As a momentous day in UK history draws to a close, here’s a roundup of what happened as Britain said goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, has been buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s chapel, Windsor Castle, in a small private ceremony attended by family.
Earlier on Monday 2,000 guests including heads of state gathered in Westminster Abbey for her funeral.
The coffin was then taken to Wellington Arch in a procession featuring members of the armed forces and their bands. The Queen’s children, including King Charles III followed behind the coffin on its journey after it left the abbey. His sons, Prince William and Prince Harry joined them. The Queen’s coffin was later driven to Windsor Castle.
A service of committal was held at St George’s chapel, where the Queen’s coffin was lowered in to the royal vault and her instruments of rule were placed on the altar.
That’s all for today, drawing our live coverage of the Queen’s death, period of mourning and funeral to a close. It is an honour to have been part of the team that has brought you updates of what has happened since she died on 8 September. Thank you for following along. I leave you with Caroline Davies’ recap of today’s historic events.
Tuesday's UK newspaper front pages
As we approach midnight, the front pages of Tuesday’s newspapers are being published before they go on sale tomorrow.
The Guardian has a striking image of the Queen’s coffin being carried in to Westminster Abbey.
The Times, a newspaper that loves a wrap-around picture on big occasions, also goes with a photograph of the Queen’s coffin being carried into Westminster Abbey.
The Telegraph leads with a photograph of King Charles putting the Queen’s company camp colour on her coffin at St George’s Chapel.
The Sun has a two-part wrap, proclaiming: “We sent her victorious.”
The Daily Mail has a photograph of the scene in St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle.
Another two-part wrap, this time for the i, which says it’s “The end of the Elizabethan Age.”
Finally, the Financial Times leads with a quote from Justin Welby’s sermon at Westminster Abbey.
After what was described as the biggest security and policing operation in London’s history, the Metropolitan police has released the number of arrests it made during the 11 days after the Queen’s death.
It said it had made 67 arrests in the areas near the palace and Westminster Hall as of 5pm on Monday, for what it said was a range of offences.
More than 3,000 officers from almost every force in the UK were helping the Met’s operation in London. A total of 10,000 officers were deployed for the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
Armed police, motorbike escort riders, officers carrying out patrols on horseback, dog teams and the marine unit were among the specialist teams involved.
Rooftop snipers were in place while the cortege was moving, accompanied by a helicopter escort anywhere outside of the capital, PA Media.
There were more than 22 miles of barriers in central London alone to control crowds and keep key areas secure.
About 2,300 police officers were in place to oversee the Queen’s final journey from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle.
About a thousand lined the route, alongside military personnel, from the Abbey to Wellington Arch while the Queen’s coffin was carried from the service by gun carriage.
Royal family publishes unseen photograph of the Queen after her burial
The royal family has released a new photograph of the Queen, after they announced that she had been buried at Windsor Castle this evening.
The previously unpublished image shows her walking on moorland. She is wearing sunglasses, with a headscarf on, walking stick in hand and has a coat draped over her arm.
It is captioned: “‘May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.’ In loving memory of Her Majesty The Queen. 1926 - 2022".”
Sir Keir Starmer has said the Queen’s funeral marked “the passing of an era” as he planned to open Labour’s conference with a tribute to the late monarch and the national anthem.
The Labour leader was among the 2,000 mourners gathered in Westminster Abbey for the service on Monday.
He wrote on Twitter: “Today marks the passing of an era.
“The dignity, courage, spirit, selflessness and good humour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showed throughout her reign will always be with us.
“We are lucky to call ourselves Elizabethans.”
Sir Keir is set to open his party’s four-day conference in Liverpool on 25 September with a tribute to the long-reigning monarch.
Party delegates will also sing the national anthem at the start of the gathering, for the first time in recent history.
However, a Labour source dismissed reports that drinks receptions will be toned down at this year’s conference in a sign of respect to the late Queen.
The Liberal Democrats cancelled their conference because it fell within the period of national mourning, but the Conservatives are going ahead with theirs in Birmingham from 2 October.
After the majestical funeral pomp and military spectacle, unsurpassed in the nation’s living memory and watched across the world, the final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II would belong only to her family.
Night had fallen as she was laid to rest next to the Duke of Edinburgh in the George VI Memorial Chapel, Windsor, in private and away from cameras.
With only her family present, it was a wholly intimate ceremony, one for a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother who also was a Queen.
The contrast with the earlier grandeur of Britain’s official goodbye, with its pipers, buglers, and muffled bells; its kings, queens, prime ministers and presidents in the gothic splendour of Westminster Abbey, could not have been more marked.
Queen is buried alongside late husband Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen has been buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle, an announcement on the royal family’s official website said.
“The Queen was buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel,” the statement said.
The Queen’s corgis, Sandy and Muick, were among the many in Windsor paying their respects as her coffin made its way to St George’s Chapel.
Veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby led the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s committal at Windsor Castle, in an echo of his father, Richard Dimbleby, from 70 years ago.
It was a move that earned the BBC great praise on Twitter.
Read more here:
The Dean of Windsor, the right reverend David Connor, will lead the service before the burial of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in the crypt of the King George VI Memorial Chapel.
He also led the committal service at St George’s Chapel on Monday afternoon.
The Queen’s coffin will be interred with the Grenadier Guards’ Queen’s company camp colour – a smaller version of the royal standard of the regiment – which the King placed on her coffin at the end of the committal service.
The Grenadier Guards are the most senior of the foot guards regiments and the Queen was their colonel-in-chief.
Only one royal standard of the regiment is presented during a monarch’s reign and it served as the Queen’s company colour throughout her time as Queen.
A small crowd has formed outside Windsor Castle’s Henry VIII Gate ahead of the private burial of the Queen attended by her family.
The town has largely emptied since the end of the procession down Long Walk, leaving a sleepy, solemn atmosphere.
Dozens of people are still taking photos by the castle as the sunset lights up the walls and glowing clouds beyond.
Some are trying to get a glimpse through the gates into the castle courtyard beyond while others are on the street having a drink, PA Media reports.
Queen's burial service to begin shortly
A private burial service will begin shortly at St George’s Chapel where the Queen will be laid to rest.
Her coffin has been lying in the royal vault at the church, at Windsor Castle, since the committal service this afternoon.
Members of the Royal family will return to the chapel for the intimate event, where she will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel. It will begin at 7.30pm. The memorial chapel is a small annex at the church.
Elizabeth II is the 11th former monarch to be buried in the chapel in Windsor Castle. She will be buried alongside her father King George VI, the Queen Mother and her sister Margaret.
Her late husband, Prince Philip, will have his coffin moved to join her, after his death and burial last year.
The Queen commissioned the chapel in 1962, and it was completed in 1969. Her father’s remains were moved there from the royal vault in the March of the same year.
Despite the size of the crowd in Belfast, silence pervaded.
Some dressed in suits and black ties, others in T-shirts and jeans. Veterans wore polished medals while tourists perched on the edge of sturdy suitcases.
Some sat on blankets, others stood throughout. A young boy made room beside him on his fold-out chair for his Paddington Bear teddy.
The gathering on the lawns outside the city’s City Hall was diverse, but its purpose was unifying – to pay respects to the late Queen.
Wearing a platinum jubilee T-shirt, and sitting on a stool draped in a Union flag, Simon Freedman struggled to hold back tears as the big screen showed members of the royal family singing the Lord Is My Shepherd.
For the 51-year-old from Coleraine, the Queen’s funeral held added poignancy. He had travelled down to Belfast in part to pay tribute to the memory of his own mother, Olive Sarah Freedman, who was a big royal fan and died in 2020 from Covid-19 at the age of 79.
“The fact we couldn’t have a service because of the lockdown in 2020, today kind of did that as well for me,” he told PA Media.
“My mother’s favourite hymn was the Lord Is My Shepherd, so it was quite fitting.
“I knew when that hymn came on, I’d shed a tear.”
Nine-year-old Tom Murray, from east Belfast, was the young boy with the Paddington teddy.
“She was a great monarch and the longest reigning monarch,” he said.
“She helped a lot of charities as well, so she was a really, really good monarch.
“The funeral was very sad, the King looked like he was crying.”
One view from across the Irish channel, as one writer for the Irish Times says it was a “culture shock” watching Britain grieve.
“In Ireland we take our funerals much as we take our tea: brisk, chatty and with a minimum of fuss. So there is a degree of culture shock watching Britain grieve for its queen.
“That’s especially true of the coverage of the funeral, which, on BBC One and Sky News, unfolds with a solemnity so hushed that every so often you find yourself wondering if you’ve muted the sound by accident. But, no, it’s just the UK muting itself as it says farewell to Queen Elizabeth.”
Irish broadcaster RTÉ covered the funeral, but not the procession, tuning back in to daytime soaps.
