The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II - who will be there and how to watch it
The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth takes place today with millions worldwide expected to tune in to pay their final respects to the monarch who ruled for 70 years
Today sees the State funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The service will be broadcast live by the BBC with a special programme led by news presenter Huw Edwards, along with Kirsty Young, Fergal Keane, David Dimbleby and Sophie Raworth, on air from 8am until 5pm on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC iPlayer with BSL [British Sign Language] signed coverage provided on BBC Two.
The funeral itself will be in three parts: the service at Westminster Abbey at 11am, attended by world leaders, representatives of the Commonwealth, emergency services workers, representatives of the Queen’s charity patronages and the wider Royal family.
There will then be a televised committal ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, at 4pm and a private interment in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at 7.30pm.
During the service, lessons will be read by the Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Scotland. The service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster.
The Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches Moderator will say prayers.
The sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury who will also give the commendation, while the Dean will pronounce the blessing.
Towards the end of the service the Last Post will be played at 11.55am, followed by a two minute silence that will be observed in the Abbey and across the country.
Reveille, the national anthem and a lament played by the Queen’s piper will bring the state funeral service to an end at around 12 noon.
With the Westminster part of the service over, the bearer party will then lift the coffin from the catafalque and will move in procession through the Great West Door returning to the State Gun Carriage which will be positioned outside the West Gate.
The coffin will be followed by the King and the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales and members of the royal family who will walk in the procession to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park along a route lined by the Armed Forces.
At Wellington Arch the royal family will watch as the Queen’s coffin is transferred to the new state hearse, whose design the Queen approved, before it begins its journey by road to Windsor Castle.
The hearse will arrive at the Shaw Farm Gate at 3.06pm and drive slowly up the Long Walk where the public are expected to line the route.
At approximately 3.40 pm the King and other members of the royal family who are walking in the procession join it at the Quadrangle on the North side as it passes into Engine Court.
What time will the State Funeral begin?
An hour by hour guide
6.30am: the lying-in-state ends and Westminster Hall is closed to the public.
10.44am: the coffin will be loaded onto the state gun carriage for the short procession to Westminster Abbey, followed on foot by the King and senior members of the Royal family, arriving at 10.52am.
11am: funeral service begins.
11.55am: towards the end of the service, Last Post will be played followed by a national two-minute silence that will be observed in the Abbey and across the country. A lament played by the Queen’s piper will bring an end to the service.
Around midday: the coffin will then be placed back on the gun carriage and taken to Wellington Arch in a procession, led by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, together with NHS workers, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the British Armed Forces.
3.06pm: the coffin arrives at Windsor where the public are expected to line the route.
4pm: televised committal ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, at the end of which the Lord Chamberlain will break his stick of office over the coffin and it will be lowered into the royal vault, out of view.
7.30pm: A private interment in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, the tiny venue where Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will be reunited with Prince Philip’s coffin and they will be interred.
At 3.53pm, the procession will halt at the bottom of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel in Horseshoe Cloister.
The bearer party will lift the coffin from the state hearse, from where it will be carried in procession up the West Steps.
At the end of the committal the Lord Chamberlain will break his stick of office over the coffin and it will be lowered into the royal vault, out of view, before later being moved to the tiny King George VI chapel where the late Queen and her husband will be interred along with her mother and father and the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
Prince Philip’s coffin will move from its current resting place in the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the late Queen’s.
Who will be at the funeral?
In addition to the Royal family, monarchs from across the world will pay their final respects at the first full state funeral in the UK since that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.
Among those confirmed are Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway and Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco. Other members from Europe’s royal families will also be in attendance, including Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Greece.
The recently appointed prime minister, Liz Truss, will attend, as well as the Labour party leader, Sir Keir Starmer as well as the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Irish premier, Michael Martin.
Foreign leaders attending will include President Joe Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden,French president Emmanuel Macron, the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italian president Sergio Mattarella and Finland’s Sauli Niinisto. It is also thought that Olena Zelensky, wife of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr will be among those attending along with
The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President, Charles Michel.
Other world leaders who are also expected to be present are New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, as well as her Australian and Canadian counterparts Anthony Albanese and Justin Trudeau, Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley and Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.
South Korean president Yoon Suk-Yeol’s will be attending with a representative of North Korean.
The Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako will also travel to Britain to attend.
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