New Zealand bows in silence to Queen Elizabeth II

Hundreds attend Memorial Service in Wellington

Venkat Raman

Elizabeth II was Queen Regnant of 32 Sovereign States during her lifetime and 15 Sovereign States including New Zealand and Australia at her death (DIA Photo)

Auckland, September 26, 2022

Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the Opposition Christopher Luxon, Ministers, formers Governors-General, Prime Ministers, diplomats, Representatives from the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, Leaders of religious and community groups and commoners paid tributes to Queen Elizabeth II in Wellington today.

The Monarch, who died in Balmoral Castle in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2022, was Queen Regnant of 32 Sovereign States during her lifetime and 15 at her death. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days is the longest of any British Monarch and the longest verified reign of any female sovereign in history.

The Memorial Service was held at the Cathedral of St Paul as the Nation observed a minute’s silence in her honour and New Zealand is observing a one-off public holiday today.

TV One News reported that hundreds of people were inside the Cathedral and on the front lawns of Parliament to pay their respects to the late Monarch.

The State Memorial Service, led by the Acting Dean of the Cathedral Katie Lawrence, started at 2 pm, with Dame Cindy delivering an address and Ms Ardern and the Head Girl of St Mary’s College (Erina Ngarimu). Before the Servicer, the Royal New Zealand Airforce Band and the Assistant Organist at the Cathedral played music, and the Defence Force paraded in the Queen’s Colours before the procession entered.

There was also a parade of the Queen’s Personal Flag for New Zealand.

Ms Ardern returned to New Zealand this morning after attending the Queen’s funeral in the United Kingdom and addressing the UN General Assembly the Christchurch Call for Action in New York last week.

New Ledger Stone

Meanwhile, the Royal Family in London has released a new picture of the Ledger Stone marking the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II. Engraved in the late Queen’s name, the stone has been placed alongside the names of her husband Prince Philip and her parents.

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington today (September 26, 2022) (DIA Photo)

The Belgian Black Marble stone was hand-carved and has letters forged out of brass. It replaced a similar stone installed earlier as a tribute to the parents of the late Queen. It marks the spot where the Queen was buried on September 20, 2022, in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

The Ledger Stone now reads the names of the parents of Elizabeth II (George VI 1895-1952 and Elizabeth 1900-2002), followed by a Garter Star, and then the names of Elizabeth II (1926- 2022) and Philip (1921-2021).

The Memorial Chapel, which is within the walls of St George’s Chapel in Windsor, was commissioned by the Queen in 1962 as a burial place for her father.

The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Prince Philip have previously been interred at the Memorial Chapel. St George’s Chapel itself sits within the walls of Windsor Castle and was begun by King Edward IV in 1475, taking over 50 years to construct.

The New Ledger Stone marks the Queen’s Final Resting Place (Photo Courtesy: Royal Family/Press Association)

Prince Philip Funeral Service

The funeral service for Prince Phillip was conducted at St George’s Chapel in April last year. Funerals such as those of Princess Margaret and Princess Alice have also taken place there. The committal service for the Queen took place at the chapel on 19 September and was followed later the same day by the private interment service.

Many Royal Weddings have been celebrated in the Chapel, including that of The Earl and Countess of Wessex in June 1999, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2018.

-With TV One and BBC News

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