Kings and queens, world leaders, tearful mourners lining the streets and gathered around screens bid a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, as Britain’s longest-serving monarch was laid to rest in a historic funeral ceremony conducted to military precision at a scale never seen before.
The U.K. observed a two-minute silence in a poignant nationwide tribute at the conclusion of a majestic state funeral ceremony at Westminster Abbey, attended by thousands and witnessed by millions on screens worldwide.
In the congregation of around 2,000 made up of world leaders, royalty from the U.K. and overseas and community leaders, India was represented by President Droupadi Murmu and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.
The U.K.’s National Anthem, ‘God Save the King’, rang out as the coffin was lifted out for the last leg of the journey to the late monarch’s final resting place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where a Committal Service concluded the public-facing aspect of the funeral before a private burial ceremony on Monday evening.
The Queen’s coffin then lowered into the Royal Vault in preparation for her final resting place by the side of her late husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, in an enclave of the historic chapel on her south-east England estate of Windsor.
Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on September 8 at her Scottish summer home, Balmoral Castle.
Britain and world say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth
As millions tuned in to broadcasts or lined the streets of London and as world leaders and royalty looked on, Britain said its final goodbyes to its longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s funeral started at 11 a.m. at Westminster Abbey when her body was brought from Westminster Hall, in the British Parliament complex, where it had been lying in state for over four days.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin lowered into Royal Vault
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, bringing to an end public mourning for Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
The “second Elizabethan age” was symbolically brought to a close when the highest-ranking official in the royal household, Lord Chamberlain Andrew Parker, broke his wand of office and the Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre were placed on the high altar. - AFP
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrives at Windsor Castle
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrived past hushed crowds at Windsor Castle on Monday, for a final committal service at St George’s Chapel before burial.
The royal hearse, covered in flowers from well-wishers on the journey from London, swept sedately up the Long Walk avenue in a military procession, to tolling bells and ceremonial gunfire. - AFP
‘In loving and devoted memory’: King Charles handwritten note to late Queen
Britain’s King Charles paid tribute to his late mother Queen Elizabeth with a handwritten note laid on top of her coffin reading: “In loving and devoted memory, Charles R.”
The note was placed amid a colourful wreath for the late monarch that Buckingham Palace said contained, at Charles’s request, rosemary, English Oak and myrtle, which had been cut from a plant grown from myrtle used in Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet.
There were also gold, pink, burgundy and white flowers cut from the gardens of royal residences. - Reuters
China says invitation for Taiwan’s representative to sign Queen’s condolence book ‘disgraceful’
China on Monday termed as “disgraceful” the British Government’s permission for a Taiwan representative in the U.K. to sign the condolence book of Queen Elizabeth II.
“Let me stress that the DPP [ruling Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan] authorities make use of the occasion to seek political manipulation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a media briefing when asked about Taiwan representative in the U.K. Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh was specially invited by the British Government to sign the condolence book. - PTI
Coffin taken from London to Windsor Castle
A hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin sets off from London’s Wellington Arch on its way to Windsor Castle.
Queen’s coffin reaches Wellington Arch
The funeral procession has now arrived at Wellington Arch. The bearer party will lift the late queen’s coffin from the state gun carriage and place it in the state hearse before the car leaves for Windsor.
Guns fire at Hyde Park
King Charles III and other senior royals are marching behind the coffin to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. Tens of thousands of people are lining the route.
Gun salutes are being fired in nearby Hyde Park, and Big Ben is tolling at one-minute intervals during the procession.
The coffin is to be taken by hearse to Windsor, where the Queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin taken through the heart of London
Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin is being taken on a gun carriage from Westminster Abbey for a last procession through the heart of London.
The coffin is being transported to Windsor, outside the British capital, where the former monarch will be laid to rest later Monday.
Procession to Wellington Arch begins
The coffin is drawn on the gun carriage towards Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner near Buckingham Palace. It is followed by the king, senior royals and a procession including detachments from the armed forces of the Commonwealth grouping of 56 nations that the queen headed.
Two-minute silence observed across the U.K.
