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How the world said a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has been farewelled at a state funeral in London attended by 2000 world leaders, royalty, community leaders and family.

September 19, 2022
19 September 2022

Journey to Windsor begins

At the conclusion of the procession at Wellington Arch, the royal family lined up to see off the glass-encased hearse carrying the Queen as she left London for the final time.

The Royal Hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Wellington Arch. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Queen spent her early years at 145 Piccadilly, opposite the arch, when she was merely Princess Elizabeth, niece of the King.

She was never meant to be Queen, but when King Edward VIII abdicated and her father became King George VI, her life changed forever.

Princess Anne and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence are accompanying the casket to Windsor.

The Duchess of Sussex, the Queen Consort, Prince George, the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte and the Countess of Wessex (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The bells of Westminster rang as the hearse passed the crowds lining the route. There was applause and cheers, with some throwing flowers.

Solemn Procession

After the funeral, the Queen’s coffin began its journey through central London, past Buckingham Palace to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner.

King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry again followed the casket on foot, while other members of the royal family, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were driven during the 2.4-kilometre procession.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after the Queen’s funeral. (Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters/Pool)

George and Charlotte travelled with the Queen Consort and their mother, the Princess of Wales, while Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was in the same car as Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex travelled in a car behind.

Thousands lined the street for the sombre procession which again involved hundreds of military personnel.

Britain Royals Funeral Queen Elizabeth II's coffin has been pulled on a gun carriage through the streets of London.AP PHOTO
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin has been pulled on a gun carriage through the streets of London. (AP Photo)

From there, it will be placed on a hearse to be driven to Windsor Castle, west of London, for the committal service at St George’s Chapel.

Big Ben tolled, while members of the Queen’s household held vigil outside Buckingham Palace.

Sleep, Dearie, Sleep

The 65-minute long service finished with a two-minute silence, which was also observed across the United Kingdom.

Britain’s royal family, along with hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries, lowered their heads as Household Cavalry trumpeters played The Last Post.

The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II ended with a piper’s lament. (Hannah McKay/Reuters/Pool)

God Save the King was then sung before a lone piper playing the national lament, Sleep, Dearie, Sleep. The Queen’s casket was then carried from the Abbey followed by the King and royal family.

The royal family will travel to Windsor Castle for the committal service for their beloved matriarch in a ceremony at the gothic St George’s chapel to be attended by around 800 people.

(PA Graphics)

Members of the congregation at the Windsor service are expected to include the late monarch’s nearest and dearest, her household staff past and present, and foreign royal families.

The service, with a strong thread of tradition running throughout, was discussed with the Queen over a number of years and all the prayers and hymns were chosen by her – apart from one.

The Queen will be buried alongside her husband Prince Philip. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

The Queen will be buried with her late husband Prince Philip in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

A private burial service, attended by the King and other members of the royal family, will take place later on Monday evening.

The Eulogy

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered the eulogy remembering the Queen’s devotion.

Mourners who “follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again’,” the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The royal family during the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Welby told attendees of the Queen’s state funeral that grief felt across the world arises from the Queen’s “abundant life and loving service, now gone from us”.

In his sermon, the archbishop said: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.

“But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten.”

“The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.

“She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.”

The coffin is placed near the altar at the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (Gareth Fuller/Pool Photo via AP)

The archbishop prayed for the royal family – grieving like so many other families who have lost loved ones recently – but in this case, “doing so in the brightest spotlight”.

He said: “May God heal their sorrow, may the gap left in their lives be marked with memories of joy and life.”

Welby added: “We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death.

The Service

The choir sang The Lord’s My Shepherd a hymn sung at the Queen’s wedding to Prince Philip in the same venue – after a reading by British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Prayers are being said by the Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for “Queen Elizabeth’s long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service”.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss gave a reading at the Queen’s funeral. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP)

The Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally will say a prayer for “our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, and all the royal family”.

Reverend Canon Helen Cameron, Moderator of the Free Churches Group, will praise the Queen’s “unstinting devotion to duty, her compassion for her subjects, and her counsel to her ministers”.

