The funeral of King George VI. Heaven knows what it feels to lose a son, a husband, and a father. After all, He lost His son in the humblest, most painful way. In the dead of that frosty day, Feb. 15, sixty years ago, the sun hid and showed no signs of glistening the day. Mourning, perhaps, but not as hurting, as it did pierce the heart of old Queen Mary, who at 85, herself was nearing the end of her life. To have lost a husband is like losing half of your being, but to see three of your children passed away within your lifetime is too much for a weary heart to bear. ⠀
For King George VI's wife, Queen Elizabeth, now Queen Mother, losing her dear Bertie meant spending the next 50 years alone, without a husband to share the joys of seeing more grandchildren in the family, or perhaps be ecstatic in seeing them get married and bear her great-grandchildren. For the new queen, Queen Elizabeth II, her father's death meant facing the reality that she is now the Queen to millions of people spread all over the world. On his funeral, Great Britain's three queens gathered to bid adieu to the king who mattered most to their lives.
On Feb. 9, King George's body was transferred to Westminster Hall for the lying-in-state. More than 30,000 people flocked to take a last glimpse of their beloved king. Not even the bitter cold or the cloudy weather stood between the crowd and the solemnity of the event.
Queen Elizabeth, by now Queen Mother, made a call to Clarence House. She had finally bowed to the new sovereign, her daughter. Devastated and in unimaginable sorrow, she however managed to hide her feelings in front of the public. She even managed to send a message to millions of people around the world who shared the sorrow with her: ⠀
“Your concern for me has upheld me in my sorrow and how proud you have made me by your wonderful tributes to my dear husband, a great and noble King.”
: The funeral procession for King George VI. The coffin is borne up the steps into
St. George's in Windsor. At the foot of the steps is the coach carrying
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal.