Lying in state

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Lying in state is a term used to describe the tradition in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public at large to pay their respects to the deceased. It traditionally takes place in the principal government building of a country or city. While the practice differs among countries, a viewing in a location that is not the principal government building is referred to as lying in repose.


In Canada, official lying in state is a part of a state funeral, an honour generally reserved for former Governors General of Canada and former Prime Ministers of Canada, and takes place in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill, in the country's capital, Ottawa. Ex-governors general lie in state in the Senate Chamber, while former prime ministers lie in the Hall of Honour. During the period of lying in state, the coffins are flanked at each corner by an Honour Guard, made up of four members drawn from the Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as members of the Governor General's Foot Guards for former governors general, and guards from the parliamentary security forces for former prime ministers. As in the United Kingdom, the guards stand at each corner with heads bowed and weapons inverted (resting on Arms reversed) with their backs turned towards the casket.

Recent Canadians to have officially lain in state include former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc in 2009, Ray Hnatyshyn...
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