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The President of India Droupadi Murmu is in London on a three-day visit to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The funeral of the long reigning queen of England has been scheduled to take place on Monday, 19 September. President Murmu signed a condolence book on behalf of the Indian government on Sunday.

The president is joined by Acting High Commissioner Sujit Ghosh at the Lancaster House in London according to news agency PTI. Queen Elizabeth II died on 8 September at the age of 96 after becoming the longest reigning monarch. She remained queen of England for 70 years.

President Droupadi Murmu signed the Condolence Book in the memory of Queen Elizabeth II at Lancaster House in London on Sunday.
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President Droupadi Murmu signed the Condolence Book in the memory of Queen Elizabeth II at Lancaster House in London on Sunday. (ANI)

According to PTI, Murmu paid her respects on Sunday at Westminster Hall, where Britain's longest-serving monarch is Lying-in-State until the morning of the state funeral on Monday.

The Indian head of state, who arrived on Saturday evening, will join around 500 world leaders and worldwide royals in a congregation of around 2,000 expected at the Abbey for a sombre ceremony starting at 11am local time and concluding with a two-minute silence around an hour later.

Ahead of Monday’s funeral service, the president is invited to a reception hosted by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace. All visiting heads of state, government and official overseas guests are expected at what has been described as an "official state event".

Hours before the ceremony, the Queen’s Lying-in-State will close to members of public queuing for the past few days, with waits of around 24 hours expected over the weekend as the queue stretches to around 10 km long.

The gates to Abbey will open at 8 am local time on Monday for the visiting dignitaries and guests invited to the funeral, which will include hundreds of people who were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year, many honoured by the late monarch for their extraordinary contributions to the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and volunteering in their local communities.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London
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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London (via REUTERS)

Under the plans in place for the day, all heads of state and overseas government representatives, including foreign royal families, are expected to gather at a central venue and travel under "collective arrangements" to the Abbey.

The state funeral service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, with Prime Minister Liz Truss and Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland reading “lessons".

The Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches Moderator will say prayers and the sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will also give the Commendation.

The conclusion of the first state funeral in the UK in 57 years, last held at the Abbey for Britain’s war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965, will be followed by a service and a private burial ceremony at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. The late monarch will be laid to rest in the chapel at Windsor Castle.

(With inputs from PTI)

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