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Photo Essay: Memorials mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

She was born April 21, 1926, Princess Elizabeth of York and, as events would have it, she would become heir to the British throne.

She became Queen Elizabeth II on Feb. 6, 1952, succeeding her father, King George VI, and declaring that “my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

She made good on that promise, serving 70 years and 214 days, the longest reign in Britain’s long history. She performed her last official duties, greeting her 15th prime minister, Liz Truss, on Sept. 6, two days before she died at age 96.

It was the longest recorded reign of any female head of state, and the second-longest verified reign of any sovereign after French King Louis XIV, who served more than 72 years. Louis ascended to the French throne at age four.

She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during her lifetime and 15 at the time of her death, including Canada. Succeeded by her son, King Charles III, Elizabeth was laid to rest at Windsor Castle alongside her husband of nearly 74 years, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at age 99.

After Elizabeth died, Ottawa ordered flags on federal buildings at home and abroad lowered to half-mast and it launched books of condolences at Rideau Hall and the Citadelle de Québec and a commemorative web portal on the Canadian Heritage website that includes an online book of condolences. By Sept. 18, more than 52,000 Canadians had sent messages.

Sept. 19, the day of the queen’s funeral, was declared a National Day of Mourning. Federally regulated workers were given the day off. Ceremonies were held in cities and towns across the country, including the capital, where a parade and national service were held.

The RCMP musical ride led a sombre parade through the streets of Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 19, during memorial ceremonies to mark the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Hundreds turned out on a cool, wet day to watch the events in the Canadian capital.
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Rain soaked the capital city the day of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. The National Arts Centre in Ottawa displayed portraits of the Queen in the days after her death.
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A member of the Canadian Armed Forces sentry program carries the Queen Elizabeth II Canadian Flag to her memorial service at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. The service was attended by some 600 invited guests.
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Four gun teams of the 30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, fired a 96-gun salute, one for each year of Queen Elizabeth’s life. The regiment, known as the Bytown Gunners, was formed in 1855.
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Flowers adorn a statue of Queen Elizabeth II astride Centennial, one of eight equine gifts the RCMP gave her over the years. The statue currently sits opposite the gates to Rideau Hall, the governor general’s residence.
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Flags flew at half-mast all over the capital.
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Royal watchers turned out high and low.
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A last-minute briefing before the dignitaries start arriving at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa.
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Police patrol empty city streets before the parade. The national ceremony didn’t begin in Ottawa until the funeral service ended in London.
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Artillerymen get their boots dirty prior to the 96-gun salute.
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Mom and daughter return from a coffee run prior to the parade.
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Coffee Run 2: Police return with fuel after the parade had ended.
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Canada geese give the construction on Parliament Hill a wide berth.
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Crowds watched the happenings on large television screens along the parade route.
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A woman kneels to take a cellphone picture at the Centennial Flame. Mourners laid impromptu floral tributes at points around the city.
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A bouquet was left on a bench sculpture in front of Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa.
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The tribute read: “To our Queen and head of state, Thank you for being a model of duty, service and faith to our nation and the world.” It was signed, C. Grande Ottawa.
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Police conduct a last-minute briefing before the parade.
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Members of the 30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, are enshrouded in smoke amid a 96-gun salute, one for each year of Queen Elizabeth’s life.
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The mounted musical ride leads the parade up Bay Street in Ottawa.
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All military services — 100 service personnel — were represented in the parade ranks.
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Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force march.
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Soldiers of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command were included in the 40-minute march from Carter Drill Hall, an armoury in downtown Ottawa, to Christ Church Cathedral near the National Archives building.
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The monarch is technically the commander-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, and among the Queen’s honorary roles was as Colonel-in-Chief of the 48th Highlanders of Canada (middle).
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New military dress codes permit beards in most instances.
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The mood was sombre.
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The CAF Central Band played in the parade.
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Drummers of the CAF Central Band.
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The RCMP take a walk on Sparks Street, Ottawa. The famous pedestrian mall ends a block behind them.
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The Mounties pass Christ Church Cathedral. Ottawa is a forest of cranes.
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Where the horses go, these guys are sure to follow.
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A hundred Canadian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel march past Christ Church Cathedral.
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Richard Wagner, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and his wife, Quebec Superior Court Judge Catherine Mandeville, depart Christ Church Cathedral after the service.
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Former prime minister Joe Clark was among the 600 invited guests attending the memorial service.
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Former prime minister Brian Mulroney waves goodbye after the memorial service in Ottawa.
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Former governor general and television journalist Adrienne Clarkson departs Christ Church Cathedral along with husband John Ralston Saul (right). Clarkson was a popular choice among rank-and-file military as their de facto commander-in-chief from 1999 to 2005.
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