What we know about the Queen's funeral plans

What we know about the Queen’s funeral plans

After a record reign, the monarch died Thursday at her residence in Balmoral, Scotland. Her son, King Charles III, has requested that a period of royal mourning be observed from Friday September 9 until seven days after the Queen’s funeral, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.

The date of the funeral will be confirmed “in due course”, the statement added. Here’s what you can expect in the coming days.

Preparations are currently underway for his remains to be brought back to London. The coffin will first leave Balmoral, the Queen’s rural Scottish retreat, for the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The property is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.

It will then likely go in procession to St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh where the Queen will rest before being transferred to London. We don’t yet know exactly how the coffin will travel south; routes are available by train and air.

How can the public pay tribute?

Historical precedent suggests that once in London, the Queen will likely be on display in Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster.

The coffins of former monarchs rest on a raised platform – or catafalque – in the middle of the hall, guarded 24 hours a day by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, Foot Guards or the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Brass plaques in the 11th century hall mark where Edward VII was buried in 1910, George V in 1936, George VI in 1952 and Queen Mary a year later. The room, which is over 1,000 years old, is also where wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill was laid to rest in 1965.

The Queen Mother was the most recent member of the royal family to lie in the room (and only the second royal consort to be bestowed the honor) in 2002. On this occasion, her grandsons – Prince Charles, the Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Viscount Linley – took part in the guard, in what is informally known as “The Vigil of the Princes”.

The sons of King George V also stood guard during his state. The palace has yet to confirm who may be involved in guarding the queen.

The coffin will likely remain there for several days and it is at this point that members of the public will be able to walk past the platform and view the monarch’s coffin. Thousands of people are expected to line up, with some potentially sleeping through the night in a bid to pay their respects.

What could the Queen’s funeral look like?

As monarch, Queen Elizabeth will automatically be granted a publicly funded state funeral. It will take place at Westminster Abbey over the next two weeks, but the exact day will be confirmed in due course.

The abbey was founded in 960 AD by Benedictine monks and is one of London’s most recognizable landmarks. It has often been the scene of royal milestones like coronations, weddings and funerals over the years.

We are still days away from a guest list, but heads of state and dignitaries from around the world are likely to travel to the UK capital to celebrate the Queen’s life and her 70 years of service to the nation. Other familiar faces will be some of the Queen’s 15 former prime ministers and lawmakers.

Members of the British Royal Family who hold high military rank, the Sovereign’s wife and heir to the throne are normally granted a ceremonial royal funeral instead, as was the case for Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.

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According to a 2013 House of Commons briefing note, the main differences between state and ceremonial funerals are that a state burial requires the approval of Parliament and that the gun carriage carrying the coffin is fired. by Royal Navy sailors rather than horses.

The tradition of sailors began at Queen Victoria’s state funeral in January 1901. According to the Royal Family’s official website: “The horses that were supposed to pull the carriage became restless standing in the cold and behaved in a dangerous, so … a team of sailors took over the task of pulling the gun carriage to St. George’s Chapel.”

A handful of non-sovereigns have been honored with state funerals, including Isaac Newton, Horatio Nelson, the first Duke of Wellington and, of course, Churchill.

After Churchill’s death in 1965, it was Queen Elizabeth II who submitted a memorandum to Parliament stating that the wartime leader had “served his country unfailingly for over 50 years and that in times of our greatest danger was the inspirational leader who strengthened and supported us all.”

Where will the queen be buried?

After the Queen’s funeral, her coffin will make its final journey out of London and into Windsor. His destination is the now familiar St. George’s Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip’s memorial service was held there, as well as more jubilant occasions such as the nuptials of the Queen’s grandchildren.

After the Duke of Edinburgh’s service in 2021, his coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, located below the Chapel, where many members of the Royal Family were laid to rest. However, with the Queen’s death, it is expected to be moved and the couple reunited to lie together at the King George VI Memorial Chapel elsewhere in St. George’s.

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