Washington honors Queen Elizabeth II at National Cathedral service

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Vice President Kamala Harris and second-in-command Doug Emhoff joined a host of high-profile Washington figures Wednesday to honor Queen Elizabeth II at a memorial service at Washington’s National Cathedral.

The British Embassy co-hosted the service to honor Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The service featured Britain’s national anthem, “God Save the King,” as well as America’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Washington politicians and public figures were among those in attendance.

“The Queen was a great friend and admirer of the United States,” said Dame Karen Pierce, British ambassador to the United States. “She made about six official visits in all—many more to the Kentucky stables—addressing Congress, addressing presidents, and attending football and baseball games and commemorations such as the United States Bicentennial and the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown. ”

Pierce, who is the first woman to serve as ambassador to the United Kingdom from Britain, added that: “The Queen sought to move with the times. She was truly the archetypal Bond girl, parachuting into the London Olympics. She gave tea for Paddington Bear as well as for heads of state.And here in the US she was honored to receive the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award for Women in Leadership in December 2021 – one of the very few times, we believe, that the Queen accepted a non -government price.

Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the dean of Washington National Cathedral, said the queen had visited the cathedral four times – once as a princess and three times as a monarch. He noted that many of the flowers that decorated the interior of the cathedral for the service were taken from the grounds of the British Embassy, ​​including a cutting from the Royal Prince Oak tree that the Queen planted during her visit to Washington in 2007.

The National Cathedral has hosted four state funerals for former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George HW Bush. Earlier this year, the cathedral hosted former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s funeral, and President Joe Biden spoke at the service.

Biden attended one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in modern times for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday. The Queen, whose reign spanned seven decades, died on September 8 aged 96.

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