Writer Ed Power adds: “The funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch is a historic event, but it’s not the kind of history to stir the blood or have us on the edge of our seats. This is meditative and austere — hypersober slow TV.
“After the coffin’s procession through London on the state gun carriage, the final leg of the queen’s journey to Windsor Castle is by hearse. As the pace picks up, so does the coverage. The BBC doesn’t quite let its hair down, but Kirsty Young is allowed to break the solemnity and strike up a note of vague chattiness.”
He ends by reflecting that “on days such as this the gulf between the countries feels wider and deeper than usual”.
There was no eye contact or acknowledgment between Prince William and Prince Harry as they walked behind the Queen’s coffin. Nor indeed, it appeared, as the two princes were joined by their wives, Kate and Meghan, in Westminster Abbey.
Harry, wearing a morning suit on to which his medals were pinned rather than military uniform, the traditional dress permitted of working members of the royal family at ceremonial events, kept his gaze focused ahead during the procession from Westminster Hall to the abbey and later at Windsor Castle.
Walking behind King Charles III, the Princess Royal, Prince Edward and the Duke of York, who had also stood out in a morning suit, the brothers were at least side by side, rather than being buffered by their cousin, Peter Phillips, as had been the case at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh last April.
Nicola Sturgeon has said it was an “honour to represent Scotland” as leaders from across the globe joined with the royal family and other mourners at the Queen’s state funeral.
King Charles III was left close to tears during a state funeral service at Westminster Abbey, where the Archbishop of Canterbury described his mother as having touched “a multitude of lives” and having been a “joyful” figure for many.
The Scottish first minister was amongst those at Monday’s service, along with other Scottish politicians including the Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, and his Liberal Democrat counterpart, Alex Cole-Hamilton.
Sturgeon described the hour-long ceremony as being “one of the most momentous occasions in recent history” as she spoke of a “final and poignant goodbye to a deeply respected and much-loved monarch”, PA Media reports.
She hailed the Queen as a “great constant” as she added it was “an honour to represent Scotland at the service”.
The first minister added: “As the Queen is laid to rest, it gives us a chance to reflect on the events of the past 10 days which have provided a sincere, solemn and fitting tribute to our longest-reigning monarch.
“We knew how important Scotland was to the Queen and, over recent days, we have been reminded just how much Her Majesty meant to the people of Scotland.”
Guardian photographers have been out taking photos today as thousands gathered for the Queen’s funeral.
They have put together a gallery of “alternative images”, away from the pomp and pageantry of the funeral services and processions, as people came together to remember the Queen.
Central London parks saw an influx of people over the weekend, according to data from Google Maps.
Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, saw an average footfall more than double what would usually be expected over the weekend, while Potters Fields Park, near Tower Bridge, saw an average footfall level of 59 – compared to a usual level of 31.
The figures – which Google compiles by tracking mobile phone usage – are used to estimate how busy places are compared to historical averages. Hyde Park, for example, is usually most busy on a Saturday at 6pm. Google assigns this time a value of 100, then each hour expresses the footfall level as a percentage of this maximum value.
Victoria Tower Gardens South, on the approach to Westminster Hall where the Queen’s coffin rested, reached a value of 100 on Thursday afternoon, which continued through the night to Friday morning. This means that, for at least 11 hours, the park was at least as busy as its historical maximum. Data was not available for many locations throughout the weekend.
Reporter Georgina Maka’a has spoken to people in the Commonwealth nation of the Solomon Islands, as they watched events on Monday.
Residents of the Solomon Islands with TV sets paid their final respects to its head of state, watching events in London and Windsor from the former British protectorate in the Pacific. While some people went out for their usual social activities and to enjoy the sea breeze, big screens were also set up at the Anglican church compound in Honiara, the capital, for its members to pay their respects, while others went to the Pacific Casino, a well-known venue in the city.
One of those watching was Connie Grouse, 67, who was working for the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation at the time of the islands’ independence in 1978.
“As someone who grew up when the Queen started to reign, this is very emotional for me because I sat tonight reminiscing about my younger days, as I have high respect for the Queen,” she said. “May our Queen Elizabeth, the longest reigning monarch, rest in peace. I am very happy that I get to witness the funeral procession of our head of state and I’m glad that I get to see this historical moment.”
The sense of history was also running through other viewers at the casino.
Timothy Asi, 40, described the funeral service as a historical moment for him and said he felt privileged to watch. “Today is a day that I earmark as a day that will go down in history for me, I am very proud to say that when I grow old, I will sit back and gladly tell stories about the funeral to my future grandchildren.” He said he held the late Queen in high respect as head of the Commonwealth.
“Today is a sad day and a historical one for me as well,” said 27-year-old Wasi Vaekesa.
Bishop Herro Blair of Jamaica, who met the Queen twice, woke up at 3.30am on Monday to make sure he did not miss a minute of her final send-off.
“I was touched by the sombreness of the moment,” the 76-year-old said by phone from Kingston. “It didn’t matter who it was from, whatever country it was, everybody was so dignified. Everybody paid homage, everybody honoured her the way she should be honoured.
“When the service began, it was like military precision, everything ticked like clockwork. Everybody was ready to do what was required of them and the whole world stood and watched and listened and participated. I could have shed a tear; my eyes were wet because I was touched not just by her hands but by her life.”
The Queen ascended the throne in 1952, a decade before Jamaica gained independence from Britain. Many on the Caribbean island now want to sever ties with the monarchy. Given that Jamaica’s time zone is six hours behind the UK, the state funeral was mainly a draw for early birds and diehard royalists.
Blair, president and founder of the Deliverance Evangelistic Association, added: “I would take a guess that most Jamaicans woke up for it this morning. I believe that, although we are moving to a republic some time sooner or later, the majority of Jamaicans still, if they do not love the monarchy, love the Queen.”
But Carrol Richard, a spiritual life coach, noted that many associate the royal family with British colonialism and slavery. She said: “There are lot of people who are still disappointed – and disappointment goes to varying degrees of anger – with what they felt the Queen stood for and what they felt she should have stood for. People like that would probably not even look at the funeral.”
Richard, 63, did tune in and was awed by the spectacle. “Royalty is such an amazing experience. It’s all the pomp and the order and discipline. Everybody is just extremely controlled and doing their part but, more than that, it’s the reverence that so many paid to the Queen that really stood out to me.”
She added: “I’m not emotional at all about it. I don’t have so many emotions spread all over the world for every person. If I knew the Queen personally, I would have felt something more but also because I believe she’s gone to be with her Lord, I am at peace with that.”
Mikael Phillips, 50, an opposition member of parliament who in 2020 filed a motion backing the removal of the monarch, said: “It was an excellent send-off for someone who has served all her life as a Queen and as a mother. It was done with precision and fitting for the life that she lived.
“But in my mind I wondered what it would have been like if we had taken that step towards republicanism and what does the future hold for us? It’s the end of an era for us as a country, the Commonwealth and for the British people just considering what does the future hold and what approach the new king will take towards what is ahead of him.”
What is the royal vault?
The Queen’s coffin is now lying in the royal vault at St George’s Chapel, before a further service on Monday night.
It was lowered into the vault during the service after her instruments of state, the crown, orb and sceptre were removed, and her titles read out.
It will stay in the vault at rest until the burial in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, which forms part of St George’s Chapel. That will be a small private family service, which will begin at 7.30pm tonight.
Elizabeth II is the 11th former monarch to be buried in the chapel in Windsor Castle. She will be buried alongside her father King George VI, the Queen Mother and her sister Margaret.
Her late husband, Prince Philip, will have his coffin moved to join her, after his death and burial last year.
It was a much smaller group of people at the service at St George’s Chapel.
While there were some heads of state at the service – including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who has just been seen leaving the chapel, and former UK prime ministers – the majority were household staff from the Queen’s residences.
Staff from Buckingham Palace lined up outside earlier on to watch the procession go by and pay their own tributes to the Queen as her coffin was carried past the Victoria memorial.
The service ends, with a Bach prelude and fugue played.
Members of the Royal Family file out. King Charles, stood alongside Camilla, Queen Consort, is seen talking to Justin Welby and the Dean of Windsor.
He is followed by other members of his family, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew – along with the heir to the throne Prince William, and Prince Harry.
The family will return at 7.30pm tonight for a final, private, funeral away from the cameras where they will bury the Queen.
The King is then driven away with Camilla, followed by his relatives in separate cars.
Here the coffin is seen being lowered into the vault beneath St George’s Chapel.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has his first part in the service, where he reads the blessing, beginning to bring the service to a close.
The congregation and choir remains standing, as they sing the first verse of God Save the King.
King Charles is seen biting his lip and closing his eyes as they do so.
The Garter King of Arms reads out a list of the titles that belonged to the Queen.
