BELIZE CITY, Mon, Sept. 19, 2022
Over 2,000 guests attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Among them was the Governor General of Belize, Dame Froyla Tzalam, who represented the country of Belize at the ceremony, which lasted at least six hours. The Queen was laid to rest 11 days after her death, which occurred on September 8, 2022, at Balmoral Castle, in the United Kingdom. Her son and heir to the British monarchy, King Charles III, led the funeral procession that went through London and was seen by thousands of onlookers, many of whom had camped overnight in London and outside Windsor Castle to catch a glimpse.
Since September 14, mourners have trafficked the halls of Westminster Abbey to pay respect to the Queen, who had reigned for more than 70 years. Her coffin lay in state for 4 days leading up to the state funeral — the first to take place since the burial of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.
The death and burial of the Queen mark the end of the modern Elizabethan era: 70 years during which Belize transitioned from being a colony to an independent nation, among many other global changes.
The Queen’s death has sparked conversations on the role the British monarchy has played in forging the worldwide oppressive conditions that many people have endured and continue to endure. Many former colonial states are now calling for the removal of the British monarch as their head of state.
In Belize, Minister of Constitutional Reform, Hon. Henry Charles Usher, referred to a process of reform being undertaken by a People’s Constitutional Commission and noted that a referendum may have to take place to determine the public’s opinion on the matter.
The new King, Charles III, and his wife, the Queen Consort, Camilla, thanked the people of the UK and around the world for expressions of support or sympathy, saying that they have been “moved beyond measure.”