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Queen Elizabeth laid to rest in state funeral

September 19, 2022

Britain has held its first state funeral since 1965, bidding farewell to Queen Elizabeth II after 70 years on the throne. She was laid to rest with her husband, parents and younger sister.

The coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is transported to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle after the state funeral held Westminster Abbey.
The coffin was brought to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Elizabeth II will be laid to rest alongside her late husband, Prince PhilipImage: Andy Commins/REUTERS
  • The queen's coffin carried from Westminster Abbey following service
  • Tens of thousands line London streets for funeral procession 
  • 400 heads of state and dignitaries were in attendance
  • Public committal service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
  • The queen was buried at a private service only for the Royal Family on Monday evening

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Queen buried alongside her family, Royals say

On Monday evening, the Royal Family said in its article on the day's proceedings that the private ceremony had been completed and that "the Queen was buried together with The Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel."

Queen's casket taken to final resting place

At about 7:30 p.m. local time on Monday, the coffins of Elizabeth and her husband Philip, who died last year aged 99, were moved from the royal vault to be buried together in the chapel where the remains of her father, King George VI, mother, and younger sister, Princess Margaret, also rest. 

This final service was a private one only for the Royal Family, as the period of national mourning following Elizabeth's passing comes to an end.

The UK will return to work on Tuesday following a public holiday on Monday to coincide with the state funeral, the first in the UK since the death of Elizabeth's first prime minister, Winston Churchill, in January, 1965.

DW's Robin Merrill reflects on service

DW's veteran anchor Robin Merrill called the state funeral "an extraordinary day, the like of which I expect we'll never see again, because I think Charles will pare down the monarchy a little bit." 

Merrill called it "the culmination of the last 10 days and indeed the last 70 years of this extraordinary woman, who had an unwavering duty to serve that we've never really seen the like of."

Merrill said it had surprised many people, including himself, "how emotional I got about it, because she's been the constant in my entire life. (...) There's never been anybody else."

"It's going to be a hard act to follow," he said, particularly given that the country is undergoing a change in monarch and prime minister virtually simultaneously. 

Archbishop of Canterbury closes ceremony

David White later spoke again to name Charles as Elizabeth's successor in these titles and duties.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, read out a benediction often used at the end of confirmation ceremonies starting, "Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast to that which is good; render to no one evil for evil." 

One of the last hymns of the ceremony was then followed by the chorus of the British national anthem, revised in the past fortnight to "God Save the King." 

Coffin committed, bagpipes sound

Dean of Windsor David Connor said a short psalm as the coffin began to descend into the royal vault in the chapel's floor. 

Then David White, another member of the royal household, the Garter Principal King of Arms, read out her list of formal titles:

"Thus, it hath pleased almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto His divine mercy the late, most high, most mighty, and most excellent monarch Elizabeth II. By the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and all Northern Ireland, and of her other realms and territories, queen. Head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith, and sovereign of the most noble order of the garter." 

Bagpipe music sounded thereafter, a lament played by the late queen's personal piper. 

Instruments of state removed from coffin 

The three instruments of state — the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and Scepter — were removed from the coffin in anticipation of the committal and placed on the high altar in the chapel. 

The Imperial State Crown is traditionally worn by the monarch at the end of coronation ceremonies and at formal events like the state opening of Parliament. But in recent years, given its quite considerable weight, Elizabeth had elected not to place it on her head. 

The Scepter is supposed to symbolize the monarch's power and it has been used at every coronation for centuries. 

The Orb, meanwhile, with a cross on it, is supposed to symbolize the power of God and remind the monarch where their power originates. 

King Charles then placed the colors of the queen's company, the Grenadier Guards, on the coffin. The queen's Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in her household and formerly MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, subsequently broke his Wand of Office and placed that atop the coffin along with the regiment's colors.

Ceremony begins 

The coffin, with the instruments of state placed on top of it, was carried into St George's Chapel at roughly 16:15 local time (1515 UTC).

