Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff on Wednesday joined a number of Washington figures honoring Queen Elizabeth II at a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington.
The British Embassy co-hosted the service in honor of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. The service included the British national anthem “God Save the King” and the US “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and other Washington politicians and public figures were among those in attendance.
“The Queen was a great friend and admirer of the United States,” said Dame Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the United States. “She made about six official visits to the Kentucky Stables—many more—addressed Congress, spoke to Presidents, and attended football and baseball games and commemorations such as America’s Bicentennial and the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown Settlement. ”
Pierce, the first woman from Britain to serve as ambassador to the US, added: “The Queen wanted to move with the times. She was indeed the archetypal Bond girl who parachuted to the London Olympics. She poured tea for both Paddington Bear and heads of state. And here in the United States, she was honored to receive the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award for Women in Leadership in December 2021 – one of the few times we believe the Queen has accepted a non-state award.”
Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the dean of Washington National Cathedral, said the queen has visited the cathedral four times – once as princess and three times as monarch. He noted that many of the flowers decorating the cathedral’s interior for services came from the grounds of the British Embassy, including a cutting from the Royal Prince Oak planted by the Queen during her visit to Washington in 2007.
The National Cathedral has hosted four state funerals for former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George HW Bush. Earlier this year, the cathedral hosted the funeral of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and President Joe Biden spoke at the service.
Biden attended one of the largest gatherings of modern world leaders for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday. The Queen, whose reign spanned seven decades, died on September 8 at the age of 96.