Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II: timeline of key moments of the day | Queen Elizabeth II
The first state funeral in the UK since that of Winston Churchill in 1965 will take place on a bank holiday Monday for Queen Elizabeth II. Here’s a guide to what will happen at key times throughout the day.
06:30 (every hour BST) – End of the queen’s prone position
The Queen’s lie, in which her closed coffin has been on public display in Westminster Hall since Wednesday, ended in the early hours of Monday morning. About 300,000 people lined up to pay their respects, with the wait time reaching around 5 p.m.
8:00 a.m. – Westminster Abbey opens for the congregation
The Abbey opened to the congregation attending the Queen’s funeral. The event, which will be one of the largest gatherings of heads of state and royalty the UK has held in decades, will bring together European royal families and world leaders.
As the abbey opens, the king’s guard enters the gates of the building, with two soldiers posted at the metal gates awaiting the start of proceedings.
At around 9.30am, Westminster Abbey’s tenor bell began ringing once a minute 96 times as the funeral approached, marking each year in the Queen’s life.
10:30 a.m. – The Queen’s coffin is transported by cannon carriage to the Abbey
The coffin was carried on the State Funeral Carriage from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, towed by 142 Royal Navy sailors. The tradition dates back to Queen Victoria’s funeral in 1901.
Shortly before, the King arrived at the Palace of Westminster after traveling a short distance from Buckingham Palace.
10:44 a.m. – The royal family followed the coffin into the abbey
King Charles III, joined by the Royal Family as well as members of the household, followed the coffin on its journey from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, via cannon carriage.
The coffin was draped with the Royal Standard and bore the Imperial State Crown and a wreath containing plants from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House.
The procession was also led by 299 pipers and drummers from Scottish and Irish regiments, the Gurkha Brigade and the RAF.
10:52 a.m. – The procession arrives at Westminster Abbey
The motorcade carrying the Queen’s coffin arrived at the West Door of Westminster Abbey.
The pallbearer party – made up of members of the Queen’s Guard – carried the coffin from the gun carriage to the funeral service.
The procession from Westminster Hall lasted about eight minutes, and as the coffin entered the abbey the choir sang the Sentences, lines from the Bible verse Revelation 14:13, set to music by William Croft. The lines have been used at every state funeral since the 18th century.
11 a.m. – Service begins
The service, led by the Dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle, has begun.
The first lesson was read by Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary General. The lesson is taken from Corinthians 15.
The first anthem – The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended – was written by John Ellerton.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, read the second lesson, from John 14.
The second hymn – The Lord’s My Shepherd – was sung to the tune of Crimond.
The sermon, delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, described the Queen as having been “joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives”.
After Welby’s sermon, the choir sang My Soul, there is a country by Hubert Parry.
Afterwards, a series of church leaders offered prayers.
The Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields of the Church of Scotland begins by offering his thanks for the Queen’s ‘long life and reign’ and her ‘gifts of wisdom, diligence and service’.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, offered his thanks for the Queen’s “unwavering devotion to the Gospel”.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, gave thanks for “the rich bonds of unity and mutual support that she nurtured”.
The congregation then sang the third hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, which followed the Lord’s Prayer.
Welby has now given the commendation, a prayer that entrusts the soul of the deceased to God.
11:55 a.m. – The last bell rings
The Last Post played, followed by a two-minute silence.
Noon – End of the state funeral
The national anthem was sung, ending the state funeral. The coffin is brought to the state gun stand.
12:15 p.m. – Coffin transported to Wellington Arch
At the conclusion of the funeral, the Sovereign’s Pied Piper and the late Queen’s coffin were transported from Westminster Abbey and placed on the State Gun Carriage, from where it began the journey to the Chapel St. George’s in Windsor.
The procession, following the coffin and led by the King, was made up of several groups, each accompanied by a service band. These groups included representatives of the NHS and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as detachments from the Commonwealth Armed Forces.
Shots were fired in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery every minute during the procession, while Big Ben rang every minute.
The route of the procession included passing the Cenotaph, the Parade of Horse Guards and the Mall, continuing to Buckingham Palace.
1:30 p.m. – The coffin was placed in the State Hearse at Wellington Arch
The motorcade arrived at Wellington Arch, with the group of pallbearers transferring the coffin to the hearse before the carriage left for Windsor. There was a royal salute and the national anthem was played.
The King’s Guard proceeded to the Palace forecourt to salute the coffin of Queen Victoria’s monument.
3:00 p.m. – State hearse reaches Windsor
The hearse reached Shaw Farm Gate in Albert Road, Windsor, to join a funeral procession already formed and ready to head towards Long Walk to Windsor Castle.
Thousands of people gathered in droves to watch the journey from London. Shortly before his arrival, the Royal Standard was hoisted above Windsor Castle, signifying that King Charles III had arrived at the residence ahead of the late Queen’s burial service.
Members of the armed forces joined the police to stand guard along the road.
As the state hearse reached Shaw Farm Gate, it joined the procession to ascend the long walk to Windsor Castle.
The procession, made up of the Household Cavalry and members of the Grenadier Guards, will be joined by the King and other members of the royal family in the quadrangle of the castle.
During this time, the minute cannon will be fired every minute, and five seconds later, the Sevastopol bell.
As the procession approaches Cambridge Gate, bagpipes played the Skye Boat Song.
The King, accompanied by other members of the royal family, joined the procession at the Quadrangle in the castle grounds, with members of the royal household positioned behind the coffin.
King Charles, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex were among those who met the motorcade at the Quadrangle, as it made its way to Engine Court.
Tiny cannons were fired by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery from a position on the east lawn as the coffin moved towards the west steps of St George’s Chapel.
The bells of Sevastopol Castle and the Curfew Tower also rang as the state hearse continued its journey.
Then the procession reached the west steps of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The pallbearer group lifted the coffin from the hearse and carried it into the chapel ahead of the committal service.
4:20 p.m. – Engagement service begins
The televised engagement service began, attended by approximately 800 guests. The service was led by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner, with the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The service was opened by the choir singing Psalm 121, followed by the dean giving the bidding.
The late Queen’s three household chaplains from Sandringham, Balmoral Castle and Windsor Great Park gave prayers.
4:50 p.m. – The Queen’s coffin is lowered into the royal vault
After the service, the Queen’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault while the Dean read a psalm and a commendation. At the same time, the Queen’s piper played a lament.
A private funeral service led by the Dean of Windsor, attended only by the King and the Royal Family. The Queen’s coffin will be interred in the George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, alongside Prince Philip and his parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother.