‘Europe misses Queen’: Elizabeth II’s ‘majestic’ funeral shows EU what it lost post-Brexit


More than four million tuned in yesterday for the Queen’s send-off in a pointed reminder to the EU about the UK’s ongoing influence.

Mr Henkel, who stepped down from the European Parliament in 2019, told Express.co.uk: “I watched the entire event on BBC and I don‘t know what impressed me most.

“Of course the hugely impressive life of your Queen which I always regarded to be my Queen too.

“But this morning? The solemness of the ceremony?

“The affection for the Queen documented by millions of Brits and billions of people around the world?

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen’s EU will be pondering what it has lost, said Mr Henkel (Image: GETTY)

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron’s tweet (Image: Twitter)

“The organisation of the funeral inside the Cathedral? The marches and music outside?

“The visit by hundreds of heads of state and government?

“No, for me it was the perfect, truly majestic organisation of the entire State Funeral.

“It was not only a demonstration of the competency of the Royal Court. It was also a wonderful tribute to the British.”

The vast television audience had witnessed “a magnificent demonstration of a country’s respect to history, its taste, its culture and its organisational competence”, he emphasised.

Mr Henkel, although committed to the concept underpinning the European Union, has frequently voiced his concerns about the bloc’s push for a European superstate generally regarded as a major factor in Britain’s decision to quit in 2016.

Referring to the political landscape six years ago, he added: “Now Europeans know better what they lost.

“Had their leaders shown a bit more flexibility to Prime Minister Cameron on immigration the British would not have voted for Brexit and we Europeans could still benefit from British common sense, British competitive spirit, British resolve.

Emmanuel Macron Brigitte Macron

Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte arrive at Westminster Abbey yesterday (Image: GETTY)

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth: The front pages of today’s papers – including The Daily Express (Image: GETTY)

“Britain misses the Queen, Europe misses the Queen and Britain.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, one of many dignitaries at the funeral, yesterday tweeted: “I was honoured to pay my last respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“Stoic and steadfast, she always reminded us that our future is built on new ideas and founded on our oldest values.

“May we all continue to find inspiration in the unique legacy she has left us.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, the most high-profile elected European head of state to attend, posted a montage of clips of Queen Elizabeth’s visits to France.

He commented: “Thank you, Your Majesty.”

Hans-Olaf Henkel

Hans-Olaf Henkel is a German former MEP (Image: GETTY)

Ms Donelan said her department was still “crunching the numbers” as to how many people had queued for up to 13 hours to visit Westminster Hall but estimated the figure to be in the region of 250,000.

The Royal Family is observing another week of mourning for the Queen.


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