Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral is underway, with the King leading members of the Royal Family in procession behind her coffin to Westminster Abbey.
Tens of thousands of people have traveled to London and Windsor for the funeral and burial services broadcast worldwide.
Leaders and monarchs from around the world gathered in London on Monday to bid farewell to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at a state funeral befitting a beloved figure who unified the nation during her 70-year reign.
The oak coffin, which drapes in the Royal Standard flag with the Imperial State Crown atop, emerged under overcast skies shortly before 11 am (1000 GMT). It has been carried by a military procession to Westminster Abbey. As a bell tolled in the background, her son and heir, King Charles, and other senior royals walked behind her.
The Queen, the country’s longest reigning monarch, lays to rest today alongside her beloved husband, Prince Philip.
Some 2,000 people, including heads of state, prime ministers, presidents, and members of European royal families. They have gathered at the abbey for the funeral, with the first guests taking their seats at 8 am.
The coffin left Westminster Hall shortly after 10.35 am, where the final public members had waited overnight to see the Queen lie in state.
The Attendees at Queen Elizabeth’s Final Funeral
Around 400 foreign heads of state and dignitaries, as well as members of the royal family and celebrities, have expected to attend the funeral. Tens of thousands of people waited hours in line to pay their final respects over the last five days.
US President Joe Biden paid tribute to a 96-year-old woman who earned respect for her sense of duty and served as a constant as Britain’s role in the world shifted and shifted. “You were blessed to have her for 70 years,” Biden said. “We were all.”
A source confirmed the attendance of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako. The Emperor of Japan rarely attends funerals.
Among Europe’s royal families, King Harald of Norway, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Carl of Sweden, King Philippe of Belgium, King Felipe of Spain, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, and Prince Albert of Monaco will all be present.
People were climbing lampposts and standing on barriers and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession, one of the largest in modern history in the capital, which drew crowds from all over the country. Millions more will watch television at home on a national holiday. A British monarch’s funeral have never televised before.
Elizabeth died on September 8 at Balmoral Castle, her Scottish summer home. Her health had deteriorated, and the monarch, who had carried out hundreds of official engagements well into her 90s, had withdrawn from public life for months.
However, just two days before her death, the photographer photographed her looking frail but smiling and holding a walking stick. She appointed Liz Truss as her 15th and final prime minister. Her longevity and inextricable link with Britain have a vital role that even her own family was taken aback by her death.
She oversaw her country’s efforts to carve out a new place in the world, and she was instrumental in forming the Commonwealth of Nations, which now includes 56 countries. Winston Churchill was the prime minister when she succeeded her father, George VI, and Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union. She met major political, entertainment, and sports figures such as Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Pele, and Roger Federer.
The funeral will conclude with a trumpet salute to the Last Post before the church, and the nation will fall silent for two minutes. Following that, the authorities carried the coffin through central London, past the Queen’s Buckingham Palace residence to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, with the monarch and the royal family following on foot for 1.5 miles.