Thus it hath pleased almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto his divine mercy the late most high, most mighty, and most excellent monarch, Elizabeth the second, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith, and sovereign of the most noble order of the garter.
The Queen’s piper then plays a lament from the North Quire Aisle.
The Garter King of Arms then reads out the same titles that now belong to King Charles III.
Queen’s coffin lowered into the family vault
Another ceremonial part of the service. King Charles steps out to place the Queen’s company camp colour on the coffin, after receiving it from the regimental lieutenant colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
He places it on the end of the coffin, and steps backwards.
The Lord Chamberlain then breaks his wand of office which signals the end of the reign.
The committal begins, as the Dean of Windsor reads psalm 103 which includes the lines:
For he knoweth whereof we are made: he remembereth that we are but dust.
The days of man are but as grass: for he flourisheth as a flower of the field.
For as soon as the wind goeth over it, it is gone: and the place thereof shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord endureth for ever and ever upon them that fear him: and his righteousness upon children’s children.
As he does so, the Queen’s coffin is lowered in to the family vault at St George’s Chapel.
After the Queen’s bargemaster and serjeant of arms bow at the Dean of Windsor to complete the transfer, comes a hymn chosen by King Charles.
The congregation and choir sing Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation, which, aptly after this morning’s service, is sung to the tune of Westminster Abbey.
The sceptre is then removed from the Queen’s coffin, followed by the orb and the imperial state crown, which is given to the Queen’s bargemaster.
They, as the symbols of sovereignty, as presented to the Dean of Windsor, who places them on the altar.
The prayers are followed by the Book of Common Prayer version of the Lord’s Prayer, which is said together by the congregation.
The motet is then sung by the choir, Bring Us, O Lord God, At Our Last Awakening.
After the Dean of Windsor reads Revelation chapter 21, verses one to seven, the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk, and Chaplain of the Royal Chapel, Windsor Great Park, give prayers.
Crathie Kirk is the local chapel for Balmoral Castle, where the Queen regularly attended. The family went to church on Sunday, in the days after her death, emerging afterwards to read tributes.
The wording of the hymns can be found here.
The Dean of Windsor, Right Rev David Connor, gives the bidding to open the service.
“Here in St George’s chapel, where she so often worshipped, we are bound to call to mind someone whose uncomplicated but profound Christian faith bore so much fruit, fruit in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world.
“But also in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family, friends and neighbours.
“In a rapidly and frequently troubled world her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future as she did with courage and with hope. As with grateful hearts we reflect on these and many other ways in which her long life has been a blessing to us. We pray that God will give us grace to honour her memory by following her example.”
The church sings All My Hope On God Is Founded.
The bearers lower and place the Queen’s coffin on the catafalque in St George’s chapel.
The members of the royal family who followed the coffin take their seats nearby.
The committal service then continues as the Russian Contakion of the Departed is sung. It was also sung at the funeral for Prince Philip last year.
The Queen’s coffin is slowly carried up the steps in to the chapel, following the same path as the coffin of her late husband, Prince Philip, a year ago.
It is followed by her children, King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Behind them is Prince William, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips, and other members of her family.
The chapel’s choir starts singing psalm 121.
Guests and members of the royal family are seated in St George’s chapel ahead of the service.
Queen's coffin reaches St George's chapel
The hearse carrying the Queen has arrived outside St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle, and her coffin, draped in the royal standard, is withdrawn by the Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. The imperial crown and orb remain on top.
It will be carried in to the chapel, and followed by members of the royal family.
Members of the Queen’s family have joined the procession within Windsor Castle.
King joins procession at Windsor
The King, accompanied by other members of the royal family, has joined the procession at the Quadrangle in the castle grounds.
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 moves towards Engine Court.
Camilla, the Queen Consort, will follow in a car along with Catherine, Princess of Wales, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
The procession will now head towards the west steps of St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle.
The bearer party will lift the coffin from the hearse and it will be carried in procession into the chapel before the committal service, which is expected to begin in about 10 minutes.
Minute guns are being fired by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery from a position on the East Lawn. The Castle’s Sebastopol and Curfew Tower bells also tolled as the hearse continued its journey.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were among Queen Elizabeth’s closest relatives who joined a congregation of royalty, world leaders and foremost dignitaries to mourn her death during a state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
The pair travelled to the UK from California, where they have lived since stepping back from royal duties in 2020.
The hearse carrying the Queen has arrived at Windsor Castle.
The procession down the Long Walk was led by the Dismounted Detachment of the Household Cavalry regiment, the 1st division of the Sovereign’s Escort and massed pipes and drums.
The Queen’s favourite horse, Emma, is at Windsor to see the monarch go past.
Prime Minister Liz Truss has arrived at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle ahead of the committal service, along with her husband, Hugh O’Leary.
The pair were followed by New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and her partner, Clarke Gayford.
Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, has said it was a “great honour” to be present at the Queen’s funeral “on behalf of all Ukrainians”.
Coral Oliver, who flew over from Antwerp, Belgium, for the occasion, said she wept when the Queen’s coffin went past.
“When the coffin went past and you know that she’s inside and you’re never getting to see her again, it’s very emotional,” the 64-year-old mother-of-two said.
It’s a historic, once-in-a-lifetime occasion because we’re never going to have another Queen.
She gave us 70 years of duty and service and it’s the end of that era. The service was very simple, I loved all the music and the pageantry. I joined in with the hymns and Lord’s Prayer and I shed a tear when the coffin went past.
An Australian news channel failed to recognise the British prime minister, Liz Truss, during the Queen’s funeral.
Channel Nine presenters Peter Overton and Tracy Grimshaw suggested on live television that she might be “a minor royal”.
Some mourners were so overcome with emotion as the procession passed Horse Guards Road that they struggled to speak. Paul Benham, who watched the procession with his wife, Diana, 58, said: “I can’t speak without crying. I am 62 and she’s been there for my whole life and now she isn’t.”
Fighting back tears, he added: “I joined in with the prayers. But when the coffin went past … I can’t articulate.”
It was very emotional, very respectful and very British. Singing ‘God Save the King’ should have been momentous, but it was very difficult for me.
My mum died 18 months ago and the Queen reminded me of my mum. She had what we thought were similar smiles.
The Queen’s corgis have also been spotted at Windsor Castle awaiting the procession.
At St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, guests have begun to arrive before the committal service at 4pm.
Among them are the former prime minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie.
The procession has turned on to the Long Walk, the chestnut tree-lined avenue that leads up to Windsor Castle, the Queen’s beloved home and soon-to-be final resting place.
Following the Household Cavalry, the state hearse, surrounded by members of the Grenadier Guards, the Queen’s company, entered the promenade and the crowd of tens of thousands fell silent, many tearful.
The Queen’s coffin was followed by King Charles, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of York and the Princess Royal during its procession to Wellington Arch.
The route was lined by the armed forces from Westminster Abbey to the top of Constitution Hill at the Commonwealth memorial gates.
Canadian mounties led the procession, followed immediately by representatives of the George Cross foundations from Malta, the former Royal Ulster Constabulary, and four representatives from the NHS.
The procession is now making its way up the Long Walk in the direction of St George’s Chapel.
It will be joined by the King and other members of the royal family in the castle’s quadrangle.
Meanwhile, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and members of the clergy, including the archbishop of Canterbury, have taken up their places on the steps leading to the chapel.
Mourners fought back tears as the procession passed Horse Guards Road in London. The mood, which had been jovial until the radio broadcast of the service at 11am, turned even more sombre by the end of the procession.
Marion King had been in high spirits in the morning, celebrating her 59th birthday with her sister, Carol Argent.
The pair had been camping since Saturday and had come prepared with sleeping bags, a gas stove, cans of chilli and curry, and bottles of wine.
They had befriended the people beside them and had drunk three bottles of wine over the weekend.
“We’ve brought a gas stove, tea and coffee and three bottles of wine, which has already run out, but there’s a Tesco over the road, so if we do need something, we’ll go there. We want to keep having fun,” the mother-of-two, from Ashford, Kent, said in the morning.
We’ve been here since Saturday evening at 9pm to find this spot and get the atmosphere. We’ve been doing this since we were children, since the age of 10, I used to be a girl guide.
We’ve brought a tent and sleeping bags. And we’ve met loads of nice people – Kiwis, South Africans and Canadians – and we’ve all joined a WhatsApp group and we’re going to meet again for the coronation.
So, first our group was just the UK and now we have got the whole Commonwealth around us cheering.
But King appeared more subdued after the procession, saying she had been “crying buckets”.
“It was fabulous and respectful,” said King, who is a carer for her disabled daughter. “It was quite light and jovial when we arrived on Saturday, but we were all crying during the service. We cried buckets.
