Two thousand guests, including several hundred presidents, heads of state and monarchs, will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday. She will then be buried at Windsor Castle in the evening.
Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, which is one of the biggest logistical challenges in British history, will take place on September 19 in Westminster Abbey, London.
US President Joe Biden, the Emperor of Japan Naruhito and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the 2,000 guests attending this historic event. More than 10,000 police officers from all over the country will be stationed in the capital as the authorities expect record crowds along the funeral route.
In the afternoon, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will travel to Windsor Castle for a church service. She will then be buried in a private ceremony. FRANCE 24 outlines the programme for this extraordinary day.
Procession with music
On Monday morning, the royal coffin, which is currently on display at Westminster Palace in London, will be moved to Westminster Abbey where the state funeral will take place. The procession will begin at 10.35am (11.35am in Paris) and the coffin will be placed on a gun carriage towed by 98 naval officers, in a tradition dating back to Queen Victoria’s funeral in 1901.
The procession, followed by the king and members of the British Royal Family, will be led by a band of 200 pipers and drummers from the Royal Air Force to Westminster Abbey Gate at 10.52am.
Although the state funeral service, led by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle, will begin at 11am, the Abbey’s doors will open three hours earlier to welcome the 2,000 people who have been invited to the event.
While the final list of invitees is being kept secret for security reasons, several heads of state, political representatives and monarchs have already said that they will be attending. These include President Biden, President Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Indian President Droupadi Murmu.
Members of the Belgian, Dutch, Qatari and Saudi royal families will also be present, as well as several hundred anonymous people who were decorated by the queen, including social workers and carers.
After the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s sermon, the Last Post will be sounded, followed by two minutes of silence to be observed in the Abbey and throughout the UK.
The Reveille, national anthem and a lament performed by the queen’s piper will conclude the state funeral service at around noon.
Foreign heads of state and government representatives will then attend a reception hosted by the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly at Church House, the headquarters of the Church of England, next to Westminster Abbey.
The queen’s coffin will be paraded through the capital to Hyde Park Corner, to the sound of the bells of Big Ben, where it will be loaded into a hearse and driven to Windsor, a town in south-eastern England, some 30km from London.
Religious ceremony and burial at Windsor
From 3pm, a new procession, preceded by members of the Royal Cavalry, will cross the ‘Long Walk’ leading to Windsor Castle, the British Royal Family’s famous residence. The Royal Family will then join the procession to St. George’s Chapel.
Some 800 guests, including the queen’s personal staff, will attend the service, led by the Dean of Windsor David Conner.
Finally, at 7.30pm, the queen will be laid to rest in a private funeral service held in the presence of the king and members of the Royal Family.
Queen Elizabeth II will be buried with her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.
Culled from France 24