Canadians tune in to watch London funeral for Queen Elizabeth

Watch: Queen's funeral

Thousands of Canadians across the country rose early on Monday to watch Queen Elizabeth's funeral in London as the ceremony for the country's longest-serving head of state took place at Westminster Abbey.

The queen died on Sept. 8 at her holiday home of Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands at the age of 96, setting off 10 days of national mourning in the United Kingdom.

The death of the country's longest reigning monarch after 70 years on the throne has elicited grief from people around the world.

While some Canadians made the trip to London to pay their respects, many took in the early-morning proceedings from their homes or local viewing parties.

In Yellowknife, Marie York-Condon arose at 4 a.m. local time to begin watching what she referred to as a "monumental historical event" that reminded her of when she swore allegiance to the queen as a civilian member of the RCMP.

York-Condon said she wanted to honour a queen who had served Canada well, adding she felt strong emotions as the casket entered the Abbey.

"I'm very affected by the fact that the person I dedicated my service to is no longer there," she said.

Joe Young, a Halifax resident, said he didn't experience personal sadness as he watched the ceremony, but had a sense he was observing a moment of history.

"It's religion and politics, my two big interests, rolled into one," said Young, a 67-year-old retiree who worked in the aviation industry.

"As a Christian trying to figure out the way in the modern world, (the queen) lived a faithful life," said Young, who is active in the Anglican Church of Canada.

His favourite moment of the funeral was the reading of prayers by a variety of Christian leaders, though Young added he wasn't pleased a more formal translation of scripture "which used thee and thou" was read, rather than more contemporary English versions.

The funeral, which is being attended by a Canadian delegation led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and which included involvement from the RCMP, started at the Abbey at 6 a.m. ET.

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