Uganda church service celebrates Queen

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Hundreds of people in Uganda have attended a memorial service in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, a sombre ceremony that underscored affection for the departed monarch in the country.

Speakers in the Anglican cathedral in the Ugandan capital Kampala included Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo, who paid tribute to the Queen as an "endearing" leader.

"She wasn't the Queen of England alone," she said.

"She was the Queen of all of us in the Commonwealth."

The Reverend Jonathan Kisawuzi, the cathedral's dean, spoke of the Queen's "faith, courage and direction" in her 70-year reign.

"We will remember her always," he said.

Uganda is one of the 56 member states of the Commonwealth, a group of mostly former British colonies that now includes others, such as Rwanda, that were not part of the British Empire.

Elizabeth is fondly remembered among Ugandans, who recall her attendance in Kampala of the 2007 Commonwealth summit.

"It was a great occasion for Uganda," Eunice Okullo, a political activist who was among those attending Thursday's memorial service, said of the Queen's visit 15 years ago.

"She ate Ugandan foods - that's what they told us."

Others spoke of the Queen's ability to connect with the people she had met.

"Much as we are mourning, we are also celebrating the Queen's achievements," retired prisons commissioner Mary Kaddu said.

"We are celebrating her life."