The Queen: Minute's silence observed in Portsmouth Cathedral with ships' horns marking the moment

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WITH residents across Portsmouth reflecting on the Queen’s reign during a nationwide minute’s silence on Sunday, 60 seconds did not feel like enough time to do justice to Her Majesty’s 70 years of dedication.

The UK was invited to fall silent as part of a national moment of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II at 8pm on Sunday.

At Portsmouth Cathedral in Old Portsmouth, residents were invited to come inside and reflect surrounded by fellow members of the community impacted by the loss of the Queen.

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Lt Alfie Richardson of the volunteer candidate corp marked the beginning and end of the minute’s silence with the sounding of his whistle – complemented by chance as a ship on Solent blasted its horn.

Portsmouth Cathedral welcomed people from across the city to take part in a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving for the Life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.Portsmouth Cathedral welcomed people from across the city to take part in a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving for the Life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Portsmouth Cathedral welcomed people from across the city to take part in a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving for the Life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The 26-year-old from Gosport said it was an honour to be part of the occasion.

He said: ‘I had the chance to reflect on her service – and how I see her faith as an example.’

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Standing between candles lit in the memory of Her Majesty, messages of sympathy and support to the Royal Family have been left in two books of condolences – with visitors to the cathedral writing more than 1,500 tributes in less than two weeks.

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The messages speak of sadness, inspiration, and two simple words – recurring again and again – ‘thank you’, often in what appears to be children’s handwriting.

The dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev Anthony Cane, said he was ‘certain’ that the cathedral would mark the first anniversary of the Queen’s death in a year’s time.

He said: ‘This evening we have had a couple come in with a pram, a man with a dog – people have just kept on coming. So being able to come into this space has clearly meant a lot to people.

‘In a year’s time I am sure we will be marking the anniversary of the Queen’s death.’

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A pre-recorded tribute by Camilla, the Queen Consort, was broadcast on the BBC shortly before the silence.

Camilla spoke of the Queen’s strength as a ‘solitary woman’ in ‘a male-dominated world’.

There will be a two-minute silence at the end of the State Funeral service on Monday, at 11.55am.