A two-minute silence has been observed across the United Kingdom in memory of Queen Elizabeth II as the late monarch’s state funeral service drew to a close in Westminster Abbey.
Britain’s royal family, along with hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries gathered at the Gothic abbey in London for the service Monday, lowered their heads as Household Cavalry trumpeters played “The Last Post.” The congregation then observed a two-minute silence before singing the national anthem.
Westminster Abbey service closes with national anthem
World leaders on Monday joined members of the public in two minutes' silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II at her state funeral in London.
The funeral of Britain's longest-serving monarch ended with "God Save the King", the reworded national anthem after her son Charles's accession.
Archbishop of Canterbury praises Queen Elizabeth’s service
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Monday praised Queen Elizabeth II's life of duty and service to the U.K. and Commonwealth at the state funeral for Britain's longest-serving monarch.
"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 forgotten," he said in his funeral sermon.
Recalling the queen’s promise on her 21st birthday that “her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and the Commonwealth,” Welby said: “Rarely has such a promise been so well kept.”
The funeral service includes readings and hymns of significance to the queen, including the hymn “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” which was sung at her wedding to Prince Philip in the same abbey in 1947.
Queen’s great-grandchildren George and Charlotte follow coffin in Westminster Abbey
Queen Elizabeth II's great-grandchildren George and Charlotte joined the procession of royals behind her coffin at her funeral in Westminster Abbey on September 19.
Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, walked with their mother Catherine, Princess of Wales. George wore a dark suit while Charlotte wore a black dress and hat.
Westminster Abbey service underway
As the queen’s coffin was brought into Westminster Abbey, the people in attendance, including hundreds of foreign dignitaries, bowed their heads in respect.
In a tradition dating back to Queen Victoria’s funeral in 1901, the state gun carriage bearing the coffin was hauled to the abbey by Royal Navy sailors, followed in a solemn procession by King Charles III and other senior royals.
Queen’s coffin arrives at Westminster Abbey
The procession carrying the Queen Elizabeth’s coffin has arrived at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey. The bearer party will carry the coffin from the gun carriage and into the funeral service.
Procession to Westminster Abbey begins
King Charles III, other royals walk behind queen’s coffin as it’s pulled to Westminster Abbey for state funeral.
Queen Elizabeth’s coffin to leave Westminster Hall
The Queen’s Elizabeth’s coffin will shortly leave for Westminster Abbey for her funeral service. It will be lifted from the catafalque where it has been resting since Wednesday afternoon.
Liz Truss arrives at Westminster Abbey
Liz Truss, the last of the 15 British prime ministers to be appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, arrived for the State Funeral Service for the late queen. Ms. Truss was joined by all living former British prime ministers at the service.
President Biden arrives at Westminster Abbey
U.S. President Joe Biden arrived at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral service.
Bells at Westminster Abbey begin to toll 96 times
The first bells at Westminster Abbey has begun tolling 96 times for the late Queen. They will toll once every minute in the run-up to the funeral to mark every year of the 96-year-old monarch’s life.
Royal mourners face rail disruption on journey to Windsor Castle
Trains travelling from London to Windsor, where Queen Elizabeth will be buried later on Monday were badly disrupted by technical problems, straining the public transport system as tens of thousands travel around the capital to watch her funeral.
Great Western Railway (GWR) said that all lines between Paddington and key connection point Reading, were blocked, advising passengers to take an alternative route to Windsor, the town that is home to the Windsor Castle royal residence.
Later, the queen's coffin is due to be driven to Windsor, where she will be buried alongside her late husband Prince Philip in a small chapel in a private ceremony after the funeral. Large crowds are expected throughout the town. -- Reuters
Dignitaries, heads of state begin arriving at Westminster Abbey
Dignitaries and foreign heads of state have started arriving at the Westminster Abbey, reports the BBC
Bell at Westminster Abbey begins tolling
Bell at Westminster Abbey begins tolling once a minute for 96 minutes to honor each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.- AP
Viewing areas along route of funeral procession full
London authorities say all viewing areas along route of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession are full- AP
India’s erstwhile royal families on hosting Queen Elizabeth II during her first trip to India
When the Delhi Durbars were held in 1903 and 1911, all the Rajas and Maharajas of India travelled to Delhi to pay their respects to the Crown. All, except the Maharana of Mewar, who did not attend these events to demonstrate his resistance against the British regime. Yet, decades later, when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Udaipur, in January 1961, to restore the British monarchy’s relationship with this royal house, Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar graciously welcomed them.