We were emotional when the children went past in the cars on the way to Westminster and when we listened to the service over the speakers.
There was not a sound in the two minutes’ silence. You couldn’t hear a pin drop over here. Everybody round here joined in with the Lord’s Prayer and the anthem, but we were actually singing ‘God save the Queen’ and had to change it half way through.
We all clapped when the soldier who fell over was better. When he put his hat back on he applauded. We also applauded at the end of the ceremony.
We had the odd few moaning at the start because they wanted to come through to the front. We’re now going to go to Hyde Park to watch the Windsor part, and then I’m going to have a double vodka when I get home.
Queen's coffin arrives at Windsor
The convoy with the hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin has arrived at Shaw Farm Gate in Albert Road, Windsor.
It will now join a funeral procession already formed and ready to head up the Long Walk to Windsor Castle for a committal service at St George’s Chapel.
After accompanying the hearse on the road journey of about 90 minutes, the Princess Royal and her husband, V Adm Sir Tim Laurence, headed for the castle’s Home Park to proceed to the quadrangle.
Members of the armed services joined police in standing guard along the route.
Thousands of mourners have lined the Long Walk up to the castle, with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead warning that the route is now closed and access cannot be given to any more visitors.
The state hearse is minutes away from Windsor where tens of thousands of royal supporters have gathered behind barriers along the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park to pay their respects to the late monarch.
Earlier, the crowd sang “God Save the King” in unison with the Westminster Abbey service that was was broadcast on big screens.
Marching bands proceeded from the castle down the Long Walk to Shaw Farm Gate, followed by cheers and applause from the crowds.
The royal standard has been raised above Windsor Castle, signifying that King Charles has arrived before the committal service for the Queen.
Loui Glasse, 62, from Steyning, Sussex, travelled to Windsor to meet with her friend Susie Macmillan to watch the procession.
“I wanted to pay my respects to the Queen and the monarchy,” Glasse said. “She meant stability. She was like a member of your own family, a mother, a grandmother. She represented a positive future.”
The Windsors may, unsurprisingly, have been the focus for most people watching the Queen’s funeral today, but the presence in Westminster Abbey of another royal family did not go unnoticed or unremarked in Spain.
For the first time in more than two years, Spain’s scandal-mired former king Juan Carlos was pictured alongside his wife, Queen Sofía, his son, King Felipe, and his daughter-in-law, Queen Letizia.
Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 amid waning popularity, has suffered an inexorable fall from grace in recent years.
He left Spain for Abu Dhabi in August 2020 after a series of damaging allegations were made about his business dealings that further dented his already battered reputation and embarrassed King Felipe.
In March 2020, Felipe stripped Juan Carlos of his annual stipend and renounced his own personal inheritance from his father after reports that he was in line to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia.
Although prosecutors have now shelved three separate investigations into the former king’s financial affairs, the high court in London has ruled that Juan Carlos does not have sovereign immunity in the case brought against him by an ex-lover who has accused the royal of using Spain’s national intelligence agency to harass and threaten her after they broke up.
The awkward family reunion – the first time all four royals have been pictured together in public since the funeral of Juan Carlos’s elder sister in January 2020 – drew comment from Spain’s press and politicians.
Writing in El País, Luz Sánchez-Mellado said Queen Elizabeth’s ability to get “all four of those crestfallen faces together in one place” would have counted as a posthumous miracle and a step towards sainthood had the late monarch been Catholic.
A father repudiated by his son and heir because of his recklessness. An old man bent on redemption and recognition. A wife humiliated before the entire planet grinning and bearing it for the umpteenth time in her life for her son, for her kingdom, for herself. And a dumbfounded daughter-in-law split between two worlds, perfectly aware of being the centre of the news.
In Windsor, Avana Chan, 44, is waiting to pay her respects to the Queen. She moved to the UK a year ago from her home of Hong Kong and was able to enter the country on a special fast-track visa introduced by the UK after China imposed a new security law in the former Commonwealth territory.
“She has always been there since I was small, a child,” she said. “She sacrificed her life in service to the Commonwealth. She is an amazing woman.”
The Queen’s great-grandchildren Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, joined other members of the royal family at the state funeral of the Queen.
The two eldest children of the heir to the throne, Prince William, and the Princess of Wales accompanied their parents to the service at Westminster Abbey.
The mammoth operation to safely let all those who lined the streets of Westminster leave has frustrated some.
Having been on their feet for up to eight hours, some of those on Whitehall were held back by police and security marshals.
They were being held outside the Cabinet Office, and not allowed to cross the road and leave the area where the coffin had passed at least an hour before, while those on the other side of the street were able to file slowly out.
Chants that could be heard a hundred metres away of “let us out” broke out from a few dozen mourners.
In Windsor, members of the crowd along the Long Walk have reflected on the life of the Queen.
Tep Crowder, 57, from the nearby village of Holyport, said he came to Windsor to see the Queen “for the last time”.
“The values she held make us who we are. She made us Britain,” he said. “She gave us a special place in the world. She showed us how to behave.”
Crowder said that without the Queen, there was a “sense of instability”, adding that King Charles had “big shoes to fill”.
A last ceremony in London briefly took place away from the gaze of the crowds after the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin passed under Wellington Arch before making a final journal to Windsor.
After the pomp and almost continual musical accompaniment of earlier, the King and other members of the royal family would have heard a distant cheer from the crowd as the state hearse departed. For much of the time, the only sound was that of the clicking of cameras as the coffin was raised from the carriage and placed into the vehicle in a resolutely drilled military ceremony.
Minutes earlier, to the sound of a Royal Navy Piping Party playing the Still – an order used to bring a congregation to attention – the captain of the gun carriage had led the coffin under the arch.
Then, to the sound of the Side, a call made when a senior officer comes aboard or a body is transferred from ship to shore, the bearer party raised the coffin.
For one last time during the funeral in London, the national anthem was played and a royal salute was given as the hearse departed, as hundreds of British and Commonwealth military personnel watched from the grass.
Feet away were the King and Queen Consort and others including the children of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who held her mother’s hand.
After the hearse moved away, her father made a discreet glance down towards Charlotte, gesturing discreetly with his hand by his side.
Cars then drew up to pick up the members of the royal party and take them onwards.
Here is a video clip of the national anthem being sung at the conclusion of the funeral service this morning in Westminster Abbey.
There is a cheery atmosphere on the Mall as the crowd moves off. For all the talk of the solemnity of the occasion, for many it has also been an enjoyable spectacle.
Claire Pastore, 41, and her husband Robert, 38, came from Bromley with their daughters Isabella, five, and Olivia, 12 weeks.
Robert said: “What we’ve just witnessed is the last time the Queen went past Buckingham Palace and we were slap bang in the middle of it. Britain is untouchable when it comes to funeral processions, I think.”
Claire, who works in events and was draped in a union flag, said: “It makes you proud to be British. It was an amazing show. I loved the staff coming out of the palace.”
Robert Booth reports for the Guardian on the two youngest members of the royal party mourning at today’s funeral, Prince George and Princess Charlotte:
Nine-year old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, seven, were the youngest mourners following the Queen’s coffin as they marched through a nave packed with world leaders in an expression of continuity of the British monarchy.
The siblings started at a new school in Berkshire only days before the country went into mourning for its longest-serving monarch. But on Monday they joined the core royal party, behind the King and Queen Consort as the Queen’s body was borne into the Westminster Abbey. Their younger brother, Louis, four, was not present.
The children’s role in the hour-long ceremony only emerged on Sunday night and is certain to have been the subject of considerable deliberation.
At previous state funerals for monarchs, grandchildren, let alone great-grandchildren, have not typically played a formal role. That change is in part a consequence of the Queen’s 70-year reign and long life, but also as part of the current monarchy’s desire to project stability to the UK and Commonwealth.
The Prince of Wales has previously spoken of how walking behind his mother’s coffin in 1997, aged 15, after she died in a Paris car crash was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done”. The Duke of Sussex, who was nine at the time, has said: “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances.”
Read more of Robert Booth’s report here: Prince George and Princess Charlotte take prominent role at Queen’s funeral
The Queen’s coffin is being conveyed out of London to Windsor. The next formal part of the ceremony will be when it arrives at Windsor Castle, when there will be another procession, followed by a service. Television pictures show that people have lined the the route out of London all the way so far.
Watching the funeral has truly been a global occasion. My colleague Cait Kelly has been speaking to people watching the ceremony unfold in Melbourne.
Earlier, the Queen’s funeral ended with the last post trumpet salute before the country was called to fall silent for two minutes. The British and international leaders and royalty gathered in Westminster Abbey also shared the moment of silence.
Here are some of the images of the procession from Westminster Abbey to the Wellington Arch.
As has been the case during much of the last 10 days, when the coffin has been travelling, the crowds lining the route have sometimes broken into applause and cheering as the Queen’s hearse passes them. Some mourners have thrown flowers.
