Archbishop of Canterbury meets Queen Elizabeth mourners

·3-min read

The Archbishop of Canterbury says many of the mourners of Queen Elizabeth have been reminded of their own personal losses.
Justin Welby - the Church of England's most senior cleric - has been greeting the thousands of people coming to pay their respects to the late British monarch, who is lying in state at Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral on Monday (19.09.22).
And the Archbishop says the most common conversation he's had has been about how the passing of the queen has brought back the losses of their own grandparents.
Speaking from the queue, he told 'BBC Breakfast' on Thursday morning (15.09.22): "I think one of the most frequent comments I've heard is someone saying, It reminds me of when my nan or granny or gran died."
Welby added how those who have spent hours, some days, waiting to have their own moment with the queen's coffin, are thanking the monarch on behalf of the nation.
The 66-year-old religious leader continued: "And I think for the individuals it's so important to have the chance to say thank you, to think this is a change, but also do that on behalf of the whole nation in some senses these people have been queuing for these hours and making the sacrifices of sleep and effort, almost on behalf of so many people in the world who can't be here to say thank you."
Upon the news of her death aged 96 on September 8, Welby said the queen "never lost hope" even in the darkest moments of her life.
He said: "It feels as though, I think for so many people around the world - especially in the UK - that a part of our lives that was taken for granted as being permanent is no longer there and in that sense there is an enormous shift in the world around us. In how we see it and how we understand ourselves and I think many people will be finding that sense of not just grief but also uncertainly and to some extent a wondering about what is permanent."
He went on to talk about the queen's Christian faith and how it helped her during her reign, adding: "I had this huge privilege of meeting the queen on numerous occasions ... I think in the queen we saw overflowing life that wasn't just because she was Queen.
"It was because her feet were on an even solider (sic) rock than being Queen and that was the rock of her faith ... The queen's sense of endurance and permanence did not depend on her and she knew that very well. It depended on God and she knew that very well."
Archbishop Welby also insisted the queen lived a "full" life and never "lost hope" even in the year 1992 - which she described as her "annus horribilis" and involved several royal scandals, collapsed marriages, and a fire at Windsor Castle.
He said: "The queen constantly showed us the meaning of life. She was joyful, she was humorous ... life was full. Even in the annus horribilis as she summed up possibly the most difficult year of her reign. Her life was full but she never - even in bad moments - lost hope."
He concluded by saying that even she never gave up even after the death of her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh last year.
He added: "I obviously spoke to her after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and spent some time with her and there was just a solidarity of hope in her life ... Abundance and hope they are still there."