Queen Elizabeth II to be buried in decades-old coffin lined with lead
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, is made of English oak, lined with lead and it was built decades ago, according to British media reports on Monday.
The coffin is made of oak from the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate according to royal tradition, the Sky News reported.
According to the Telegraph, it was originally built by the specialist firm Henry Smith over three decades ago. The records of the exact date that the casket was made were lost when Henry Smith was taken over by another firm in 2005. Since its manufacture, it has been in storage under the care of two different firms who have been responsible for royal funerals.
The coffin is two-in-one, with the internal portion lead poured over a simple inner wood coffin. That is then placed inside the outer casket made of English oak. The combination of materials used to make Her Majesty’s coffin mean that it is much heavier than a normal coffin. It requires eight pallbearers, which will be from the Armed Forces, to carry it instead of the normal six.
The practice of encasing Royal Family members in lead coffins dates back hundreds of years at least to Queen Elizabeth I. Using lead allows the casket to be sealed, keeping out moisture and slows the decomposition process for up to a year longer than would normally occur.- PTI
Mourners begin arriving at Westminster Abbey
Mourners have started arriving at Westminster Abbey to take their seats for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral service.
Guests began entering the Gothic medieval abbey shortly after 8 a.m. (0700 GMT; 3 a.m. EDT) on Monday. Dignitaries will start arriving later, with many heads of state gathering at a nearby hospital to be driven by bus to the abbey.
Westminster Abbey is where Queen Elizabeth II was married in 1947 and crowned in 1953.
A day packed with funeral events in London and Windsor began early when the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her coffin since September 14.- AP
Paris Metro renames station after Queen Elizabeth II
The Paris Metro has renamed one of its stations after Queen Elizabeth II to honor the British monarch on the day of her state funeral.
The Metro company tweeted that the George V station, which serves the French capital’s famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, has been renamed Elizabeth II station for the day on Monday.- AP
Crowds gather for the Queen’s funeral
Huge crowds built in central London overnight and from early morning on Monday to secure a spot to watch the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey.
As dawn broke over the River Thames, a steady stream of well-wishers streamed out of Embankment underground station headed for Parliament Square.- AFP
‘We couldn’t miss this’: Thousands camp out for Queen’s funeral
Thousands of people camped overnight in London to get the best spots for viewing Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession on Monday. The best prepared had tents, sleeping bags, blow up beds and flasks of tea. Others were sitting or sleeping on the ground in only their jackets. One couple were seen asleep just in their clothes, their arms interlocked for warmth, and, perhaps, for comfort.
Melanie Odey, 60, a teacher, was at the front of the barriers along the Mall outside Buckingham Palace. She had camped overnight in a tent with two daughters and grandchildren after arriving on Sunday afternoon at 4.30 p.m. (1530 GMT)
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of history, to pay your respects,” she said with a pink scarf wrapped around her head. “The atmosphere is so unique. I had to come. It has definitely been worth it,” she said, adding that it was the least she could do to honour the late monarch.
People continued to arrive throughout the night arriving by taxi or the extra trains put on to accommodate the crowds.
As people made their way to the procession route, some were silent and sombre, dressed in black. Others were more upbeat. A group of three women dressed in Union Jack hats sang “God Save the Queen” as they made their way to the route. On the streets, there was a remarkable cross-section of society, of young and old. Some arrived in wheelchairs, others in pushchairs.- Reuters
President Mumru attends reception at the Buckingham Palace
President Droupadi Murmu, who is representing India at the state funeral, and the heads of state and government from around the world including US President Joe Biden attended an “official state event” hosted by the King and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening.
Charles reflects on ‘lifelong service of dear mother’ ahead of Queen’s funeral
Britain’s King Charles III reflected upon his late mother’s “lifelong service” in a thank you message ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday morning.