The national anthem is played as the hearse departs from Wellington Arch. King Charles salutes as it leaves.
Queen's coffin moved to state hearse
The Queen’s coffin has been placed in the hearse in order to be taken to Windsor.
The young Prince George and Princess Charlotte are seen on camera exchanging a few words as the coffin is lifted from the gun carriage. The 142 navy sailors who have been hauling it now march away, leaving the bearing party ready to place the Queen in the state hearse.
The sailors who have been hauling the gun carriage from Westminster Abbey have now stopped, and the whole company has assembled into position. The band has stopped playing, and members of the royal family are now gathered together to witness the next part of the ceremony.
Queen's coffin arrives at Wellington Arch
The procession has now arrived at Wellington Arch. The bearer party will lift the coffin from the state gun carriage and place it in the state hearse before the car leaves for Windsor.
There will be a royal salute and the national anthem will be played.
The arch was an original entrance to Buckingham Palace, later becoming a victory arch commemorating the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon.
The Queen’s coffin continues to make its slow progress up Constitution Hill, accompanied by the occasional toll of the bell from the Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster, and the sound of ceremonial artillery fire from the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.
As the procession in London continues, anticipation among royal supporters gathered along the Long Walk in Windsor has started to heighten.
Jay Gallagher, 47, who travelled from Kettering, Northamptonshire, with his partner and son, served for six years in the British Army as an infantry soldier in the Royal Anglian Regiment, and referred to the Queen as his “boss”.
“She was someone who I have always looked up to,” he said as he waited behind the barriers at the junction of Albert Road and the Long Walk. “I served for her.”
Martin Holman, 72, from Virginia Water, in Surrey, travelled to Windsor with his wife Judy, 69.
“I’ve always been a royalist,” Holman said, watching the events in London on a big screen. “I felt like I’d better pay my respects. She is an important part of England – without her it feels as though there is something missing.”
Esther Young, seven, from Northampton, is providing some excellent commentary on the parade from the shoulders of friend Ruth White, 35.
When the gun salutes went off she prompted some titters from the crowd by asking: “Is it going to shoot us?”
When she was told they were firing shots to celebrate the Queen, she answered: “That’s not very celebrate-y.”
Since the radio broadcast of the funeral stopped, it stayed hushed for some time.
Esther’s mum, Theresa, 46, said: “I can’t get over it. It’s so quiet. There are masses of people but you can hear a pin drop.”
There is a lot of jostling for position now as the coffin gets closer and those who can’t see hold their phones up to get a memento of what they would’ve seen if they were six inches taller.
Here is an image of the staff lined up outside the former Queen’s London residence, awaiting the gun carriage carrying her coffin.
This is Martin Belam taking over the live blog for the next hour or so. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Military personnel and others have started to take up position on one side of Wellington Arch before the coffin carrying the Queen is borne through the landmark.
The Queen’s coffin is now being taken around the Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace. Members of the Queen’s staff and household are in attendance.
The King has led the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin past Horse Guards Road. The public were keen to film the occasion and applauded at the end.
Princess Charlotte, seated beside her brother George could be seen looking out at the crowd as she followed by car.
Princess Beatrice, who was in another car with her sister, Eugenie, appeared to nod at some of the mourners.
A “back-up” hearse has arrived at Hyde Park Barracks to discreetly follow the state hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin as it travels to Windsor after the funeral procession.
It was almost silent outside Buckingham palace as the crowds waited for the procession to arrive. Since the broadcast of the service ended, everyone stayed speaking in hushed whispers. Despite the size of the crowd, you could hear seagulls overhead and the sound of shuffling feet as people craned to get a better view.
The Queen’s coffin has been borne through Horse Guards Parade and has now has entered the Mall, as the funeral procession continues towards Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile back at Westminster Abbey:
My colleague Jamie Grierson is in Windsor, where crowds have already been waiting for hours ahead of the arrival of the state hearse later this afternoon.
As the Queen’s funeral procession moved past the Cenotaph, the King and his siblings saluted the memorial to Britain and the Commonwealth soldiers killed in the first and second world wars.
Members of staff at Buckingham Palace have lined up in front of the building to pay their respects to the Queen.
Chefs, butlers and police officers are among the staff standing in front of the Queen’s main residence.
The procession is expected to pass by the palace shortly before 1pm on its journey to Windsor.
Among the dignitaries, members of the royal family and heads of state at the Queen’s funeral were also stars familiar from their roles on television and in public life.
Adventurer and chief scout, Bear Grylls, wearing a black morning jacket with a white shirt, black tie and grey pinstripe trousers, took his place at the service. The TV star was appointed as chief scout in 2009 when he was 34, making him the UK’s youngest person to have held the position.
Also among the mourners was Sandra Oh, best known for her role in Killing Eve and Grey’s Anatomy. The actor attended the funeral at Westminster Abbey as part of the Canadian delegation as a member of the Order of Canada.
Another actor, Sophie Winkleman, 42, best known for her role in the comedy series Peep Show, also attended the funeral – but as a member of the royal family.
She is married to Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of the Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent, and appeared alongside him.
Minute guns are being fired in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, as Big Ben tolls throughout the duration of the procession.
Ex-Service Association standard bearers, mustered by the Royal British Legion, flanked the Cenotaph on Whitehall and saluted as the Queen’s coffin moved past.
The card on top of the Queen’s coffin was written by Charles and reads:
In loving and devoted memory.
Representatives from the NHS who are forming part of the procession include May Parsons, who administered the first-ever Covid-19 vaccine.
Parsons, who works at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire trust, delivered the vaccine to Maggie Keenan on 8 December 2020.
She met the Queen in July as the monarch awarded the NHS the George Cross – one of the last ceremonial medal presentations the Queen took part in.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered his sermon earlier, some people lined up along Horse Guards Parade could be seen wiping away tears.
A soldier in the Brigade of Gurkhas has just fainted and is being given water.
As the procession towards Wellington Arch begins, the Queen’s coffin is being followed by the King, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of York and the Princess Royal.
The route is lined by the armed forces from Westminster Abbey to the top of Constitution Hill at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates.
Mounties of the Royal Canadian mounted police lead the procession followed immediately by representatives of the George Cross foundations from Malta, the former Royal Ulster Constabulary, and four representatives from the NHS.
Procession to Wellington Arch begins
The procession, led by the King, will be made up of several groups, with each accompanied by a service band.
Guns are being fired in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery every minute during the procession, while Big Ben tolls every minute.
As the funeral drew to a close, the strains of the lament, Sleep, dearie, sleep, could still be heard echoing through the abbey as the sovereign’s piper walked off.
The organist played Bach’s Fantasia in C minor as bearers moved slowly through the abbey to place the coffin once more on the gun carriage.
The funeral procession will now travel from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, where the coffin will be placed in the state hearse for the journey to Windsor.
Queen's coffin leaves Westminster Abbey
The Queen’s coffin is now being carried out of Westminster Abbey and will begin the journey to St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Following her coffin are the King and the Queen Consort, then the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
The Prince and Princess of Wales follow with their children George and Charlotte, the then Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Scores of guards parade out into the Mall, attracting the attention of crowds who have been eager to take photos.
People are lined along the procession route, next to police officers.
Crowds began singing God save the Queen, perhaps for the last time.
The coffin is expected to pass by here shortly.
National anthem sung for the King
The congregation is now singing the national anthem following the two-minute silence.
The Sovereign’s Piper will then play the traditional lament Sleep, dearie, sleep.
The Last Post is heard before two-minute nationwide silence
The Last Post is played, and will now be followed by a two-minute silence.
The trumpeters will then sound the Reveille, before the national anthem is sung.
The choirs are now singing the next anthem, composed for the service by Sir James MacMillan.
The words are taken from Romans 8, which leads with the hopeful, confident line, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’.
Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is now giving the commendation, a prayer that entrusts the soul of the deceased to God.
The Commendation will include the familiar line, “Go forth, O Christian soul, from this world”, which is often heard during funerals.
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was carried by a gun carriage from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy.
King Charles III, joined by royal family members – including Prince William and Prince Harry – as well as members of the royal household, followed the coffin.
The congregation are singing the third hymn – Love divine, all loves excelling – following the Lord’s Prayer.
The hymn is a Welsh tune and was sung at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey in 2011.
The arrangement is by James O’Donnell, a former organist at the abbey.
The early start has caught up with some in the crowd outside Buckingham Palace. Having whiled away the wait by counting all the palace’s windows, Esther Young, seven, fell asleep on family friend Ruth White, 35, just before the funeral broadcast began. The group left Northampton at 4am this morning to get a spot outside the palace.
A series of church leaders are offering prayers.
