Queen’s funeral will be ‘living tradition in action’

·2-min read
Pallbearers carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II (Alkis Konstantinidis/PA) (PA Wire)
Pallbearers carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II (Alkis Konstantinidis/PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen’s funeral will be “living tradition in action”, the Dean of Westminster has said.

The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who will be officiating the funeral, has declined to comment on the exact contents of the service, but said it would be an opportunity to mourn and give thanks for the monarch’s “extraordinary life”.

The funeral is due to be held at Westminster Abbey on a special bank holiday on September 19, and is expected to be attended by leaders and dignitaries from around the world.

The Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
The Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

The abbey was the setting for all but two coronations of monarchs since 1066, and was also the location for the Queen’s marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947.

Dr Hoyle said: “I think, like any funeral, this is an opportunity for us to mourn because we’ve lost someone we held dear and respected.

“This is an opportunity for us to give thanks for an extraordinary life and an extraordinary achievement, this is an opportunity for us to pray for our new king and for his family in their grief, and this is an opportunity, if you like, for us to give the grief somewhere to go.

“A nation and Commonwealth, quite frankly the whole world, will be paying attention and the abbey will be a bit of a crucible holding all that, if you like.”

When asked if the funeral would feature modern updates, he added: “I’ll wait and see because I’m not going to comment on the content of the service. But this is Westminster Abbey, this is Her Majesty the Queen, I think you can assume that you’re going to see tradition in action, living tradition in action.”

Dr Hoyle said the Queen’s death was “shocking” and “dislocating”.

He said: “I think I’ve already said and actually the New York Times said this, she was the constant in an inconstant age so I think a lot of us feel that the continuity of someone who’s weathered all these storms and challenges, all these joys and sorrows made the rest of us feel that it can be done.

“I think we’ve lost that, I think this country has lost a long memory, all those conversations with Prime Ministers, a lot of wisdom.

The King has had plenty of time to prepare and will step into that role in a wonderful way, but I think it’s that constancy, I think it’s that wisdom, and then I think it’s someone who put herself, her character and her commitment to principle right at the heart of public life, not many people do that in the way that she did.”