Queen's faith to be reflected in the 'funeral of a simple Christian soul'

·2-min read

Tomorrow's service at Westminster Abbey will be the "funeral of a simple Christian soul", Sky's royal commentator has said.

It is likely that the Queen's personal faith will be reflected in an address from the Archbishop of Canterbury, while many of the hymns were chosen with Her Majesty's "understanding", Alastair Bruce added.

The final hymn in the committal service at Windsor Castle will be chosen by her family, however.

The late monarch's funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey in London, starting at 11am. Poignantly, it is where she married Prince Philip 75 years ago. Her coronation also took place there in 1953.

"At heart this is the funeral of a simple Christian soul," Bruce said.

"And it's important to start there I think because I would sense that's where the Queen started."

But the "simplicity of this particular individual" was made more complex by her being head of state, he added.

The state will be reflecting "all its history in pageantry and ritual", telling the story of the end of one reign and the start of another.

Read more: Queen's funeral plans - everything you need to know

It is the first funeral of a British monarch since that of the Queen's father, King George VI, in February 1952.

While Bruce said the "nature of the service" will be similar to that held more than 70 years ago, prayers will perhaps be engaged in by a "wider degree of faith representation than might otherwise have been the case in 1952".

"We have evolved," Bruce added, although the "nature of the service is pretty similar".

The various Christian denominations will "all take a part such as they are able".

The Queen's Christian faith will be reflected "quietly", Bruce said.

He went on: "I think it will be reflected probably by the Archbishop of Canterbury whose words will be the flavour that makes everything a little bit more personal."

Regarding hymns, Bruce said: "She was aware of what was going to be in the hymns that were chosen and we've been told that many of the hymns were chosen with her understanding, and then she left the final hymn in the committal service at Windsor Castle to be chosen by her family.

"And in the end the King will have decided how everything is to proceed."

The plans have been honed over years - a strict timetable of procedure for what will be the biggest state funeral and security operation ever held in the UK.

Breaking centuries of tradition, this is the first funeral service for a monarch to take place at Westminster Abbey since the ceremony for King George II in 1760, as they were later held at Windsor.

However, the funerals for both Princess Diana and the Queen Mother took place there in 1997 and 2002 respectively.