2,000 guests due to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral at Westminster Abbey: NPR

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Pallbearers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards prepare to carry Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin into Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster in London on Wednesday to lay in state after a procession from Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth’s funeral is Monday.

Ben Stansall/Pool/AFP via Getty Images


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Pallbearers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards prepare to carry Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin into Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster in London on Wednesday to lay in state after a procession from Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth’s funeral is Monday.

Ben Stansall/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

LONDON — World leaders including President Biden and the prime ministers of Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand will join members of the British royal family at the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II on Monday morning , held inside Westminster Abbey, where she was both married and later crowned monarch more than 70 years ago.

The service will also be assisted by leading religious figures, past and present British prime ministers and several other European monarchs, all paying tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning queen, who died on September 8 at the age of 96.

The government has declared the holiday in Britain, at the request of Elizabeth’s son, King Charles III. It will begin with his coffin traveling several hundred yards to Westminster Hall, where he lies in state inside the oldest building in the UK parliamentary complex.

The coffin will be carried by a horse-drawn gun carriage of the British Royal Navy, alongside dozens of sailors in uniform. Members of Elizabeth’s family, including Charles and her eldest son, the new Prince of Wales, William, are likely to follow the coffin in procession.

Some 2,000 guests will make their way to the Abbey, where the service will be led by Dean of Westminster David Hoyle, with readings from Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss and a sermon preached by Britain’s top clergyman, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Other guests will include figures honored by the Queen during her lifetime, including health workers who have won public praise during the pandemic.

The service will end with a version of the moving British military trumpet wake-up call, ‘The Last Post’, a 2-minute silence, then a lament from the Queen’s personal bagpiper, who was playing his Scottish bagpipes in front of her room every morning. King Charles will place the camp color (a regimental flag) of the Queen’s Company of the Grenadier Guards, a British Army regiment, on his mother’s coffin.

After the state funeral, his coffin will be pulled behind the gun carriage again, to Hyde Park Corner, a major junction between London’s largest central park and the rear gardens of Buckingham Palace, with an arch of triumph commemorating the death of the Duke of Wellington. Victory of 1815 over Napoleon Bonaparte in its center.

From there, the coffin will be transported by hearse to Windsor Castle – Elizabeth’s occasional childhood home during the Second World War and her last permanent residence during the pandemic.

A smaller service of around 800 guests will follow inside the castle chapel, at which point the physical symbols of his reign – the imperial crown, orb and scepter – will be taken from the top of his coffin. Later in the evening, her family will hold a private service to rest her, with her body to be buried alongside that of her husband, Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, who died last year aged 99. year.

Elizabeth died almost across her kingdom at another of her residences, Balmoral, in north-east Scotland. In the days that followed, a national outpouring of grief was punctuated by a series of traditional ceremonies and commemorations; his coffin was taken to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, where it was laid out inside the city’s cathedral for local residents to pay their respects.

He was then airlifted to south London, where for several days he was guarded by members of the British army and others, while tens of thousands of mourners waited for hours before to visit the over 900-year-old Westminster Hall, where the coffin was left.

The British aristocrat responsible by birthright – like his ancestors before him – for arranging the former monarch’s funeral is the Duke of Norfolk, Edward William Fitzalan-Howard. He said the British people should be proud of the way they honored Elizabeth during this time, having “rallyed together in recognition of her remarkable legacy”.

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