Updates: Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is today
LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II will be buried on Monday after a majestic state funeral at Westminster Abbey and a grand procession to Windsor Castle that is expected to draw a large crowd potentially numbering in the hundreds of thousands as Britain bid a final farewell takes to its longest reigning monarch.
It is the culmination of 10 days of mourning since the Queen’s death in Scotland on September 8 – a time of combining mourning and disorienting change – and everything about the day will set precedents for such gatherings.
Hundreds of world leaders including President Biden and Emperor Naruhito of Japan will take the seats at Westminster Abbey. Tens of thousands of people will line the funeral procession through London. Thousands more will await the Queen in Windsor, where she will be buried alongside her husband, Prince Philip.
Britain has not held a state funeral since 1965, when it buried Winston Churchill, the wartime leader who acted as mentor to a young Elizabeth after she unexpectedly ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952.
As with every other ritual since the Queen’s death, the funeral is meticulously choreographed. At 10:35 pallbearers carry the Queen’s coffin from Westminster Hall, where it was viewed by tens of thousands of mourners, including Mr Biden, to a gun carriage for the short procession to Westminster Abbey.
King Charles III and other members of the Royal Family will walk behind the coffin, flanked by detachments of the Queen’s Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, the Yeomen of the Guard and the Royal Company of Archers.
The service begins at 11am and will include readings by Prime Minister Liz Truss and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev. Justin Welby, will deliver a eulogy.
After a military bugler plays “The Last Post,” signifying the end of the service, the Abbey and nation will fall silent for two minutes in honor of the Queen. The congregation will then sing “God Save the King” and the Queen’s piper will play a lament as her coffin is lifted back onto the carriage.
From there, the funeral procession will begin a stately roll through the city center, retracing the path it took when her coffin was brought from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday – a symbolic transfer of the Queen, who was 96 when she died was , from her family to the British state.
In contrast to this stark procession, this one will project the full splendor of the monarchy: seven groups, each with their own marching band; Detachments of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Royal Ulster Constabulary and British Armed Forces; and mounted soldiers of the household cavalry.
Soldiers will line the path from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch celebrating Britain’s victories in the Napoleonic Wars. It stands next to Hyde Park where artillery pieces are fired during the procession and where visitors can follow the action on large screens.
This is also where the Queen’s coffin is transferred from the carriage to a hearse for the 25-mile journey to Windsor. Huge crowds are expected to watch as the vehicle cruises past Kensington and Hammersmith in west London before veering south to pass the runways at Heathrow Airport. Like last week, the airport will halt flights to keep the skies calm over the wake.
Just before 4pm, the Queen’s coffin will arrive at Windsor, the turreted castle where she spent most of her final days and was quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. In April 2021, she buried Philip, her 73-year-old husband, in a stern funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor that was unforgettable for poignant images of the Queen, isolated and masked as she sat alone in a choir stall.
But this funeral will be full of pageantry and pomp as the hearse rolls up the tree-lined vista known as the Long Walk. Once you enter the chapel, there will be another service. At the end, the imperial crown, orb and scepter – shining symbols of the monarchy – will be laid on the altar from the queen’s coffin, in which they have been resting since last Wednesday.
When these imperial deals are completed, the coffin is lowered into the royal tomb and the television cameras are turned off. Her burial next to Philip in the King George VI Memorial Chapel is a private ceremony for her family.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/09/19/world/queen-elizabeth-funeral/widespread-business-and-public-service-closures-put-britains-economy-on-hold Updates: Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is today