King Charles III and the Queen Consort Camilla walked directly behind the pallbearers. Charles' eldest son and heir, Prince William, wore military attire.

"We have come together to commit into the hands of God the soul of His servant, Queen Elizabeth. Here in St George's Chapel, where she so often worshiped, we are bound to call to mind someone whose uncomplicated yet profound Christian faith bore so much fruit," David Connor, Dean of Windsor, said when opening the ceremony. 

"Fruit in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also — and especially to be remembered in this place — in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family and friends and neighbors." 

"In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future as she did, with courage and with hope," Connor said.

Queen Elizabeth's coffin arrives at Windsor

The queen's coffin arrived in the place she called home, Windsor.

A new military procession was carrying the coffin along the famous Long Walk through Windsor Great Park towards the Windsor castle itself.

Thousands more people lined the route as the coffin was taken to the Committal Service at St George's Chapel.

King Charles and other members of the Royal Family joined the procession in the castle's Quadrangle.

Prince Andrew with corgis as they await the cortege on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth
Prince Andrew at Windsor Castle as the Royal family wait for her funeral procession to arrive Image: Peter Nicholls/REUTERS

Thousands watch queen's journey to her final resting place

People have gathered all along the way of the queen's funeral procession to Windsor.

Mourners threw flowers at the convoy as it passed.

There will be another procession in Windsor before a committal service in St. George's Chapel

Finally, the queen will be laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip, at a private family service.

Cheers and applause for Queen Elizabeth II as London says goodbye

The convoy bearing the coffin of the late queen passed slowly through the streets of London after it was transferred from the Royal Navy gun carriage, following the state funeral in Westminster Abbey.

Hundreds of thousands of people who had come to pay their respects applauded and threw flowers, as the state hearse passed them by.

Church bells could be heard ringing while many in the crowd cheered in tribute to the queen, with some shouting "God save the queen!" The procession is heading to Windsor Castle where the final private service will be held for the queen.

Queen's final journey to Windsor Castle

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II has been carried from Westminster Abbey following a funeral service and will now be transferred from London to her final resting place at Windsor Castle.

Her coffin was transported on a gun carriage in a procession through the streets of London to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. Tens of thousands of people are lining the route.  

The queen was given a final royal salute to the strains of the national anthem before embarking on the final journey to Windsor Castle by hearse.

The convoy will now travel to Windsor Castle for a private service some 33 kilometers (21 miles) away. The queen will be interred next to her late husband, Prince Philip. 

Queen Elizabeth's casket being carried out of Westminster Abbey
The Queen's coffin departs Westminster Abbey following the state funeral serviceImage: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral

The Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, led proceedings in the abbey where the queen was married in 1947 and crowned in in 1953.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss gave a scripture reading before a sermon from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

At 10:55 UTC two minutes of silence were then observed, followed by a rendition of God Save the King.

The queen's lone piper then played the lament, "sleep dearie sleep."

The queen's coffin was carried by pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards to the waiting gun carriage of the Royal Navy.

Members of the royal family stood silently as the coffin was placed on the carriage with the procession then beginning through the streets of London.

The queen's coffin is embarking on its final journey through London and onwards to Windsor Castle for a second, private service.

Queen's coffin arrives at Westminster Abbey

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II has arrived at Westminster Abbey for her state funeral service.  Silence descended as the queen's coffin was carried into the abbey by military pallbearers, closely followed by King Charles and other members of the royal family. Mourners bowed their heads as the coffin with the crown and the Royal Standard passed them by.

The queen's coffin was carried by the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, in a procession, after lying in state for the past four days.

The procession was somberly led to the abbey to the sound of pipes and drums.

Royal family arrive at Westminster Abbey

Members of the royal family have arrived at Westminster Abbey to the applause of people who have lined area streets.

King Charles arrived along with Princes William and Harry followed by the queen consort and the Princess of Wales in a separate car.