Queen Elizabeth II, 96, passed away peacefully at her Scottish residence of Balmoral Castle on September 8 and has been Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall, where Murmu and the world leaders joined thousands of mourners to pay their respects to the late monarch.
“Over the last 10 days, my wife and I have been so deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and across the world,” Charles said in a statement, in the wake of a one-minute silence as a national moment of reflection in memory of the Queen at 20:00 local time on Sunday.
“In London, Edinburgh, Hillsborough and Cardiff we were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, the late Queen,” he said.
“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief,” he added.- PTI
Biden, VIPs lay low as spotlight stays on late Queen
For US President Joe Biden and other presidents, prime ministers and dignitaries, there were no red-carpet arrivals, no big speeches and no news conferences as they gathered for Monday’s state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.
Instead, world leaders used to people hanging on their every word checked their egos in the service of honouring the queen, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who died earlier this month at age 96 after 70 years on the throne.
“They know that they are there to honour the passing, honour the individual,” said Capricia Marshall, who was the US State Department’s protocol chief for a period during Barack Obama’s administration. “They also are aware that they’re representing their country.” The protocol office is a key player in US foreign policy and diplomatic affairs by working to make sure that US officials don’t say or do anything that will offend a foreign visitor or host.
Most other leaders in town have kept similarly low profiles, appearing so far only to sign the official book of condolence and silently pay respects beside the queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall.- AP
UK officials close queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state, saying it was at ‘final capacity’
The lying-in-state ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall formally ended and the doors closed to the public ahead of her state funeral on Monday.
Over five days, tens of thousands of people had waited hours in line before filing past her coffin to pay their final respects. The funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in front of some 2,000 guests.- AP
First televised funeral of a British monarch
Tens of millions in Britain and abroad are expected to watch the funeral of the monarch, something which has never been televised before. It will end with the Last Post trumpet salute before the church and the nation falls silent for two minutes.
Afterwards, the coffin will be brought through central London, past the queen’s Buckingham Palace home to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, with the monarch and the royal family following again on foot during the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) procession.
From there, it will be placed on a hearse to be driven to Windsor Castle in west London for a service at St George’s Chapel. This will conclude with the crown, orb and sceptre - symbols of the monarch’s power and governance - being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.
The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, will break his ‘Wand of Office’, signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and place it on the casket.
It will then be lowered into the royal vault as the Sovereign’s Piper plays a lament, slowly walking away until music in the chapel gradually fades.
Later in the evening, in a private family service, the coffin of Elizabeth and her husband of more than seven decades Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will be buried together at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where her parents and sister, Princess Margaret, also rest.- Reuters
Leaders in U.K. for Queen’s funeral
World leaders and royalty arrived in London on Saturday night and Sunday to offer condolences on behalf of their countries and say their final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth II whose state funeral is scheduled for Monday. The 96-year-old Queen — Britain’s longest reigning monarch of 70 years — died on September 8 in Scotland. President Droupadi Murmu was among those who visited the Westminster Hall in the British Parliament complex on Sunday, where the Queen’s is lying in state.
“President Droupadi Murmu visited Westminster Hall London where the body of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II is lying in state. The President offered tributes to the departed soul on her own behalf and on behalf of the people of India,” the President’s official twitter handle said. Among those with her was Deputy High Commissioner to the U.K., Sujit Ghosh.
Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren hold silent vigil beside her coffin in Westminster Hall
All eight of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandchildren stood in silent vigil beside her coffin on September 17, capping another huge day in which thousands came to pay their respects. Mourners huddled in a line that snaked across London, enduring the city’s coldest night in months and waits that stretched up to 16 hours.
Honoring their patience, King Charles III and his eldest son Prince William made an unannounced visit on September 17 to greet people waiting to file past Elizabeth’s coffin, shaking hands and thanking mourners in the queue near Lambeth Bridge.
Later, all the queen’s grandchildren stood by her coffin. William and Prince Harry, Charles’ sons, were joined by Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and the two children of Prince Edward – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.