Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: timeline of day’s key moments

A guide to proceedings of first state funeral since Winston Churchill’s in 1965

The first UK state funeral since Winston Churchill’s in 1965 will take place on bank holiday Monday for Queen Elizabeth II. Here is a guide of what will happen at key moments throughout the day.

6.30am (all times BST) – The Queen’s lying in state ended

The Queen’s lying in state, in which her closed coffin has been placed on view to the public at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, came to an end in the early hours of Monday morning. An estimated 300,000 people queued to pay their respects, with the wait time reaching an estimated 17 hours.

8am – Westminster Abbey opened for the congregation

The abbey opened to the congregation attending the Queen’s funeral. The event, which will be one of the largest gatherings of heads of states and royalty the UK has hosted in decades, will be attended by European royal families and world leaders.

As the abbey opened, the King’s Guard trooped through the gates of the building, with two soldiers stationed at the metal gates awaiting the start of the proceedings.

At about 9:30am, Westminster Abbey’s tenor bell started to toll once every minute 96 times in the run-up to the funeral service, marking every year of the Queen’s life.

10.30am – The Queen’s coffin is carried by gun carriage to the abbey

The coffin was carried on the state funeral gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the abbey, towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy. The tradition dates to the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Shortly before, the King arrived at the Palace of Westminster after driving the short distance from Buckingham Palace.

10.44am – The royal family followed the coffin into the abbey

King Charles III, joined by the royal family as well as members of the household, followed the coffin as it made its journey from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, via gun carriage.

The coffin was draped in the royal standard, and carries the imperial state crown and a wreath of flowers containing plants from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House.

The procession was also led by 299 pipers and drummers of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas and RAF.


10.52am – The procession arrives at Westminster Abbey

The procession carrying the Queen’s coffin has arrived at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey.

The bearer party –comprising members of the Queen’s guard – have carried the coffin from the gun carriage and into the funeral service.

The procession from Westminster Hall took about eight minutes, and as the coffin entered the abbey, the choir sang the Sentences, lines from the Bible verse Revelation 14:13, set to music by William Croft. The lines have been used at every state funeral since the 18th century.

11am – The service begins

The service, which is being led by the dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle, has commenced.

The First Lesson was read by Patricia Scotland, the secretary general of the Commonwealth. The Lesson is taken from Corinthians 15.

The first hymn – The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended – was written by John Ellerton.

The prime minister of the UK, Liz Truss, read the second lesson, from John 14.

The second hymn – The Lord’s My Shepherd – was sung to the Crimond tune.

The sermon, delivered by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, describing the Queen as having been “joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives”.

After Welby’s sermon, the choir sang My Soul, there is a country by Hubert Parry.

Subsequently, a series of church leaders offered prayers.

The Church of Scotland’s Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields begins by offering thanks for the Queen’s “long life and reign” and her “gifts of wisdom, diligence and service”.

The archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, offered thanks for the Queen’s “unswerving devotion to the gospel”.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, gave thanks for “the rich bonds of unity and mutual support she sustained”.

The congregation then sang the third hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, which followed the Lord’s Prayer.

Welby has now given the commendation, a prayer that entrusts the soul of the deceased to God.

11.55am – The Last Post sounded

The Last Post played, followed by a two-minute silence.

Noon – The state funeral service came to an end

The national anthem has been sung, bringing the state funeral service to a close. The coffin is brought to the state gun carriage.

12.15pm – Coffin carried to Wellington Arch

At the close of the funeral, the sovereign’s piper and the late Queen’s coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey and placed on the state gun carriage, from where it began the journey to St George’s chapel in Windsor.

The procession, following the coffin and led by the King, was made up of several groups, with each accompanied by a service band. These groups included representatives from the NHS and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as detachments from the armed forces of the Commonwealth.

Guns were fired in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery every minute during the procession, while Big Ben tolled every minute.

The route of the procession included moving past the Cenotaph, Horse Guards Parade and the Mall, continuing on to Buckingham palace.

1.30pm – The coffin was placed in the state hearse at Wellington Arch

The procession arrived at Wellington Arch, with the bearer party transferring the coffin to the hearse before the car left for Windsor. There was a royal salute and the national anthem was played.

The King’s Guard turned out in the forecourt of the palace to give a salute to the coffin at the Queen Victoria Monument.

3pm – The state hearse reaches Windsor

The hearse reached Shaw Farm Gate in Albert Road, Windsor, to join a funeral procession already formed and ready to head up Long Walk to Windsor Castle.

Thousands of people gathered in crowds to watch the journey from London. Shortly before its arrival, the royal standard was raised above Windsor Castle, signifying that King Charles III had arrived at the residence ahead of the late Queen’s committal service.

Members of the armed services joined police in standing guard along the route.

As the state hearse reached Shaw Farm Gate, it joined the procession to make its way up the Long Walk to Windsor Castle.

The procession, made up of the Household Cavalry and members of the Grenadier Guards, will be joined by the King and other members of the royal family in the castle’s quadrangle.

During this time the minute gun will be fired every minute, and five seconds later the Sebastopol Bell.

As the procession has approaches the Cambridge gate, bagpipes played the Skye Boat Song.


The King, accompanied by other members of the royal family, joined the procession at the Quadrangle in the castle grounds, with members of the royal household being positioned at the rear of the coffin.

King Charles, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex were among those who met the procession at the Quadrangle, as it moved towards Engine Court.

Minute guns were fired by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery from a position on the East Lawn as the coffin headed in the direction of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel.

The Castle’s Sebastopol and Curfew Tower bells also tolled as the state hearse continued its journey.

Then, the procession reached the west steps of St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle. The bearer party lifted the coffin from the hearse and carried it into the chapel before the committal service.


4:20pm – The committal service begins

The televised committal service began, attended by about 800 guests. The service was conducted by the dean of Windsor, David Conner, with a blessing from the archbishop of Canterbury.

The service was opened by the choir singing Psalm 121, followed by the dean giving the bidding.

The late Queen’s three domestic chaplains from Sandringham, Balmoral Castle and Windsor Great Park gave prayers.

4:50pm – Queen’s coffin lowered into royal vault

After the service, the Queen’s coffin was lowered into the royal vault as the dean read a psalm and a commendation. At the same time, the Queen’s piper played a lament.


A private burial service conducted by the dean of Windsor, attended just by the King and the royal family. The Queen’s coffin will be laid to rest in George VI memorial chapel in St George’s chapel, alongside Prince Philip and her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother.


Tobi Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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