Thousands of mourners are waiting in line for hours to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II in London. Here is the latest on the preparations for the world to say goodbye to the Queen.
Mourners Queue in Line for Miles
The late monarch is scheduled to lie in state at Westminster Hall until Monday morning, the day of her state funeral. The coffin was moved to the oldest part of Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday in a formal military procession. As is typical for the orderly British culture, mourners began politely lining up hours before the public was allowed into Westminster Hall. Those waiting in line are reporting waits of up to nine hours.Read More »
Government officials have also launched a live tracker to indicate the current length of the queue and where you will find the end point. The queue stretches from Westminster Hall back for miles, tracking along the south bank of the River Thames. The line passes a number of iconic London landmarks, including the London Eye, the Globe Theater, the Tower Bridge, and the Royal Festival Hall. As of Thursday afternoon, the line snaked for over four miles.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday that the Queen’s four children will stand in vigil around her coffin on Friday evening. This event will be similar to what happened earlier in the week at the St. Giles Cathedral in Scotland. In addition to King Charles III, the vigil will include Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.
Details of Funeral
More details are being released about Monday’s state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. Palace officials announced on Thursday that there will be a two-minute nationwide moment of silence held just prior to the end of the funeral service. The coffin will be moved from where it is currently lying in state into Westminster Abbey for the service that is expected to last about one hour.
The Duke of Norfolk is the head of the funeral organization process, a carefully planned affair that was orchestrated by the Queen prior to her death. According to the Duke of Norfolk, the service is designed to “unite people across the globe.”
At approximately 10:30 am local time on Monday, the coffin will be moved from the catafalque in Westminster Hall. The coffin will be carried to the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy. This carriage has been used in previous royal funerals, including the services for King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI. Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill was also carried in this carriage during his funeral.
As is tradition, the gun carriage will leave at 10:44 am. The coffin will journey from New Palace yard to the service at Westminster Abbey. Royal Navy and Royal Marines will line the route, led by the Pipes & Drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments along with the Brigade of Gurkhas, and the Royal Air Force musicians.
King Charles III will be joined by various royal family members walking directly behind the coffin. The service is scheduled to begin at 11 am sharp, conducted by the Rev. David Hoyle, the Dean of Westminster.
The newly installed U.K. Prime Minister, Liz Truss, will read a lesson while the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver the sermon. The funeral will conclude with a performance by the Queen’s Piper, playing a Reveille, the National Anthem, and a Lament.
The coffin will then be taken to Wellington Arch where the royal family will follow the vehicle out of London and to Windsor, marking the Queen’s last moments in the capital city.
The final destination for the Queen will be St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. A committal service is scheduled for 4 pm, orchestrated by the Dean of Windsor. This is the same place that hosted Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021. The Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault at the end of the service.
The royal family will later attend a private burial service with the Queen being laid to rest with her late husband at the King George VI Memorial Chapel. This is also the site of the burial place of the Queen’s mother and father as well as the resting place for Princess Margaret’s ashes.
Who is Expected to Attend the Funeral
There are about 2,000 people invited to attend the funeral service. The guest list includes numerous heads of state, royals from around the world, and important dignitaries. Although there is no published official guest list as of yet, the gathering is sure to be a who’s who of global leaders.
U.S. President Joe Biden will be in attendance. In addition to Biden, other leaders expected to attend the service include French President Emmanuel Macron, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, South Korea’s Yoon Suk Yeol, and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.
Officials confirmed on Thursday that King Charles III will host a reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday. The visiting heads of state from all over the world will be invited to attend the gathering.
Numerous leaders of the British Commonwealth have also confirmed their attendance, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Indian President Droupadi Murmu, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Lastly, viewers can expect to see a number of members of the European royal families in attendance at the funeral. This list includes Spain’s King Felipe VI and his wife Queen Letizia, former Spanish King Juan Carlos I and former Queen Sofia, Denmark Queen Margrethe II, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
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