The date 19 September 2022 will now forever remain significant in history, as it marks the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch. A statement released from Buckingham Palace confirmed that "she passed away peacefully at Balmoral" on 8 September.
Shortly after the news was publicly announced, her son, now King Charles III, shared a heartfelt tribute to his mother.
"The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family," he said. "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world."
“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
The funeral plans
As a monarch, the Queen will be given a state funeral, which will take place at 11am on Monday 19 September. The plans have been in place for years – the Queen herself played an active role in the structure and organisation of the day – and all the details have now been confirmed by Buckingham Palace. It will take place at Westminster Abbey, and the Dean of Westminster will lead the service.
Prior to the funeral, the Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days, where the public will be able to pay their respects. It will be open for 23 hours a day to allow as many people through the doors as possible.
The order of events prior to the funeral on 19 September is as follows:
13 September: the coffin will travel from Edinburgh to London on an RAF aircraft, accompanied by Princess Anne.
14-18 September: following a procession from Buckingham Palace, the Queen will lie-in-state at Westminster Hall for four days.
16 September: a vigil surrounding the coffin will be held by the King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Earl of Wessex.
19 September: on the morning of 19 September, the lying-in-state will end and the coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey, where the State Funeral Service will take place.
The order of proceedings on the day
Ahead of the funeral service, members of the royal family and the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth will follow the coffin in a procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, which will begin at approximately 10.45am. Guns will be fired every minute in Hyde Park by The King’s Troop and the Royal Horse Artillery, and Big Ben will toll throughout the duration of the procession.
The coffin is draped with the Royal Standard flag, used by King Charles III in his time as Sovereign, on which lies the Instruments of State, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb, and the Sceptre.
The state funeral service will pay tribute to the Queen’s extraordinary reign, as well as Her Majesty’s remarkable life of service as Head of State, Nation and Commonwealth.
There will be a national two-minute silence held at midday on the day of the funeral, after which the Last Post will sound. The National Anthem will bring the service to a close.
Following the service, the royal family will then follow the Queen's coffin in a procession to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Shortly after arrival at St George's Chapel, there will be a televised committal service at 4pm. This will be attended by the King and members of the royal family, and the congregation will be made up of past and present members of the Queen's Household. It will be led by the Dean of Windsor
Later that evening, there will be a private service with senior members of the royal family. The Queen will then be laid to rest at St. George's Chapel, which is also the resting place of her parents, her sister Princess Margaret and her beloved Prince Philip. It's been confirmed that Her Majesty will be buried with her husband.
Who will speak at the funeral?
The state funeral service will be led by the Dean of Westminster. The Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will perform readings, while 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. The Sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will also give the Commendation. The Dean of Westminster will then pronounce the Blessing.
Who will attend?
All royal family members will attend the Queen's funeral, including her children, King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, along with their own families. The Queen's grandchildren will also be present, including Prince William and his wife Kate, the new Princess of Wales, and Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, and other important international figures will also be invited to the service. Representatives from Her Majesty's patronages will also be in attendance, as will 200 people who were recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours this year – including those who made extraordinary contributions to the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The abbey can hold a congregation of around 2,000 people.
When will it take place?
It's customary for a royal funeral to take place roughly 10 days after the death is publicly announced. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Queen's state funeral will take place at 11am on Monday 19 September. The day will also be marked with a public holiday, confirmed by King Charles.
Will it be televised?
The full funeral service will be televised, as will the committal service at St George's Chapel. The procession of the coffin from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle will also be shown on TV, as will much of the Queen's final journey leading up to the funeral day.
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