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The state funeral plans for the Queen including timings on 19th September, who will be at Westminster Abbey and where she will be laid to rest in Windsor




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THE eyes of the world will be on England today as the Queen is finally laid to rest after more than 10 days of national mourning.

Following a funeral service expected to be attended by close to 2,000 people, Her Majesty's coffin will leave London this afternoon, in a specially-designed hearse, that will carry her to Windsor where she will be buried next to husband Prince Philip and other members of her family.

The Queen will be laid to rest after almost two weeks of mourning. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA.
The Queen will be laid to rest after almost two weeks of mourning. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA.

Alongside the hundreds of thousands expected on the streets of the capital and in Windsor, the full state funeral – which the Queen was heavily involved in the planning of before her death at 96 – is expected to be watched by millions around the world.

Described as a spectacle that could become the single biggest event ever staged since the end of the Second World War, here is what is expected to happen today.

Early morning rehearsals for the Queen's funeral have been taking place all week in London. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.
Early morning rehearsals for the Queen's funeral have been taking place all week in London. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.

What time is the Queen's funeral?

For the last four days the late monarch has been lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, with the Palace of Westminster closing to final visitors at 6.30am this morning.

Her coffin will be carried from Westminster Hall to neighbouring Westminster Abbey at 10.44am on a State Gun Carriage, drawn by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy. The same carriage was also used for the funeral of the Queen's father and also during the funeral of the Queen's very first prime minister, Winston Churchill.

The Queen is to be carried from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on a gun carriage pulled by the Royal Navy
The Queen is to be carried from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on a gun carriage pulled by the Royal Navy

The journey will take just eight minutes with senior members of the Royal Family, including the King, his siblings and sons Princes William and Harry, due to escort her on foot. The short route from Westminster Hall to the Abbey will also be lined by more members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

The funeral service will begin inside at 11am – but the doors to the Abbey are expected to be opened some three hours in advance to allow the hundreds of people invited to take their seats.

The coffin of Sir Winston Churchill draped with the Union Flag during his state funeral on January 30 1965. Picture: The Port of London Collection, Museum of London Docklands.
The coffin of Sir Winston Churchill draped with the Union Flag during his state funeral on January 30 1965. Picture: The Port of London Collection, Museum of London Docklands.

What is a state funeral?

A state funeral is a very public event held to honour someone of huge national significance. The funerals themselves have to follow strict protocol and are full of many military traditions.

While usually reserved for monarchs, the last state funeral seen in London was held for Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, but state funerals for key figures like the wartime hero are extremely rare.

Members of the Royal Family are also not automatically entitled to a state funeral and tend to have what is described as a ceremonial funeral instead.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was given a ceremonial funeral following his death in April last year and prior to that there were ceremonial funerals for the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.

A state funeral is publicly funded.

The Duke of Edinburgh received a ceremonial funeral and not a state funeral in 2021
The Duke of Edinburgh received a ceremonial funeral and not a state funeral in 2021

Who will be there?

The Queen's funeral is sure to see one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders and royal families the world has ever seen – with some 500 dignitaries and heads of state expected to be among the congregation of 2,000 people.

They will all be led by the new King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, closely followed by his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward together with his son and heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Catherine the new Princess of Wales.

King Charless III and the Queen Consort will lead the congregation today. Picture: PA.
King Charless III and the Queen Consort will lead the congregation today. Picture: PA.

All senior members of the Royal Family will be in attendance in particular the Queen's eight grandchildren. As well as Prince William this includes Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Peter Phillips, his sister Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, her sister Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank and Prince Edward's children Lady Louise Windsor and her younger brother James, Viscount Severn.

Sitting alongside many other cousins, royal relations and very close friends will be members of royal families from across Europe, many of whom were distant blood relatives of the Queen.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are among the guests. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA.
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are among the guests. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA.

The White House has confirmed that US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill will fly in for the service while there has been some speculation that some former presidents could be given private invites – particularly Barrack and Michelle Obama.

Prime Minister Liz Truss will lead the delegation of UK politicians while there will also be leaders there from across the Commonwealth where the Queen was also head of state, including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Invites have also been sent to leaders and diplomats from across Europe – with French President Emmanuel Macron among those crossing the Channel to pay his respects. Invites have also gone to South Korea, China, South America, Japan and India.

Representatives from many of the charities and organisations the Queen supported both before and during her reign will also attend as will around 200 people recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

The Queen, having been consulted before her death, has added many personal touches to today's events. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA.
The Queen, having been consulted before her death, has added many personal touches to today's events. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA.

Will there be a national silence today?

Yes, there will. The funeral service will be brought to a close at around 11.55am with a national two-minute silence, the sounding of the last post and a lament played by the Queen's personal piper.

The latter is said to have been included by the Queen herself, who during the hours of funeral preparations to have taken place during her reign, was able to add some of her own personal touches and wishes.

After events in London, the Queen's coffin is being taken to Windsor and St George's Chapel. Image: Stock photo.
After events in London, the Queen's coffin is being taken to Windsor and St George's Chapel. Image: Stock photo.

After the service

Following the service the Queen's coffin, at 12.15pm, will travel in a long procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, which is just behind Buckingham Palace, escorted by thousands of members of the military, with the royal family again walking behind the gun carriage.

Among those helping to lead the Queen's coffin on her final journey through central London will also reportedly be the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and some members of NHS staff.

With lights and large windows, the hearse was specially designed and approved by the Queen. Image: PA.
With lights and large windows, the hearse was specially designed and approved by the Queen. Image: PA.

At 1pm the coffin will be lifted into the state hearse – a modified Jaguar Land Rover with lights inside and large windows built to give the public the best view in a design which was reportedly approved by Queen Elizabeth II herself.

The hearse will carry her body by road to Windsor, with the royal family also following by car. It is expected that the route will take in a number of A-roads out of London, instead of all motorway, to give the public a further chance to say their goodbyes.

At 3.10pm the hearse will travel in another procession to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, where members of the royal family will again join it on foot for the final part.

A committal service at 4pm, led by the Dean of Windsor, will be held inside St George's Chapel attended by around 800 people including the royal family and members of the Queen's staff to have served her over the years.

The crown jeweller will also be there to collect the crown from the Queen's coffin and return it safely to the Tower of London at the end of ceremonial events.

The Queen and Prince Philip, pictured at the Queen Mother's funeral service, will be laid to rest together on Monday night. Picture: PA.
The Queen and Prince Philip, pictured at the Queen Mother's funeral service, will be laid to rest together on Monday night. Picture: PA.

The burial

The Queen is going to be laid to rest inside St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Monday evening at 7.30pm in a private interment service attended by just close members of her immediate family.

Her coffin will be placed inside the King George VI memorial chapel, which is an annex to the main chapel, and is also where her mother and father were buried as well as her sister Princess Margaret.

The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin is to be moved from its current resting place in the Royal Vault to the same chapel so that the Queen can be reunited with her husband.



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