The Church of Scotland’s moderator, 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, offers thanks for the Queen’s “unswerving devotion to the Gospel”.
The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, gives thanks for “the rich bonds of unity and mutual support she sustained”.
A police officer has become the latest person to faint while on duty during the ceremonies for the Queen’s funeral. Images show the officer being carried away on a stretcher by members of the Royal Navy.
During the weekend St John Ambulance said that over 400 people had required medical assistance while waiting in the queue to witness the lying in state of the late monarch. On Thursday, one of the guards protecting the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall fainted, leading to a small delay in people being able to view the coffin while he was attended to.
An hour or so before the start of the service, the abbey’s falconer carried his Harris falcon, Rufus, through one of the side rooms.
The 15-year-old hooded bird has been patrolling the church since Thursday in an attempt to control the number of pigeons for fear they could disrupt the service.
Falconer Wayne Davis from Corby Northamptonshire, who has been helping the abbey since 1998, said:
It’s surreal. I’ve never witnessed anything like this.
We’ve been proactive. I’ve been up in the roof controlling the pigeons. He usually has bells on but they’re too noisy so I’ve had to take them off today.
Here are some scenes of guests inside the abbey for the funeral service.
King Charles is close to the coffin, sitting with Camilla, the Queen Consort, and Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence. Behind them are Prince Harry; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Princess Beatrice.
Across from them are the Prince and Princess of Wales with their children George and Charlotte, and Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband, Mike Tindall.
Following the sermon by the archbishop of Canterbury, the choir is now singing My soul, there is a country by Hubert Parry.
The Queen was “joyful”, the archbishop of Canterbury said in his sermon, and the grief of her death felt by her family but also all around the nation and the Commonwealth.
Referencing the late monarch’s Covid lockdown broadcast, he ends the sermon by saying:
We will all face the merciful judgement of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership.
Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again.’
Archbishop of Canterbury gives the sermon
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is delivering the sermon.
The Queen vowed in a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth. “Rarely has such a promise been so well kept,” the archbishop said.
Her Late Majesty’s example was not set through her position or her ambition, but through whom she followed. I know His Majesty shares the same faith and hope in Jesus Christ as his mother; the same sense of service and duty.
Read more about Welby’s sermon here:
This image shows the layout of Westminster Abbey. The coffin sits in the centre. The King and the rest of Elizabeth II’s immediate family sit to the side.
The second hymn is The Lord’s my shepherd, sung to the Crimond tune.
The tune hails back to a parish in Aberdeenshire, not far from Balmoral Castle. The hymn was sung at the wedding of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Here’s a look at who’s been invited to the Queen’s state funeral – and who wasn’t.
The prime minister, Liz Truss, reads the second lesson.
Taken from John 14, the lesson is one of comfort, evoking the promise of eternal life in Heaven.
Baroness Scotland, the secretary general of the Commonwealth, is reading the First Lesson in tribute to the Queen’s lifetime of dedication and service to the family of nations.
The Lesson is taken from Corinthians 15, and includes the triumphant line: ‘O death, where is thy sting?’.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
The first hymn, The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended, was written by John Ellerton, and evokes the image of one day, one era, leading into another.
On Horse Guards a live radio feed of the funeral has started playing out. The public is now silent as they listen to the service.
Royal Air Force veteran Liam DeMarney said earlier: “The Queen was my commander in chief for 25 years so I’ve come to pay my respects to her.
“I was in the Royal Air Force for 25 years and I’ve met King Charles and other members of the royal family.
“The Queen was an exemplar of the human spirit, she had a real sense of duty and she was unstinting in that devotion. That’s why I joined the military.”
The father-of-two from Huntington, who proudly displayed medals from Iraq and Afghanistan, added: “I just finished a night shift and came straight here at 6.30am. I want to see her coffin go past.”
The Queen was consulted on today’s order of service over many years. It was prepared by the dean of Westminster in conjunction with Lambeth Palace.
The service will be conducted by the dean of Westminster, who will also pronounce the blessing.
The prime minister and the secretary general of the Commonwealth will read the Lessons.
The archbishop of York, the cardinal archbishop of Westminster, the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches moderator will say prayers.
The sermon will be given by the archbishop of Canterbury, who will also give the Commendation.
My colleague Rachel Hall is watching the funeral service with crowds along the Mall.
Here’s the full order of service for the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey:
A radio broadcast of the Queen’s funeral is being played over the speakers on Horseguards Road.
The service, which will be led by the dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle, has begun.
The sermon will be delivered by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
The King and the Queen Consort are sitting in the ornate Canada Club chairs, with Camilla next to the Princess Royal, then Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, then the Duke of York and then the Earl and Countess of Wessex in the front row of the south lantern.
Across the aisle are the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and then Peter Phillips and Zara and Mike Tindall.
Directly behind the King is the Duke of Sussex with the Duchess of Sussex behind Camilla. Meghan is sitting next to Princess Beatrice.
Funeral flowers in the abbey feature myrtle – which was used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet as is royal tradition.
White and green displays of blooms include Asiatic lilies, gladioli, alstroemeria, eustoma and foliage of English oak, weeping birch and the sprigs of myrtle.
Around the coffin will stand the four tall yellow candles that usually rest around the grave of the unknown warrior at the entrance to the historic church.
Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, arrived at the Abbey with their mother, the Princess of Wales, and Camilla, the Queen Consort.
The Duke of York and the Duke of Sussex, who are no longer working royals, are both wearing morning suits as they follow the Queen’s coffin down Westminster Abbey.
The King and other royals, including the Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales, and the Earl of Wessex are in military uniform.
Flowers and a card have been added to the top of the Queen’s coffin.
People have travelled from across Europe to attend the funeral. One of these is Magdalena Proctor, 42, who flew from Warsaw on Friday to attend the funeral, and will return this evening.
Her husband is from Wales so she feels an affinity for the UK. “I feel fortunate to be part of history,” she said.
She added that all her friends in Poland were very interested in the funeral, and had appreciated pictures she is sending.
“She was brilliant for so many years. In Poland we haven’t had kings and queens for years. It’s very emotional,” she said.
She arrived at 8.30am and had just managed to squeeze through among the final crowds permitted to access the section of the Mall near Buckingham Palace and had secured a spot near the front of the barriers. She has brought apples but otherwise didn’t want to stop for coffee due to the lack of rubbish bins.
Other members of the crowd noted that it was difficult to access toilets.
Proctor said she hadn’t enjoyed the atmosphere at the beginning because she had no signal on her phone and had found the treatment of some security guards rude. But she added: “We’re lucky to be here.”
The royal family are following the Queen’s coffin into Westminster Abbey. The procession from Westminster Hall to the abbey took about eight minutes.
As the coffin entered the abbey carried by the bearer party of Grenadier Guards, the Choir of Westminster Abbey sang lines, known as The Sentences, from Revelation 14:13 set to music written by William Croft and used at every state funeral since the early 18th century.
Queen's coffin arrives at Westminster Abbey
The procession carrying the Queen’s coffin has arrived at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey.
The bearer party – made up by members of the Queen’s guard – will carry the coffin from the gun carriage and into the funeral service.
My colleague Jamie Grierson is with the crowds waiting in Windsor, where the Queen’s coffin will be taken after the Westminster Abbey service.
The state gun carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin is flanked by the bearer party, pallbearers who are found from service equerries to the Queen, and detachments of the King’s Body.
There was a small ripple of applause along Whitehall, where some of the most ardent royal supporters have been camped, as prime minister Liz Truss’s car passed quietly out of the Downing Street gates on its way to Westminster Abbey.
Parents lifted their children above the throng of crowds to catch a glimpse, while others sought to keep their tired offspring entertained with iPads and games of Top Trumps for the final 90 minutes before they will get to say goodbye to the Queen’s coffin.
One youngster in need of the toilet asked anxiously: “We’re not going to lose our place, are we, Daddy?”
A Tannoy announcement reassured the thousands lining the street that audio from the funeral would be played out to them.
The royal paraphernalia in the largely sombre-clothed crowd is only dotted lightly – a union flag bucket hat, a sign reading “Ma’am, thank you, goodbye” with two small pictures of a smiling Queen, the Northern Ireland flag hung to a railing emblazoned with “Lisburn”.
The wreath of flowers atop the Queen’s coffin includes rosemary for remembrance; myrtle, the ancient symbol of a happy marriage, and cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947; and English oak, which symbolises the strength of love.
Also included are scented pelargoniums; garden roses; autumnal hydrangea; sedum; dahlias; and scabious, all in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white, to reflect the Royal Standard, on which it sits.
At the King’s request, the wreath is made in a sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches, and without the use of floral foam.
The Queen’s coffin has been 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.
Leading the procession are about 200 pipers and drummers of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas and RAF.
