Queen Helen's remains welcomed at religious, military ceremony at Otopeni Airport

A religious and military ceremony took place at the Otopeni International Airport for Queen Mother Helen, whose remains were flown in to Romania aboard an aircraft of the Romanian Air Force. Queen Helen died in Switzerland on November 29, 1982, when Romania was under a communist dictatorship. She was buried at the Boix-de-Vaud Cemetery in Lausanne. Eight soldiers of the Mihai Viteazul 30th Guard Brigade took the coffin from the aircraft and then placed it on the catafalque covered in the royal banner. Next, the national anthem was played. Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Catholic Church, the Armenian Church, the Mosaic faith and the Muslim faith bowed before the catafalque. Archbishop Nifon of Targoviste and Metropolitan Bishop Joseph of Western and Southern Europe, together with priests performed a church service. After the Royal Anthem was played, soldiers of the 30th Guard Brigade placed the coffin in the funeral van. The funeral cortege was to move to Elisabeta Palace to lay the body to rest in the Hall of Kings. The ceremony was attended by Custodian of the Romanian Crown Margareta, Prince Radu, Princesses Sofia and Maria, lawyer Ioan Luca Vlad, and Constanta Iorga, members of the Royal House. From Elisabeta Palace, the funeral cortege will travel further to Curtea de Arges. On Saturday, at 13:00hrs, there will be a re-burial ceremony of Queen Mother Elena's remains at the local New Archbishop and Royal Cathedral. The royal family has announced day of mourning on October 18, 19 and 20. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Popescu, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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