At the end of the service, following The Last Post, two minutes’ silence, the Reveille, and the national anthem, the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, will play the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.

The Bidding

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, began the service with The Bidding.

“Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service.”

Hoyle spoke of her “unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years” as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth.

“With affection we recall her love for her family and her commitment to the causes she held dear,” the Dean will say.

A guest holds the Order of Service inside Westminster Abbey ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The final farewell begins

At precisely 11am London time, the Queen’s casket was carried into the Abbey where 2000 mourners from around the world stood.
The queen’s coffin is draped with the royal standard and a wreath of flowers including blooms and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House at Charles’s request.

They include rosemary for remembrance, and myrtle cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.

Senior members of the royal family accompany the Queen’s casket down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

Nine-year-old Prince George and his sister Princess Charlotte in between their mother Catherine and father William to walk behind the casket to the altar. The Queen consort, Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Wessex and Viscount Severn joined the final walk.

Casket arrives at Westminster Abbey

The Queen’s casket has arrived at Westminster Abbey.

After four days of lying in state beneath the symbols of the monarchy – the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre – the Queen was carried from Westminster Hall where a continuous stream of public have flowed past her coffin after waiting many hours.

The coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth makes its way to Westminster Abbey. (John Sibley/Reuters)

Soldiers of the Queen’s Company from the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards have been given the honour of acting as the coffin’s bearer party because of their unique association with the monarch.

The late Queen’s connection with the Guardsmen was not ceremonial, she was their Company Commander, and although a senior officer took day-to-day control, the former sovereign’s connection with her men was strong.

More than 2700 military personnel took part in the procession or lined its short route from New Palace Yard at the Palace of Westminster to the Abbey.

The Funeral Procession

The funeral procession conveying the Queen’s casket from Westminster Hall to the Abbey for her funeral has begun.

King Charles, his brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and sister Anne, the Princess Royal, are walking behind the gun carriage being pulled by 142 naval ratings.

The King and Princess Anne walk behind the Queen’s casket in the procession to the Abbey.

The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips walked behind the Queen’s children.

King Charles leaves Buckingham Palace

King Charles III and William, Prince of Wales have arrived at Westminster Hall where they will lead his family on the funeral procession for the Queen.

King Charles III on The Mall ahead of The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and the Queen’s eldest grandchild Peter Phillips have accompanied them.

Members of the royal family have also started to arrive at Westminster Abbey. The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales and Prince George and Princess Charlotte were the final arrivals.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Catherine, Princess of Wales and Camilla, Queen Consort travelling to the service. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Princess Beatice and her sister Princess Eugenie, their mother Sarah Ferguson, alongside their husbands, cousins Lady Louise Wessex and James, Viscount Severn have also arrived.

Sarah, Duchess of York, arrives at Westminster Abbey. (Hannah McKay/Reuters/Pool)

Seating arrangements for the funeral

The King and the Queen Consort will sit in the ornate Canada Club chairs in the front row of the south lantern.

Camilla will be seated next to the Princess Royal, then Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike, plus other members of the extended royal family were seated in the Abbey before the procession started.

(PA Graphics)

Across the aisle will be the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and then Peter Phillips and Zara and Mike Tindall.

Directly behind the King will be the Duke of Sussex, with the Duchess of Sussex behind Camilla. Meghan will be sitting next to Princess Beatrice.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, members of European royal families and key figures from public life are also among the 2,000 mourners gathering at the abbey for the service.

US President Joe Biden will be 14 rows back on the south transept behind the Polish leader and in front of the Czech Republic. The First Lady Jill Biden will be next to Switzerland.

Directly across the aisle from Biden’s place, the seat was labelled the Republic of Korea.

Leaders attending include Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The surviving British prime ministers who served the Queen, including David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, are also attending.

But invitations were not sent to Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine while Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Myanmar’s military junta and Syria’s Bashar Assad were also excluded.