The state gun carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin has been previously used for the funerals of King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, Winston Churchill, and Lord Mountbatten.
Procession to Westminster Abbey begins
King Charles III, joined by royal family members as well as members of the royal household, will follow the coffin as it makes its journey from Westminster Hall to the Abbey.
The Queen’s children – King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – will follow her coffin as it makes its journey. Camilla, the Queen Consort, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Sarah, Duchess of York, will also follow.
The coffin will be carried on the state funeral gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy. The tradition dates back to the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.
Camilla, the Queen Consort and Catherine, the Princess of Wales are walking into the abbey.
With them are Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
They arrived at the church shortly after some of the Queen’s grandchildren, including Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The King has arrived at the Palace of Westminster after being driven the short distance from Buckingham Palace.
Charles waved at well-wishers from the back seat of his vehicle as the crowd cheered. He and the Prince of Wales arrived in one vehicle, while the Duke of Sussex and Peter Phillips emerged from the car behind.
Members of the royal family are also entering the hall. Prince George and Princess Charlotte were driven through Westminster in a car along with the Queen Consort and Princess of Wales.
Queen's coffin leaves Westminster Hall
The Queen’s coffin was lifted from the catafalque where it has been resting since Wednesday afternoon and will be taken to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service.
It will be carried on the state funeral gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy.
King travels down the Mall
The King is making his way to Westminster Hall, along the Mall and through Horse Guards Parade.
He is understood to be travelling with his two sons, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex.
Prime minister Liz Truss arrives
The prime minister, Liz Truss, and her husband, Hugh O’Leary, have arrived at Westminster Abbey.
Truss will read the Second Lesson during the service.
Former UK prime ministers arrive
The UK’s former prime ministers have arrived at the Abbey with their spouses: Boris and Carrie Johnson, Theresa and Philip May, David and Samantha Cameron, Gordon and Sarah Brown, Tony and Cherie Blair, and John and Norma Major.
Janine Cleere, 47, from Wiltshire, had camped out all night with her friend and her friend’s uncle. She’s never attended a Royal event before but wanted to feel “part of history”, experience the atmosphere and to “pay my respects”.
“It was lovely last night. There was the minute’s silence at 8pm, then we had a couple of drinks in the bars. I didn’t sleep at all,” she said.
She and her two friends shared a single sleeping bag and no tent, although they were grateful it hadn’t been a cold night.
The night had been quiet and she hasn’t spoken to many people, but noted that crowds started arriving at 7am. “It’s gone crazy since then,” she said.
Around 7, people were asked to take tents down and free coffee and tea was distributed.
“She’s all we’ve ever known and no we have her no longer, it’s very sad. I feel for her and her family, to have that loss.”
Many people outside Buckingham Palace have been trying for several days to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin and the royal family.
Neville and Cherry Butteriss tried twice to see the Queen lying in state on Friday and Saturday in the disabled queue but were turned away. Determined to have one last chance at getting close to the action, they left Maidstone in Kent at 5.30 this morning.
Neville, 76, who used to work in the City, said: “We couldn’t view the coffin and we wanted to pay our respects. It’s worth it because of the way the Queen was.”
Neville is registered blind and Cherry, 61, was ready to describe the scene.
The couple met on a chat line two years ago and Neville proposed a few months later.
His first memory of royal events was watching the Queen’s coronation on his aunt’s TV when he was six.
“It was one of the few televisions in the village at the time. There were 26 of us gathered around it in a 12 foot square room with us sitting on the floor.”
Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, has praised the royal family for their “absolutely fantastic” handling of the last 10 days and said the public response had been “incredible”.
“I think today will be about reflection and deep respect. The whole world I think will be wanting to pay their respects,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
The public have been incredible – to see those queues, to see people everywhere across London. It showed the United Kingdom for what it really is, this fantastic country able to convene and bring people together.
In politics recently we have spent so much of our time on the divisive, the divisions, and actually, you know what, when the nations gets the chance it comes together. In the last 10 days that has been incredible.
President Biden arrives
The US president, Joe Biden, and his wife, Jill, have arrived at Westminster Abbey.
Sarah Merrick, 56, had travelled from Hampshire early in the morning to arrive at the Mall at 5.15am. She was sat outside in camp chairs with her children and best friend and her daughter.
This isn’t her first rodeo: she camped out for the Princess Royal’s wedding in 1972, slept overnight for the jubilee in 1977, and again for Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1985. She would have slept out this time but was unable to due to her responsibilities as a foster carer. She’s planning to make up for it at the coronation, and will sleep out for two nights.
“The atmosphere is brilliant. It’s quite light now but I suspect it will be more sombre. People are mostly kind but there’s a bit of pushing and shoving,” she said, adding that she expected to cry when the procession began.
She said she had always been a monarchist and believed the royals “offer a lot to this country”. “I have so much respect. The Queen has been there all my life. It’s weird referring to the King now. She was an amazing woman, the level of service she gave was so impressive. Being here, I wouldn’t not come.”
A group of religious leaders, including Christians, Muslims, Jews and Sikhs, are making a pilgrimage on Monday to Iona abbey, one of Scotland’s most revered Christian sites, to mark the Queen’s death.
Iona, a small island lying on the western-most tip of Mull, was the centre for the expansion of Celtic Christianity into Scotland after Irish missionaries under the leadership of St Columba founded a monastery there in 563AD.
Under a renaissance begun in 1938, the abbey has become a focus for Christian pilgrimages. It is reputedly the burial place for Pictish, early Scottish and Norse kings and the UK Labour leader John Smith.
The three-day pilgrimage, organised by Interfaith Scotland, will include a service at the abbey on Monday evening. Senior figures from the Church of Scotland, Methodist Church in Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, United Reform Church, Quakers in Scotland, and chaplains from the NHS, and the universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Glasgow and St Andrews, plus Hindu, Baha’i and Buddhist leaders will take part.
“Queen Elizabeth was a dedicated Christian and promoter of good interfaith relations,” said Dr Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland. “We are humbled to be travelling together and reflecting on her life of service on such a historic day.”
Sinn Féin’s vice president, Michelle O’Neill, has tweeted that today is a “sad day” for the royal family and “all those of a British identity”.
President Macron arrives
World leaders are taking their seats in Westminster Abbey. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has recently arrived, accompanied by his wife, Brigitte.
I’m reporting from the north end of Horse Guards Road where people have pitched up tents and camp chairs in anticipation of the funeral procession. A few could be heard arguing about who should be allowed to take up the prime spot in the front row as they had arrived first.
Benny Hamedi, who is originally from Iran but has lived in the UK for 35 years, was among those who arrived in the early hours of the morning.
The 55-year-old appeared emotional as she clutched a photograph of the Queen with a handwritten caption saying: “Will miss u but never forget you, love u”. [SIC]
“I’m here to say goodbye to my incredible Queen and tell her I loved her my whole life,” the installation engineer from Surrey said.
She’s been there with that beautiful smile and grace at a time when everyone was a man - prime ministers and world leaders - she was the only woman. She was just an extraordinary woman. She is going to be in my heart forever.
The royal fan said she met King Charles at Buckingham Palace on Friday as he greeted mourners. She spoke of the sadness in his eyes as she passed on her condolences and gave him some flowers.
“I looked into his eyes and I said ‘I’m really sorry for your loss’ and I started crying - I’ve been crying since Thursday,” she said.
His eyes were so sad. He shook my hand and he said thank you, he was very sincere.
He took my flowers and Camilla also shook my hand. The sadness in his eyes and his face is something I’m never going to forget. As well as losing the Queen, he’s lost his mum, we mustn’t forget that. To do all his official duties as well as mourning must be so difficult.
By 10am, there were deep crowds along the mall. The mood was mostly quiet and sombre, occasionally erupting into cheers. Police officers kept the crowds entertained by riding their horses up to the barriers.
Amrit Nagy, 29, and her mum, Meena, had woken up at 5.30am to travel from East Ham and claim their spot along the Mall. The pair described themselves as royalist and said they had attended the Queen Mother’s funeral and the royal wedding.
“It’s a lot bigger, you can feel the atmosphere. It’s not as loud, everyone is more respectful. There’s more security and blocked roads,” said Amrit.
Amrit, who runs a mehndi business, had designed a commemorative candle for the Queen which she hoped to leave near Buckingham Palace.
“Hats off to the organisers and the Met police, it’s like a herd,” said Meena.
Amrit added that the army had been very polite to mourners. “It’s a nice touch and keeps up morale.”
She appreciated the queen as “the grandmother of the nation”. “She is the constant in everyone’s life, the most iconic woman. She was very comforting, as soon as you heard her speak you felt better. It’s very sad.”
Reporting from London ahead of the funeral, German broadsheet Die Zeit is bewildered by a narrowing of acceptable public opinion over the last week.
