The Royal Family and country will say a ‘final farewell’ to Queen Elizabeth II at a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, where Prince George, nine, and his seven-year-old sister, Princess Charlotte , will walk behind the coffin of their great-grandmother.
George and Charlotte, now second and third in line to the throne, will follow their parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, as the coffin is carried through the abbey past a congregation of 2,000, including world leaders. Police described the security operation, with more than 10,000 officers on duty, as the largest in Britain’s history.
The plan emerged when Buckingham Palace released the Service Orders for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral and interment service at Windsor Castle.
Eighteen members of the family of Queen Elizabeth II, led by the king, and including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be present.
In a statement, the King said he and the Queen Consort were “moved beyond measure” by those who paid tribute to the late Queen. “Over the past 10 days, my wife and I have been deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and around the world.”
He added: “As we all prepare to say our final goodbyes, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of mourning.”
US President Joe Biden visited Westminster Hall to pay his respects to the late Queen, attending the official ceremony with First Lady Jill Biden ahead of an official reception hosted by the King at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening to about 500 people. presidents, prime ministers, royalty and other dignitaries from around the world who have been invited to attend state funerals.
On Sunday evening, a one-minute silence took place across the UK at 8 p.m.
The Queen’s coffin, topped with the Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre, will be placed before the same altar where she married Prince Philip and where she took her coronation oath.
Both services include deeply personal touches, which the Queen was consulted about.
At the beginning of the service, the five Sentences, lines of scripture set to music, will be sung as they have been at all state funerals since the beginning of the 18th century. A specially commissioned choral piece, composed by the king’s master of music, Judith Weir, Like As the Hart, is said to be inspired by “Her Majesty’s steadfast Christian faith”, and is a setting of Psalm 42.
Among the hymns chosen are The Day Thou Gavest, Lord and The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want, which was also sung at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947, and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling .
A short hymn, O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord Is, was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver the sermon. Premier Liz Truss will read John 14:1–9a. And Commonwealth Secretary General Lady Scotland will read 1 Corinthians 15:20-26.
After the Last Post, a two-minute silence and the wake-up call, the national anthem will be sung. The service will end with the Queen’s Piper, Paul Burns, playing Sleep, Dearie, Sleep. Thereafter, the bells of Westminster Abbey will be rung, entirely muffled, as is the tradition after the sovereign’s funeral.
Prince George, who reportedly called his great-grandmother ‘Gan Gan’, and Princess Charlotte are not to join the procession during the final committal service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which will be attended by 800 people .
The choir will sing The Russian Contakion of the Departed, which was also sung for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. During the service, the Dean of Windsor, Dr David Conner, will read Revelation 21, verses 1-7, which was read at the funerals of the Queen’s grandparents, King George V in 1936 and Queen Mary in 1953 , as well as at his father’s funeral in 1952.
The Dean will pay tribute to the late Queen during the bidding. “Here in St. George’s Chapel, where she so often worshipped, we cannot help but remember someone whose simple yet profound Christian faith bore so much fruit,” he will say. “Fruit, in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, but also (and above all to be remembered here) in kindness, concern and reassuring care for his family, friends and neighbours.
“Amid our rapidly changing and often troubled world, her calm and dignified presence gave us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and hope.”
During the service, the imperial crown, orb and scepter will be removed from the casket and placed on the high altar. The Queen’s Company Camp Color is placed on the coffin by the King, having received it from the Regimental Lieutenant-Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. The Lord Chamberlain breaks his wand of office, which is then placed on the coffin.
The coffin is lowered into the royal vault, while the Garter King at arms reads aloud the styles and titles of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s Piper will play a lament. She will be buried next to the Duke of Edinburgh in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in a private ceremony attended by her family later that evening.
In a televised tribute, recorded before the Queen’s death, the Queen Consort said: ‘She has been a part of our lives forever. She added: “It must have been so difficult for her to be a lonely woman, and there were no female Prime Ministers or female Presidents, she was the only one, so I think she got away with it. carved out its own role.”
Describing the Queen’s sense of humour, Camilla said she remembered going to Windsor on her wedding day “when I probably wasn’t firing on all cylinders, quite nervous and, for some unknown reason , I put on a pair of shoes and one had an inch heel and the other had a two inch heel. So I mean, talk about hop-a-long and there’s nothing that I could do. And, she could see and laugh about it and said, “Look, I’m terribly sorry,” and you know she had a good sense of humor.
She added: “She has these wonderful blue eyes and when she smiles they light up her whole face. I will always remember that smile.
Andrew also paid tribute to his mother, praising her “infinite knowledge and wisdom, without boundaries or confinement”, adding: “I will miss your insights, advice and humor”. In a statement, he described the Queen as “Mum, Mother, Your Majesty, three in one” and said it had been an “honor and a privilege” to serve her.