What To Expect – The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 11 am. The Funeral Service and the associated ceremonial arrangements will pay tribute to The Queen’s extraordinary reign, and Her Majesty’s remarkable life of service as Head of State, Nation and Commonwealth.

The Funeral will be broadcast live on TV, radio and The Royal Family’s Youtube Channel to allow people around the world to take part in mourning The Queen.

Procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey

The Queen’s Coffin has been Lying-in-State since the evening of Wednesday 14th September. At 6.30 am on the morning of Monday 19th September, the Lying-in-State will end.

At 1044hrs the Coffin will be borne in Procession on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral.

Immediately following the Coffin will be The King, Members of the Royal Family and members of The King’s Household.

What To Expect - The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
File photo dated 9/7/2021 of an aerial view of Westminster Abbey in central London where The Queen’s funeral will be held.

The State Funeral Service

The State Funeral Service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster and The Sermon and the Commendation will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

During the Service, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will read Lessons. The Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches Moderator will say Prayers. To mark the end of the Service, The Last Post will sound followed by Two Minute’s Silence to be observed in the Abbey, and throughout the United Kingdom. The National Anthem will draw the Service to a close.

The State Funeral Service will be attended by Heads of State and Overseas Government Representatives, including Foreign Royal Families, Governors-General and Realm Prime Ministers. Other representatives of the Realms and the Commonwealth, the Orders of Chivalry including recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross, Government, Parliament, devolved Parliaments and Assemblies, the Church, and Her Majesty’s Patronages will form the congregation, along with other public representatives.

Almost 200 people who were recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year will also join the congregation, including those who made extraordinary contributions to the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and have volunteered in their local communities.

The Procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch

At the end of the Service, Her Majesty’s coffin will be borne to Wellington Arch, via The Mall on the State Gun Carriage.

What To Expect - The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
File photo dated 15/2/1952 of the funeral cortege of King George VI moving from Horse Guards Parade into the Mall on the way to Paddington Station borne on a gun carriage. Non-commissioned sailors, Naval ratings, traditionally pull the gun carriage bearing the sovereign’s coffin through the streets using ropes, a practice which will take place during the Queen’s funeral. The custom was adopted in 1901 at Victoria’s funeral when the splinter bar of the gun carriage broke as her coffin, weighing nearly half a ton, was lifted into place and the horses began to move. The naval guard of honour stepped in and dragged the gun carriage to the castle, with the image considered so striking it has been used at every British monarch’s funeral since. Issue date: Thursday, September 15, 2022.

Not seen on the streets of London since the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, the State Gun Carriage will be pulled by 98 Royal Navy sailors, with a further 40 marching behind acting as brakes. The King and Members of the Royal Family will again follow The Queen’s Coffin in Procession. The Procession will include detachments from the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth, as well as detachments of the British Armed Forces who held a special relationship with The Queen.

The King’s Guard will give a Royal Salute as the Coffin passes the Queen Victoria Memorial.

Once the coffin reaches Wellington Arch, it will be placed in the State Hearse. The parade will give a Royal Salute and the National Anthem will be played as the State Hearse begins its journey to Windsor.

Procession from Albert Hall, Windsor to St George’s Chapel

When the Coffin reaches Windsor, the State Hearse will slow to join a Procession to be formed up on Albert Road to travel via the Long Walk to St George’s Chapel. Members of the Royal Family will join the Procession in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle. Minute Guns will be fired on the East Lawn, Windsor Castle by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and Sebastopol Bell and the Curfew Tower Bell will be tolled throughout the Procession.

What To Expect - The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
Mourners make their way along the Long Walk to pay their respects at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

The Procession will halt at the bottom of the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel where a Guard of Honour, found by the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will be mounted. The Queen’s Coffin will be borne in Procession into the Chapel.

The Committal Service

The Committal Service will begin at 4 pm, and alongside His Majesty The King and Members of the Royal Family, the congregation will be made up of past and present members of The Queen’s Household, including from the private estates. Also in attendance will be Governors-General and Realm Prime Ministers.

What To Expect - The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

The Service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park. The Choir of St George’s Chapel will sing during the Service.

Prior to the final Hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre will be removed from Her Majesty The Queen’s Coffin, and placed on the Altar. At the end of the final Hymn, The King will place The Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on Her Majesty’s Coffin. At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain will “break” his Wand of Office and place it on the Coffin.

As The Queen’s Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor will say a Psalm and the Commendation before the Garter King of Arms pronounces Her Majesty’s styles and titles. The Sovereign’s Piper will play a Lament and The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the Blessing. The National Anthem will be sung at the conclusion of the Service.

A Private Burial will take place in The King George VI Memorial Chapel later that evening, conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

The Queen is to be buried together with The Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel.

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