Today is the day: the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. On this significant moment in British history, hundreds of millions of people around the world will watch the service at Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the Queen. The day has been declared a national bank holiday in the UK so people can watch the service and pay their respects to Her Majesty, and several businesses and venues have closed.
The funeral comes after ten days of mourning and follows an estimated 300,000 members of the public queuing for miles to see the Queen’s coffin lying in state. The queue finally closed early this morning and the Queen’s body will soon be carried from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for her funeral before she travels to Windsor Castle to be buried later this evening.
This is the full schedule for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral today, including the order of service.
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6.30am – The public lying in state ends.
8am – Doors open at Westminster Abbey for the congregation to take their seats for the funeral, including world leaders and heads of state. Coverage starts on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC News – here’s how to watch.
10.35am – Just after 10.35am the Queen’s coffin will be lifted from the catafalque by a group from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. It will then be carried in procession from Westminster Hall to the Royal Navy’s state gun carriage, which will be waiting outside the building’s North Door.
10.44am – The gun carriage, drawn by 142 Royal Navy service personnel, will set off at 10.44am, 16 minutes before the state funeral begins.
10.52am – The procession will arrive at the west gate of Westminster Abbey, where the bearer party will lift the coffin from the state gun carriage and carry it inside for the state funeral service. King Charles III will lead the procession behind.
The funeral will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle and the sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
At the start, as the Queen’s coffin is carried into the abbey, the Sentences (lines of scripture set to music) will be sung by the choir of the Abbey. The five Sentences have been used at every state funeral since the early eighteenth century.
The Dean of Westminster will give the bidding before the first hymn, and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, will read the first lesson from the book of Corinthians.
‘Like as the Hart’, a specially commissioned choral piece composed by the Master of the King’s Music, Judith Weir, will be sung by the choir. It’s a setting of Psalm 42 to music.
The second lesson, from the Gospel of John, will be read by British prime minister Liz Truss. it will be followed by the hymn ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’, also sung at the Queen’s wedding in 1947.
After the sermon, the choir will sing the anthem ‘My Soul, There is a Country’.
Prayers will be said from the High Altar before the choir sings ‘O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord is’, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will give the commendation and the Dean of Westminster will pronounce the blessing.
At around 11.55am, the Last Post will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the steps of the Lady Chapel. This will be followed by a national two-minute silence.
- The Reveille will be sounded by the State Trumpeters before the congregation sings ‘God Save the King’.
- To close the service at noon, the Queen’s Piper from the Royal Regiment of Scotland will play traditional lament ‘Sleep, Dearie, Sleep’. After that, the muffled bells of Westminster Abbey will be rung.
12.15pm – The procession will set off for Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, going via Broad Sanctuary Parliament Square (south and east sides), Parliament Street, Whitehall, Horse Guards including Horse Guards Arch, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Queen’s Gardens (south and west sides), Constitution Hill and Apsley Way.
Members of the royal family, including the Queen’s children, will walk behind her coffin.
1.00pm – The procession will arrive at Wellington Arch, which marks the end of the proceedings in London. Her coffin will then be moved onto the State Hearse. The coffin will then begin its journey to Windsor for the second procession.
The King and the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the royal family will depart for Windsor by car.
The full route the hearse and the royals will take from London to Windsor is as follows:
- Apsley Way
- South Carriage Drive
- Queens Gate
- Cromwell Road
- Talgarth Road (via Hammersmith Flyover)
- Great West Road (A4)
- Great South West Road (A30)
- London Road (A30) (via under Chiswick Flyover)
- Staines Road (A30)
- Windsor Road (A308)
- Albert Road (A308) to Shaw Farm Gate
3.00pm – The State Hearse will approach Shaw Farm Gate on Albert Road, Windsor. There will be public viewing areas throughout the following procession, though it won’t pass through the centre.
3.10pm – The procession will head towards St George’s Chapel via the Long Walk.
3.20pm – The congregation can begin to enter St George’s Chapel for the committal service.
3.25pm – Some members of the royal family who didn’t join the procession will arrive at St George’s Chapel for the service.
3.40pm – King Charles III and other royal family members who are walking in the procession will join it at the quadrangle on the north side as it passes into Engine Court.
3.53pm – The procession will arrive at the bottom of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel in Horseshoe Cloister at Windsor Castle. The bearer party will lift the coffin out of the hearse and take it up the West Steps.
4.00pm – The committal service begins. It will be attended by around 800 guests from the Queen’s household and her family and friends, and will be led by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner, who will give the bidding.
The service will be sung by the Choir of St George’s Chapel. Psalm 21 will be sung as the Queen’s coffin is carried through the chapel. The choir will sing ‘the Russian Kontakion of the Departed’, which was also sung at the funeral of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, in 2021.
The Dean will read Revelations 21, verses one to seven, and then the instruments of state (the Imperial State Crown, the orb and sceptre) will be removed from the coffin in silence by the crown jeweller.
King Charles will place the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin, and as the Queen’s coffin descends into the Royal Vault, the dean will read Psalm 103. Finally, to end the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the blessing and the congregation will sing ‘God Save the King’.
7.30pm – The Dean of Windsor will conduct a private burial service. The King and members of the family will be attending. Charles will put a handful of earth onto the coffin, before it is sent down the vault.
The Queen will be buried with her mother, father and sister. She will joined at the King George VI Memorial Chapel by her late husband Prince Philip whose body will be removed from the Royal Vault to be laid next to her.
What personal touches will be at the funeral?
The late Queen Elizabeth arranged a quite few personal touches for her funeral before she passed away. She had input on the design of her hearse and also asked that a piper be included in the ceremony (her personal piper will close the service with a lament). She also chose many of the readings and hymns herself, and had a say in the order of service.