Guests continue to arrive

US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at Westminster Abbey. (John Sibley/Reuters)
President of France Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte arrive. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog. (John Sibley/Reuters)
The Princess of Wales’ parents Carole and Michael Middleton arrive for the Queen’s funeral. (Geoff Pugh/Pool via REUTERS)
The family of Camilla, the Queen consort, including her son, Tom Parker Bowles. (Tim Merry/Pool via Reuters)

Tens of thousands line the streets

Tens of thousands of people, many of whom camped out overnight, have lined the route of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession to bid farewell to the only British monarch most have ever known.

London’s City Hall said at 9.20am local time on Monday that all central viewing areas for the procession in the city were fulGuestsl.

BRITAIN QUEEN ELIZABETH II Crowds in Westminster as London prepares for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.EPA PHOTO
Crowds in Westminster as London prepares for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (EPA)

“We wanted to come and see this historic event, to be part of it and to pay our respects to the Queen and thank her for her long life of service. I think we’ll probably feel fairly emotional at the end of it,” said Alison Cornish, 66, from Ashford in Kent.

Cornish was waiting on the Mall, London’s grand ceremonial boulevard by Buckingham Palace, where the crowd stood 15-20 people deep already at 8.30am.

“Emotion is not something I try to exhibit, but I’m probably going to,” said her husband Robin, also 66.

The best prepared had tents, sleeping bags, flasks of tea and stepladders, while others were sitting or sleeping on the ground in only their jackets.

Military personnel leave for procession

The pipers and drums, 142 naval ratings and the tri-service guard of honour have left the Wellington Barracks parade ground to Parliament Square to lead the Queen’s funeral procession.

The Royal Navy ratings will pull the state gun carriage carrying the queen’s coffin when it leaves the Houses of Parliament for her funeral.

At least 1650 military personnel will be involved in the pomp-filled procession of the queen’s coffin from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch after her funeral. A further 1000 will line the streets along the procession route.

A view of a marching band, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, outside Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

When the coffin reaches Windsor after the funeral, 410 military personnel will take part in the procession, 480 will line streets, 150 will be in a guard of honor and line steps and 130 more will fulfil other ceremonial duties.

World leaders arrive at Abbey

World leaders, including those of the Commonwealth, have begun arriving at the Abbey for the service. Most countries were invited.

Guests arrive for the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, at Westminster Abbey. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

But invitations were not sent to Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine, while Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Myanmar’s military junta and Syria’s Bashar Assad were also excluded.

The bell at Westminster Abbey has begun tolling. The tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

Viewing sites in London full

London authorities say all viewing positions along the route of the Queen’s funeral procession are now full.

The coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey.

(PA Graphics)

The royal family will walk in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried through the Gothic church by the military bearer party.

The King and the Queen Consort will walk immediately behind the coffin, followed by Anne, the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Prince and Princess of Wales and George and Charlotte.

The day marks the climax of what is being regarded as the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen, surpassing the operation for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Olympics, which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.

Overnight, the final members of the public queued to see the Queen lying in state in Parliament’s Westminster Hall before her coffin is moved to the nearby abbey.

Mourners along The Mall ahead of the Queen’s state funeral. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Guests and officials begin to take their places prior to the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried into Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

Guest begin arriving for Queen’s funeral

Guests have begun arriving at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, three hours before the official start.

Around 2000 people, including world royalty, presidents and prime ministers, community representatives and family, have been invited to farewell Elizabeth.

Until her death at Balmoral on September 8 at the age of 96, was the longest reigning monarch in the world. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee – marking 70 years on the throne – this year.

The last official photograph of Queen Elizabeth released on the eve of her funeral. (Ranald Mackechnie/Buckingham Palace via AP)

The coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral at 11am London time.

Her son, King Charles III, will lead mourners.

Charles, his siblings, sons and grandchildren will follow the Queen’s coffin as it makes it way crowds of well-wishers through the streets of London to the Abbey from Westminster Hall where thousands had queued for up to 12 hours to pay their respects.

Guests began entering the Gothic medieval abbey shortly after 8am on Monday.

Dignitaries were arriving later, with many heads of state gathering at a nearby hospital to be driven by bus to the abbey.

Westminster Abbey is where Elizabeth was married to Prince Philip in 1947 and crowned in 1953.

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