For the average American, viewing the funeral proceedings for Queen Elizabeth II, who died last week at the age of 96, could be a perplexing experience. It's an unusual one, however, for the United Kingdom, as well. The last state funeral for a monarch was held for King George VI, Elizabeth's father, in 1952. The previous state funeral not for a monarch was Winston Churchill's in 1965.
The queen's funeral was a larger affair than the former prime minister's. Churchill laid in state for three days, while the queen laid in state for four, during which time thousands of people waited hours — sometimes, days — for the chance to pay their respects. The event was also live-streamed. More mourners may have been able to attend Churchill's funeral, with about 3,000 people fitting into St. Paul's Cathedral, where it was held, but attendees of the queen's funeral included, as The Washington Post reported, "approximately 90 presidents and prime ministers."
The name Emma started trending Monday morning because of a small black pony.
Politicians weren't the only notables at the queen's funeral. Fans were surprised to see Sandra Oh, the "Killing Eve" star, attending as a part of the Canadian delegation. But a mourner who attracted the most attention wasn't even human. Salon breaks down that and other details you may have missed from the queen's funeral.
The name Emma began trending Monday morning because of a small black pony. Emma — full name: Carlton Lima Emma, according to People — is a Fell pony who was reportedly the queen's favorite. Fell ponies are a type of working pony from the Fells of northern England. With her shiny coat and long black mane, Emma stood out and stood at attention, posted stalwartly on a cleared path between flower tributes, witnessing the queen's coffin make its final journey to St. George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The queen was a noted animal lover who kept a series of dogs and horses. Two of those dogs, her beloved corgis, were also brought out by pages to witness her final arrival at Windsor Castle. The queen rode horses well into her ninth decade. At the funeral, her great-granddaughter, Princess Charlotte, wore a horseshoe pin on her black dress in honor of the queen.
English oak also ran through the theme of the funeral, as the queen's coffin was made from English oak wood, which has a notable grain pattern and is now quite rare and pricey. Preparations for the queen's funeral were made well in advance, including the coffin, which was constructed 30 years ago. Andrew Leverton, funeral director for Leverton & Sons, which serves the royal family, told The Times, "Oak coffins are now made from American oak. I don't think we could use English oak for a coffin now."
In keeping with another antiquated tradition, the queen's coffin was lined with lead, a tradition that can be traced back to the Victorian era when such airtight protection was necessary for coffins that rested above ground in mausoleums, for example. Lead is also extremely heavy, and as People reported, eight military pallbearers were needed to carry the coffin.
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With all attention on the ceremony, viewers streaming on TV or online may not have been aware of the tight security behind the scenes that gripped the country in advance of the funeral. London is already, as Wired wrote, "one of the most surveilled cities in the world," with approximately 1 million CCTV cameras. A huge operations room was set up to gather surveillance of the funeral proceedings with input from intelligence officers, police and emergency services. In advance of the funeral, manhole covers were checked for explosives, drones were banned from zooming over central London (air traffic in general was decreased) and snipers were positioned on top of nearby buildings.
Around the country, police were brought into London, and more than ever, some of them were armed. Historically, most British police do not carry firearms. But according to Wired, in advance of the funeral and the potential security risk of a huge amount of world leaders gathering together, "officers authorized to carry firearms have been called in from around the UK. Overall, the UK has 6,192 armed police officers." That's a little over 4% of the country's total officers.