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Queen Elizabeth's funeral: The 'last hurrah' for Britain's longest reigning monarch

A guide to the proceedings of the first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s in 1965

Source: The Guardian

The first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s in 1965 will take place today, Monday, for the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Among the distinguished guests in the British capital are US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

Also present will be Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Japan's Emperor Naruhito (on his first trip abroad since resuming the throne in 2019).

Also invited are crowned heads such as Prince Albert of Monaco, King Felipe of Spain and his father, Juan Carlos – who abdicated in 2014 and lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates.

Greece will be represented by the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

Below is a guide to what will happen at key moments throughout the day.  All times are UK local time.

6.30 am (all times BST) – The Queen’s lying in state will end
The Queen’s lying in state, in which her closed coffin has been placed on view to the public at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, will come to an end in the early hours of Monday morning. An estimated 300,000 people have queued to pay their respects, with the wait time reaching an estimated 17 hours.

8 am – Westminster Abbey will open for the congregation
The Abbey will open to the congregation attending the Queen’s funeral. The funeral, which will be one of the largest gatherings of heads of state and royalty the UK has hosted in decades, will include European royal families and world leaders.

10.30 am – The Queen’s coffin will be carried by gun carriage to the Abbey
The coffin will be carried on the state funeral gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy. The tradition dates back to the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.

10.44 am – The royal family will follow the coffin into the Abbey
King Charles III, joined by royal family members as well as members of the royal household, will follow the coffin as it makes its journey from Westminster Hall to the Abbey.

10.52 am – The procession will arrive at Westminster Abbey
The procession will arrive at the west gate of the Abbey, and the bearer party – made up of members of the Queen’s guard – will carry the coffin from the gun carriage and into the funeral service.

See live footage from the British capital:

11 am – The service will begin
The service, which will be led by the dean of Westminster, Dr. David Hoyle, will commence. The sermon will be delivered by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

11.55 am – The Last Post will sound
The Last Post will be played, and will be followed by a two-minute silence.

Noon – The state funeral service comes to an end
The national anthem will be played, bringing the state funeral service to a close. The coffin will then be brought to the state gun carriage.

12.15 pm – The coffin will be part of a procession to Wellington Arch
The procession, led by the King, will be made up of several groups, with each accompanied by a service band. These groups include representatives from the NHS and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as detachments from the armed forces of the Commonwealth.

Guns will be fired in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery every minute during the procession, while Big Ben will toll every minute.

1 pm – The coffin will be placed in the state hearse at Wellington Arch
The procession will arrive at Wellington Arch, and the bearer party will transfer the coffin to the hearse before the car leaves for Windsor. There will also be a royal salute and the national anthem will be played.

3 pm
The hearse will reach Shaw Farm Gate in Albert Road, Windsor, shortly after 3pm and will join a funeral procession already formed and ready to head up Long Walk to Windsor Castle.

3.40 pm
The King, accompanied by other members of the royal family, will join the procession at the Quadrangle in the castle grounds, with members of the royal household being positioned at the rear of the coffin.

3.53 pm
The procession will reach the west steps of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The bearer party will lift the coffin from the hearse and it will be carried in procession into the chapel before the committal service.

4 pm
The televised committal service will begin attended by about 800 guests. It will be conducted by the dean of Windsor, David Conner, with a blessing from the archbishop of Canterbury. The Queen’s coffin will then be lowered into the royal vault.

7.30 pm
A private burial service conducted by the dean of Windsor, attended just by the King and the royal family. The Queen’s coffin will be laid to rest in George VI memorial chapel in St George’s Chapel, alongside Prince Philip and her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother.

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