New Delhi: Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest after a state funeral Monday, which caps a 10-day long national mourning period that drew out millions from their homes for a last glimpse of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
World leaders and foreign royals have gathered in London to say a last farewell to the Queen and will be present at the main funeral service in the royal church, the Westminster Abbey. The state funeral will commence at 11 am local time.
US President Joe Biden, France’s Emmanual Macron, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be among the many dignitaries present in the 2000-strong crowd as the coffin is carried through the Abbey.
India will be represented by President Droupadi Murmu.
The state funeral will be followed by a more intimate committal service at St. George’s Chapel in the Windsor Palace where she will be lowered into the royal vault.
The funeral – which has put in place the biggest security arrangements in the country’s history — will be broadcast live on television, radio and the royal family’s YouTube channel.
More details emerged of the Queen’s state funeral in the Abbey and the committal service at Windsor Castle as the royal family released the orders of service.
The Queen’s four-day lying-in-state at the Palace of Westminster will end at 6.30 am local time on Monday. At 10.44 am, the coffin will be borne in procession on the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy from the palace to the Abbey.
King Charles III, members of the royal family, including her great grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and members of the royal household will follow the coffin.
The state funeral service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster and the sermon and the commendation will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Prime Minister Liz Truss and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will read out lessons (passages from the Bible) during the service.
Some of the choral pieces and hymns to be played at the service are “Like as the hart”, “the Lord’s my Shepherd”, and “O Taste and See how gracious the Lord is”.
The country will observe a two-minute silence at the end of the hour-long service after which the sovereign’s piper will play the traditional lament: “Sleep, dearie, Sleep.”
The coffin – borne on the state gun carriage — will then be taken to Wellington Arch, the centerpiece of Hyde Park in central London.
“Not seen on the streets of London since the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, the State Gun Carriage will be pulled by 98 Royal Navy sailors, with a further 40 marching behind acting as brakes,” the royal website wrote.
The King and the royal family will again follow the Queen’s coffin in procession.
Once at the Arch, the coffin will be placed in the state hearse. The parade will give a royal salute and the national anthem will be played as the hearse begins its final journey to Windsor Palace.
Thousands of people are expected to line the coffin’s route, as they gear up to witness a funeral steeped in royal tradition, pageantry and much pomp. Monday’s ceremonial events will culminate the two weeks of carefully choreographed public arrangements codenamed “Operation London Bridge”.
The committal service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Palace will begin at 4 pm, and conducted by the Dean of Windsor. As it draws to a close, the Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the royal vault while the dean reads: “Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul.” The sovereign’s piper will then play a last lament to mark the end of the ceremony, followed by the national anthem.
A private burial will take place later in The King George VI Memorial Chapel – a part of the larger St. George’s chapel. It will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor.
The Queen will be buried with her late husband, Prince Philip, at the chapel, which she had commissioned in 1962 to bury her father King George VI. The other coffins in this part of the chapel are those of her mother and sister Princess Margaret.
Also read: President Droupadi Murmu meets King Charles III ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral