Preparations are being made for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II when the nation will say a final farewell to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
It will be a day of emotion, pomp and ceremony with a service at Westminster Abbey, cortege and military procession across London before a final family ceremony at a chapel in Windsor Castle.
Shortly after Her Majesty’s death, the Royal Family confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will take place on Monday 19 September.
According to Operation Unicorn, the funeral was expected to happen on D-Day+10 (10 days on from Her Majesty’s passing), however, due to the announcement of the Queen’s death coming late in the day – 6:31pm on 8 September – plans were shifted by one day to allow time for the complex arrangements.
What time will the Queen’s funeral start?
Details of the funeral were released in a statement shared on social media and via the Royal Family’s official website, it read: “[The funeral] of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 1100hrs BST.”
This means that the Queen’s funeral will commence at 11am.
Is the Queen lying-in-state before the funeral?
Ahead of the funeral, Her Majesty will lie-in-state at Westminster Hall for four days so that the public can pay their respects.
“During the lying-in-state, members of the public will have the opportunity to visit Westminster Hall to pay their respects to The Queen,” the statement went on. “On the morning of Monday 19th September, the lying-in-state will end and the Coffin will be taken in Procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey.”
The abbey, hosting the funeral service, is the historic church where Britain’s kings and queens are crowned, including the Queen’s own coronation in 1953. Not far from where the Queen’s coffin is now resting, the abbey is also the place where she married Prince Philip in 1947.
The day will begin just before 10:45 BST as the Queen’s coffin is carried from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy.
Who will attend the funeral?
Heads of state from across the world will be flying in to join members of the Royal Family to remember the life and service of the Queen. Senior UK politicians and former prime ministers will also be there.
US President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand have confirmed their attendance, and Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are also said to have accepted invitations.
Members of royal families from across Europe, many of whom were blood relatives of the Queen, are expected – Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde and Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia are among those who have confirmed they will be there.
The service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle, with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby giving the sermon. Prime Minister Liz Truss will read a lesson.
What is the funeral procession route?
Following the funeral service at about 12:15 BST, the Queen’s coffin will be drawn in a walking procession from the abbey to Wellington Arch, at London’s Hyde Park Corner.
With the route lined with military personnel and police, Big Ben will toll at one-minute intervals as the procession moves slowly through the streets of the capital. Gun salutes will also fire every minute from Hyde Park.
Camilla, the Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex will join the procession in cars.
Once at Wellington Arch, at about 13:00 BST, the coffin will be transferred to the new State Hearse for its final journey to Windsor Castle.
The castle, continuously inhabited by 40 monarchs across almost 1,000 years, had special significance to the Queen throughout her life. As a teenager she was sent to the castle during the war years as London faced the threat of bombing, and more recently she made it her permanent home during the coronavirus pandemic.