Column: Amid the pageantry and corgis, what made the queen's funeral extraordinary was silence

On Monday morning London time, an unprecedented hours-long ceremony began as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was borne in splendid procession from Westminster Hall to

Westminster Abbey, where the royal family, hundreds of Britain's leaders and heads of state from around the world attended the funeral service for England's longest-reigning

monarch. As the nation and the world paid their respects, the coffin was then taken with somber yet celebratory pageantry past Buckingham Palace to the Wellington Arch, where it

was transferred to a hearse and driven to Windsor Castle. Like millions of others, Times columnist Mary McNamara and reporter Meredith Blake had many thoughts and feelings as they

watched. Mary McNamara: Since the queen's death 10 days ago, many Americans have wondered why we should spend hours of national television mourning a foreign monarch,

particularly one whose country has been so long rooted in colonialism and whose family had been riddled by scandal. But — like the monarchy or not — Elizabeth II has been the

queen as long as most of us have been alive, providing a living bridge from the last century to this. A young woman forced into lifelong service by the abdication of one king and

the early death of another is the stuff of epic poetry, fairy tales and, of course "The Crown," to which millions have been glued for six years. The opportunity to see the

nation that gave us Shakespeare and "Big Brother" pull out all its considerable bells and whistles to mourn her passing was something that could not be missed — and did not

disappoint.