The funeral of a British head of state is an event of gigantic proportions. With services and processions, the royals, Great Britain and the world bid farewell to Elizabeth II.
LONDON – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will be buried in a state ceremony on Monday, September 19. An overview of the procedure, times and content of the funeral ceremonies:
The four-day viewing of the coffin, with the opportunity for the public to say goodbye, ends on Monday at 7:30 a.m. (CEST).
The coffin will be carried in procession from Parliament’s Westminster Hall to nearby Westminster Abbey at 11.44am on a carriage drawn by 98 marines. The four children of the dead queen are walking behind the coffin: the new king Charles III. (73), Princess Anne (72), Prince Andrew (62) and Prince Edward (58). Behind them are heir to the throne Prince William (40), his brother Prince Harry (38) and Princess Anne’s son, Peter Phillips (44), as well as other male royals and members of the royal household. The coffin arrives at Westminster Abbey at 11:52 a.m.
The funeral service at Westminster Abbey is scheduled to begin at 12 noon. According to media reports, around 2000 guests are expected, including US President Joe Biden, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Japanese Emperor Naruhito and many other crowned heads of state and heads of government from all over the world. They were reportedly asked to arrive by scheduled flight. According to the palace, there are also representatives from the Commonwealth nations and holders of various orders.
The service will be led by the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will preach. The scripture readings will be given by Prime Minister Liz Truss and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland. “Elements of the service and associated ceremonies will recognize the Queen’s exceptional reign and distinguished life of service as head of state, nation and commonwealth,” the palace said in a statement.
At 12.55 p.m. the horn signal “Last Post” sounds. This is followed by a two-minute silence in the Church and across the country. The national anthem will be played at 1 p.m.
The coffin is then carried out of the church and taken by procession to Wellington Arch . The route leads from Parliament via White Hall and the Horse Guards Parade parade ground to The Mall and past Buckingham Palace and Green Park. Again, the royals follow the coffin on foot in the same order. King’s wife Camilla (75), Kate (40), who now bears the title Princess of Wales, Duchess Meghan (41) and Countess Sophie (57), Prince Edward’s wife, drive by car. Deputations from the armed forces of Great Britain and other Commonwealth countries also take part in the procession. Big Ben bangs throughout the procession and a gun salute is fired in Hyde Park.
At 2 p.m. the coffin arrives at Wellington Arch where it is transferred to a hearse for transport to Windsor. The soldiers bid farewell to the Queen with a military salute and the national anthem. The Royal Family then makes their way to Windsor.
On entering Windsor , the hearse slows and joins another procession moving down the Long Walk, a long avenue, towards Windsor Castle. In the courtyard of the castle, the royals also join the funeral procession, which then leads to the St. George’s Chapel .
The funeral service in St. George’s Chapel begins at 5 p.m. In addition to the Royal Family, the members of the royal household and the heads of government of the countries whose head of state was Elizabeth II, as well as the governors general who represented them there, take part. The service will be led by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner. Before the last song, the crown, scepter and orb are removed from the coffin and placed on the altar. Then the coffin is lowered into the royal tomb. The national anthem ends the service.
The Queen will be buried at 8:30 p.m. in a private funeral in the King George VI Side Chapel, alongside her husband Prince Philip, who died last year. dpa