting times peaked at more than 25 hours early Saturday.

The public viewing will end at 6:30 am (0530 GMT). Troops have kept a round-the-clock vigil.

Queen Elizabeth reigned for a record-breaking 70 years until her death on September 8 aged 96.

She was on the throne since 1952 and was the only sovereign most Britons alive today have ever known.

Andy Sanderson, 46, a supermarket area manager, was among those who had finally made it to parliament after braving the miles of queues.

"She was the glue that kept the country together," he said.

(Except for the the headline, the AFP story has not been changed )

ALSO WATCH: Queen Elizabeth funeral: US president Joe Biden recalls how Queen reminded him of his mother

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