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew,  and Prince Edward
Members of the royal family mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth IIImage: Marco Bertorello/AFP

British leaders past and present arrive

Former British prime ministers have arrived at Westminster Abbey ahead of the queens state funeral service which will be held in Westminster Abbey.

John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Boris Johnson were seen filing in ahead of proceedings. Their arrival was followed by new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The prime ministers of the queen's realms then arrived, among them, Canada's Justin Trudeau.

World leaders arrive at Westminster Abbey

Leaders and monarchs from around the world have started arriving at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II. Its understood 400 dignitaries will be attending proceedings.

Meanwhile tens of thousands of people have traveled to the capital and have lined the streets to pay their respects.

Various arms of the military involving thousands of personnel are performing ceremonial functions for a day that has required meticulous planning.

The marching band of the Royal Marines pictured outside Westminster Abbey
The Royal Marines Band Service are seen at Westminster AbbeyImage: John Sibley/REUTERS

Flags fly at half-mast on German public buildings

Germany's Interior Ministry said that flags on public buildings would be flying at half-mast on Monday to mark the state funeral of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that all federal authorities should follow suit.

A tweet by the ministry was accompanied by a hashtag "Rest in Peace" along with a picture of the deceased monarch. 

Mourners arrive at Westminster Abbey ahead of state funeral service

Guests have begun to take their seats at Westminster Abbey ahead of Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral service. Dignitaries and world leaders are expected to begin arriving a little later. Heads of state are gathering at a nearby hospital and will then be driven by bus to the abbey.

Westminster Abbey is where the queen was married in 1947 and crowned in 1953.

'We couldn't miss this' — mourners camp along procession route

Thousands of people set up camp on the streets of London ahead of the queen's funeral procession. Some brought along tents and sleeping bags, while others slept in camping chairs covered by blankets, while others simply lay on the ground with just jackets and coats for warmth.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of history, to pay your respects," one mourner told Reuters news agency.

Another mourner who had set off in the early hours of the morning said while she had never met the queen, to her it felt like losing a family member.

"It is like we have had a death in the family, we couldn't miss this," she said.

Authorities erected 36 kilometers (22 miles) of barriers in Central London to secure areas around the Houses of Parliament and other key areas including Buckingham Palace. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line streets of London. London authorities say all viewing areas along the route of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession are full.

Tents pictured on the streets of London
People camp out on the streets of London ahead of the funeral of Britain's Queen Elizabeth IIImage: Marko Djurica/REUTERS

What is expected during the memorial event and who will attend?

The queen's lying-in-state at Westminster Hall ended Monday morning shortly after 6:30 a.m local time. At 10:30 a.m. a bearer party will carry the coffin on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy.

The gun carriage will be drawn by 142 members of the Royal Navy through a route lined by the Royal Navy and Marines. The procession will pass by Parliament Square where members of Britain's navy, army and air force will form a Guard of Honor.

The state funeral will begin at 11:00 am (1000 UTC) at Westminster Abbey, where heads of state and other government representatives will attend. The late queen will then be laid to rest with her late husband, Prince Philip in a private ceremony in St George's Chapel within in the walls of Windsor Castle.

Around 400 foreign heads of state and dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral, along with members of the royal family and celebrities. Over the past five days, tens of thousands of people waited hours in line to pay their final respects.

People waiting in line in front of London's tower bridge
The line to Westminster Hall last week at one point stretched for kilometersImage: Markus Schreiber/AP Photo/picture alliance

Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako confirmed their attendance to the funeral.  Japan's emperor rarely attends funerals.

Among Europe's royal families, Norway's King Harald, the Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander, Sweden's King Carl, Belgium's King Philippe, Spain's King Felipe, Denmark's Queen Margrethe and Monaco's Prince Albert will also attend.

Saudi Arabian crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman was invited to the funeral but will not be attending.

US President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will attend. The Bidens were also seen paying their respects yesterday at the late queen's lying-in-state.

msh, lo, kb,sdi/aw (Reuters, AFP)