US President Joe Biden will join a long list of world leaders on Monday for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral inside Westminster Abbey in London, where royal pageantry will be on full display to pay their respects to a monarch whose reign spanned seven decades.
World leaders, dignitaries, politicians, public figures and European royals are expected to be among the 2,000 attendees.
The service will be led by the Reverend David Hoyle, the Dean of Westminster, at Westminster Abbey from 11 a.m. (6 a.m. ET). British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary General, will give lessons. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will deliver a sermon. Towards the end of the service, the Last Post will ring before a two-minute silence is observed. The state funeral will be concluded by the Queen’s Piper, who at noon (7 a.m. ET) will play a revival, the national anthem and a lament.
Invitations were sent this weekend to heads of state of countries with which the UK has diplomatic relations. The list of leaders attending the state funeral is long and includes leaders from across the Commonwealth and around the world. Representatives from Syria, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Venezuela will be absent. For most nations with an invitation, participation extends to the head of state plus one guest.
After Monday’s state funeral, the coffin will be transported from the hall to Wellington Arch before making its final journey from London to Windsor. The Queen’s journey will end at St George’s Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle, where her coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault below the chapel.
Monday’s ceremonies are the culmination of nearly two weeks of public arrangements, dubbed “Operation London Bridge”.
Plans for the Queen’s funeral have been in place for years, giving US advisers a better understanding of precisely what will happen over the next few days as they take security measures. The White House said it received an invitation only for the president and first lady, which reduces the American footprint.
Security in the British capital is at an all-time high in memory as dozens of world leaders gathered over the weekend and through Monday to remember the late Queen, who met 13 US presidents in exercise during his reign.
In an interview with Sky News last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said of the scale: “If you think of the London Marathon, the carnival, previous royal weddings, the Olympics, c is all in one.”
Biden is due to return to Washington on Monday afternoon after the funeral. During their brief visit to London, President and First Lady Jill Biden paid their respects to the Queen as she lay in state, signed condolence books and attended a reception with other leaders and King Charles III.
The funeral takes place the same week that world leaders are due to gather for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where Biden will hold his first bilateral meeting with Truss on Wednesday.