Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest as her funeral processions concluded at the Westminster Abbey, London on Monday signifying the end of an era that saw her as one of the world’s longest-reigning monarchs.
World leaders, including President of India Droupadi Murmu, US President Joe Biden, and other world leaders joined the ceremony to pay their respects to the 96-year-old queen.
‘A somber mood has engulfed the country’
Though residents and citizens of the United Kingdom have grown up with Queen Elizabeth as their head of state for decades, Indian students who have travelled to the country for their studies found the past few days to be surreal.
“I was speaking with my parents when I first saw the news on the BBC, where the anchors had already dressed themselves in black,” said Shamoil Khomosi, who is a student of Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering at the University of Sheffield. “From the Union Jack being flown half-mast to the observance of moments of silence throughout the country, from stadiums to workspaces, a somber mood has engulfed the country,” added Shamoil, who also saw murals being made of the queen which further highlighted the impact she had on regular individuals in the European nation.
Witnessing something straight out of a film scene
For some the aftermath of Queen’s death was nothing short of a film scene as they witnessed people coming together, emotions running high, and gloomy, dark weather within the span of a few hours. “I saw people crying in public and finding comfort in each other. People gathered at Buckingham Palace with their family members, and pets to pay respects while holding umbrellas over their heads as it was raining pretty heavily,” said Shriya Shripannavar, an MSC postgraduate in Marketing and Advertising Communications at Nottingham Trent University who currently resides in Glasgow. “Though an official announcement about the mourning period was yet to be announced, some shops around Nottingham did close and we also stocked up on some essentials just in case it comes into effect and everything shuts down,” said Shriya who saw pictures and flowers being placed at different city centres and public spots for the Queen with God Save the Queen, the national or royal anthem of the UK which praises and hopes for the long life the monarch, being sung by individuals.
Long queues, minor inconveniences
In Scotland, the queues to see the Queen’s coffin lying at rest stretched kilometres up to the Meadows, one of the largest tree-lined public parks in the capital of Edinburgh. But such an experience was not pleasant for everybody, especially the students who arrived in the country just days before the incident.
“From kids to senior citizens, people were waiting in the queue to just have a look at the Queen. While it was heartening to see, it caused a lot of issues as transportation was shut and there was a roadblock at the same time. There were barricades all over, with a separate route being created for viewing the Queen’s coffin,” stated Vruddhi Bhayani, a Management student at the University of Edinburgh.
Renowned universities express sorrow but place faith in new King
Universities in the UK that have served as places of learning under the British royal family for centuries expressed sorrow at the news of the Queen’s passing while promising to look ahead with Kings Charles III acceding to the throne. “Like every part of the United Kingdom, the University of Strathclyde owes her a vast debt of gratitude. By signing our Royal Charter in 1964, she launched our institution into a new era and by opening our Technology and Innovation Centre in 2015, she gave the highest endorsement to our current and future strategy to have impacts of scale with socially progressive intent,” said Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, who further wished King Charles well and “looked forward to him enjoying a reign which is long, happy and prosperous for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, to the benefit of the entire world.”
Universities across the nation remained closed on the account of a bank holiday owing to the Queen’s funeral.