Queen Elizabeth II’s lavish final farewell began early Monday as Britain and the world attended the funeral of the beloved and longest-reigning monarch.
The meticulously executed funeral services for the late 96-year-old monarch started early, with the doors of Westminster Hall finally closing to the public after hundreds of thousands of mourners had descended on her coffin to pay their respects since September 14.
More than 2,000 official guests, including President Joe Biden and other world leaders, were scheduled to gather at London’s Westminster Abbey for the state funeral service, which was due to begin at 11 a.m. (6 a.m. EST).
In the hours leading up to the service, dignitaries and official guests arrived at the Abbey, including Kate Middleton’s parents, Michael and Carole, Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and the children of Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles.
As guests arrived, a bell rang at Westminster Abbey, which will chime once a minute for 96 minutes to honor each year of Elizabeth’s life.
Meanwhile, the spectator areas of the processions along the streets of London were filling up as early as 9am (4am EST) as thousands turned out to pay their respects.
The state funeral will be one of the grandest ceremonies ever seen in the British capital – and will include personal details of the monarch herself, who died on September 8 aged 96.
“It was Her Majesty the Queen who reviewed the plans and made sure they were in order and the King is implementing those plans,” said a spokesman for King Charles III.
The service begins after Her Majesty’s coffin was carried out of Westminster Hall, where it has been lying on the Royal Navy’s State Gun Carriage since Wednesday – a tradition dating back to Queen Victoria’s funeral.
King Charles and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry will follow just behind the coffin.
The final farewell, which will last around an hour, ends with a national two-minute silence and a lament played by the Queen’s personal piper – one of the unique additions of the day added by the monarch before her death.
The service will be led by the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, and will include a sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the most important leader of the Church of England.
It is the first state funeral in Britain since Winston Churchill’s in 1965.
Dedicated in AD 960, Westminster Abbey has been the site of hundreds of royal milestones, including the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.
Some 500 dignitaries and heads of state will fill the royal church on Monday, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The elected officials will also rub shoulders with other European royal families.
These include King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, King Felipe VI. and Queen Letitia of Spain, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Following the State Funeral Service, Her Majesty will be buried in a private service at Windsor Castle at 7.30pm
Her final resting place will be alongside her father King George VI, the Queen Mother Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret.
Prince Phillip’s remains, which have been in the royal vault of St George’s Chapel since his death in 2021 at the age of 99, are expected to be exhumed at a later date and moved to the same resting place as his 73-year-old wife.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/19/queen-elizabeth-ii-laid-to-rest-with-elaborate-final-farewell/ Queen Elizabeth II was buried with a lavish final farewell