President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday joined 2,000 guests, including world leaders and politicians, to pay his last respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II at her state funeral held in London.
Accompanying him to bid farewell to the longest serving British Monarch at the ceremony which was defined by precision, orderliness and royal pageantry, was the first lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
Clad in black, they were spotted in a queue inside Westminster Abbey, the historic church where Britain’s kings and queens are crowned, including the Queen’s own coronation in 1953.
The list of leaders who attended the funeral that grabbed global attention included leadership across the Commonwealth and around the world, from Spain to Sweden and Norway to the Netherlands.
Photographs which emerged on major news portals and social media showed some world leaders conveyed to the funeral as announced earlier in line with arrangements for the funeral.
The United States President, Joe Biden, was one of the few world leaders to arrive in his own motorcade at the Queen’s funeral which was watched by millions of people on the internet in the comfort of their homes and offices.
Although the world leaders were not scheduled to deliver tributes at the well-attended ceremony, some of them had the opportunity to eulogise the late Queen on the eve of her funeral.
The Africa news portal reports that heads of state of Ethiopia, and Ghana’s President paid tribute to the late British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, on Sunday as they signed her book of condolence at Lancaster House in London.
It said President Nana Akufo-Addo said the queen had overseen the “dramatic transformation” of the Commonwealth into a global “force for good” during her 70-year reign.
Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde, was reported to have said Elizabeth had been a “towering woman leader” who would be remembered for her public service.
President Biden also paid an emotional tribute to Queen Elizabeth on the eve of her state funeral on Sunday, saying Britain and the world had been lucky to have had such a dignified and dedicated servant on the throne for 70 years.
“To all the people of England, all the people in the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you,” Biden said after he signed a book of condolence and visited her lying-in-state in Westminster. “You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years, we all were. The world’s better for her.”
He said he had consoled the queen’s heir, King Charles, that the queen would be “with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment and that’s a reassuring notion”.
Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR