State funeral for the Queen: This is how the funeral service in London and Windsor works

A week and a half after the death of Elizabeth II, the state funeral for the late Queen will take place on Monday. Hundreds of heads of state, royalty and other dignitaries from around the world will attend the funeral service at Westminster Abbey. The Queen will then be buried with her family at Windsor Castle. The sequence.

7.30am: Preparation at Westminster Hall

Westminster Abbey, in the heart of London, was last used for a monarch’s funeral in 1760 after the death of King George II. Thereafter, St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle was the preferred venue for such occasions. However, Elizabeth II had opted for a larger framework during her lifetime.

On Monday morning (6:30 a.m. local time, 7:30 a.m. CEST) the public display of her coffin in Westminster Hall ends. The Queen’s coffin is then prepared for its transfer to nearby Westminster Abbey.

Admission for the more than 2,000 guests at the funeral service begins there at 9:00 a.m. CEST. In addition to members of the royal family, they include British Prime Minister Liz Truss and several predecessors, as well as more than a hundred heads of state and monarchs from all over the world.

11:35am Procession to Westminster Abbey

Soldiers enter Westminster Abbey
Soldiers enter Westminster Abbey
© Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

At just after 11.35am CEST, bearers will lift the Queen’s coffin from its catafalque in Westminster Hall and take it to a gun carriage in front of the building’s north gate. Starting at 11:44 a.m. CEST, the two-ton carriage will be pulled to Westminster Abbey by 142 young marines with ropes.

The carriage has been used at the funerals of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, George V, George VI, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the last Vice-King of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Members of the Royal Family will walk behind the coffin to Westminster Abbey, where the coffin will be carried to a dais in the choir after arriving at the West Gate scheduled for 11.52am BST.

12:00 pm: Funeral service with the Archbishop of Canterbury

The funeral service, beginning at 12:00 p.m. CEST, will be led by Dean David Hoyle. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, delivers the sermon.

Near the end of the service, the military bugle call “The Last Post” sounds, followed by two minutes of silence. Air traffic over London will be suspended 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the minutes of silence. The service ends around 1 p.m. with the national anthem and funeral music.

1:15pm: Drive from London to Windsor

People gather in front of Windsor Castle
People gather in front of Windsor Castle

After the funeral service, the coffin will be hauled on the carriage from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch near Buckingham Palace at 1:15 p.m. CEST. Charles III and other members of the royal family walk behind the coffin, followed by soldiers from all 56 Commonwealth nations.

The Big Ben bell at the British Parliament rings, and gun salutes are fired every minute.

The Queen’s coffin will be taken from London to Windsor in a hearse and will arrive there at 4:06 p.m. CEST. The coffin is driven over the historic Long Walk to the castle, in the inner courtyard of which Charles III. and other senior royals rejoin the funeral procession around 4:40 p.m. BST.

5:00 p.m.: Funeral service in St. George’s Chapel

King Charles III  (front left), Prince Wiliam (back left) and Prince Harry (back center)
King Charles III (front left), Prince Wiliam (back left) and Prince Harry (back center)
© AFP / Stefan Rousseau/AFP

The procession is scheduled to arrive at St. George’s Chapel at 4:53 p.m. CEST. Prince Harry and Meghan got married there in May 2018, and Prince Philip’s funeral service took place there in April 2021. The chapel is also regularly used for royal baptisms.

More than 800 guests attended a televised funeral service in St. George’s (5:00 p.m. CEST), including members of the royal family and politicians as well as former employees of the Queen.

8:30 p.m.: Funeral of the Queen

After the service, the coffin is lowered into the royal tomb to the sound of the bagpipes and a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury, bringing the public part of the funeral to a close. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the anthem “God Save the King” is sung.

Only close family members will attend the Queen’s funeral at 20:30 CEST in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, a special part of the church. The Queen’s parents and her sister Princess Margaret are also buried there. Prince Philip’s coffin is now also being moved from the royal tomb to the memorial chapel. (AFP)

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