“These days of mourning have made clear what kind of power is retained by the British monarchy, how submissive the country that subordinates itself to her, and how uniform the media choir that has glorified this monarchy over the last ten days without the slightest trace of criticism.”
While many Brits have been surprised and alienated by these demands of fealty, the German weekly newspaper said the republican cause in the UK looked as hopeless as ever.
The monarchy is the nation’s pride – these days more than ever.
Daily taz struck a similar note: “Enough with the obituaries and glorifications”, writes Ralf Sotschek, who frequently reports from Ireland for the left-leaning newspaper.
Elizabeth II was not a nice person. She was racist, she was anti-feminist, and she believed that she stood spiritually above the rest of humanity.
Since the monarch’s death, Sotschek writes, the UK had gone through a “collective crying fit”, during which those who asked critical questions were arrested.
Freedom of speech, which it constantly and rightly demands from other countries, looks different. Democracy has abdicated in Great Britain for the moment. The monarchy, meanwhile, is still reigning supreme.
Bells begin to toll at Westminster Abbey
The first bells have begun to toll for the late Queen outside Westminster Abbey.
They will toll once every minute in the run-up to the funeral to mark every year of the 96-year-old monarch’s life.
A service of remembrance is taking place at Royal Hillsborough Fort in Co Down ahead of the funeral of the Queen.
The Co Down village is home to Hillsborough Castle, the royal residence in Northern Ireland, which has seen tens of thousands of mourners in the last 10 days. Many have left floral tributes at the front of the castle gates.
Tom Parker Bowles, the son of Camilla, the Queen Consort, has arrived at Westminster Abbey.
All public viewing areas for Queen’s funeral procession full
All public viewing areas for the Queen’s funeral procession are full, London’s City Hall has said.
Politicians from all sides of the political spectrum have been arriving at Westminster Abbey.
Chief medical officer for England Prof Chris Whitty has arrived at Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral.
Some of the 2,000 guests for the funeral have started to arrive, still two-plus hours before it begins.
A coach has pulled up outside, carrying a series of MPs and other dignitaries, among them Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer.
Most of the guests are being brought by coach - but not, of course, US President Joe Biden.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has closed for trading today to mark the death of the Queen.
The London markets, including the FTSE 100 and associated trading indexes, have operated every day since the Queen’s death.
Guardian senior reporter Lisa O’Carroll is in Belfast, where big screens have been set up to show the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
A select few in the crowd on the Mall have been allowed through to Constitution Hill right outside the palace.
“It’s like getting a box at Wembley!” Tristan Bawden-Bouche, 12, told his brother Jack, 24, as they walked quickly through.
They left Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk on Sunday night to stay with family in east London and were on the underground at just after 5am to get a decent view.
Those seeking a front seat to history are not all Royalists. The brothers’ mum Jessica Bawden, 53, who works as an executive in the NHS, said:
I’m not a monarchist but I was very fond of the Queen and so was my mum and gran. They’re both not here anymore so I wanted to go for them.
Guests have been arriving at Westminster Abbey ahead of the funeral, which begins at 11am BST.
Large crowds across the country observed a minute’s silence on the night before the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called on people to pray for the royal family as they gather today for the Queen’s funeral.
Westminster Abbey opens
The Abbey has opened to the congregation attending the Queen’s funeral.
The King’s Guards trooped through the gates of Abbey, with two soldiers stationed at the metal gates awaiting the start of proceedings.
The funeral, which will be one of the largest gathering of heads of states and royalty the UK has hosted in decades, will include European royal families and world leaders.
Dignitaries began to arrive at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in diplomatic cars with dark windows shortly after 7.30am.
Outside Buckingham Palace, the superfans who have camped out for days are desperately trying to hold on to their spots in the front row.
Railings have kept people away from the area directly outside the palace but at dawn The Mall was already lined with people.
Cara Jennings, 52, from Minster in Kent, was wrapped in a blanket after her fifth night camping by Green Park.
With her mobility scooter parked beside her pop-up blue tent, she tried to guard her spot at the front row of the railing on The Mall. “I just wanted to get a perfect spot to pay my respects to a lovely woman,” she said. “People are really trying to push in now.”
Jennings said her grandmother and great-grandmother used to work for the Queen as cleaners and that her five children thought it was “brilliant” that she had made the pilgrimage.
Not everyone up at this hour is an ardent fan. Antonis Manvelides, 24, and Jess Nash, 24, have come to The Mall on their fourth date.
Leaning against a tree as the sun came up, they said they had walked from Nash’s flat in Pimlico, south-west London, at 4am to be there.
“I forced him to come,” Nash, who works for a tech startup, said. “We just wanted to see and be with the UK and be part of the atmosphere.”
Erica Butler, 50, a construction worker from Darlington, got here on Sunday night to wait. Dressed in uniform with a chest full of service medals for work in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, she retired from the army in 2017 after 24 years service as a driver. Her reasons for being here are simple: “I want to say goodbye to the boss,” she said.
She is one of a group of veterans in prime position at the top of The Mall nearest Buckingham Palace.
Geoffrey York, 68, from Wellington in Surrey, was a lance corporal in the Blues and Royals Household Cavalry. He has been by the palace since Friday night. “This is the first thing like this I’ve ever done. All we’ve ever known is the Queen.”
Peter Walker, the Guardian’s political correspondent, is now outside Westminster Abbey:
One of the elements of the funeral arrangements that I didn’t fully realise before arriving here is how the public are, for the most part, being kept well away from the funeral area, perhaps inevitable given the sheer number of world leaders and heads of state attending.
Parliament Square is empty but for crowds allowed on the far edge, next to the junction with Whitehall. The rest is empty but for security, with the square itself dusted with sand to ease the passage of the gun carriage taking the coffin.
Even parliamentary staff and journalists have been told to keep away from the estate this morning.
The main means for people to pay respects will, instead, be after the funeral, when the cortege travels through central London and to Windsor.
I’m in Parliament Square, the centre of which is notably empty after the last week of packed scenes, with people moved to the sides ahead of the passage of the gun carriage taking the Queen’s coffin from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey in a few hours.
Anyone without a media or security pass is behind a double layer of barriers, with the crowds now up to half a dozen deep. There are two distinct groups: those who have arrived overnight, with coats and bags but little more, and the long-termers with their camping chairs, sleeping bags and supplies of snacks.
Near the corner of Whitehall and Westminster Bridge, Mary Foster, from Petersfield in Hampshire, and her friend Bill Powell, who has come from Toronto in Canada, were swiftly identified by fellow gatherers as the longest-serving, having arrived on Friday afternoon. The pair, sitting by large bags containing camping gear and a small tent, initially set up opposite Westminster Abbey, but were moved on when security plans changed.
“They were very good to us,” said Foster. “They knew we had been here the longer so they made sure we had the best spot here as well.”
Powell said the pair had not endured much poor weather: “Some light drizzle at night,” he said. “But nothing a Canadian can’t handle.”
All railway lines between Slough and Paddington are blocked due to damage to overhead electric wires, reports PA Media.
This is disrupting journeys for mourners attempting to travel to London for the Queen’s funeral from Reading or Heathrow airport.
Services run by Great Western Railway (GWR), Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line are affected. The lines between Reading and Newbury are also closed after a person was hit by a train.
This is causing GWR trains to be diverted, delaying journeys to the capital.
The US president will not, despite much speculation last week, be travelling to Westminster Abbey today on a bus – but everyone else will be ferried from the Royal Hospital Chelsea two miles away.
The 500 international dignitaries include King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain and Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan, as well as Emmanuel Macron, Jacinda Ardern, Justin Trudeau, and Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska. Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is attending (and has been criticised for using the occasion as an “election soapbox”), but there will be no official representatives from Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Venezuela, Syria, or Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is no longer expected to attend. And after some controversy, the Chinese vice-president, Wang Qishan, will be there.
Meanwhile, Liz Truss, Keir Starmer and Nicola Sturgeon will be joined by every living British former prime minister and many other politicians. Holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross from across the Commonwealth will be among the guests, as will nearly 200 people who were recognised this year in the Queen’s birthday honours – and the royal family and members of the household.
After 10 days of official mourning, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II takes place in London today.
The Queen’s lying in state finished earlier this morning, bringing to an end a queue that went on for days and stretched up to 5 miles (8km), winding along the Thames. The last people to pay their respects left Westminster Hall just before 6.30am. At 8am Westminster Abbey will open to the congregation attending the funeral. Then, at 10.30am, the coffin will be carried by the gun carriage from Westminster Hall.
Here is a full schedule for today’s events:
Here is the view from Whitehall this morning, from Archie Bland, editor of the Guardian’s First Edition newsletter.
Lying in state ends
The Queen’s lying in state is now over. The last people who queued to see her coffin passed through early this morning. At 6.29am, Black Rod, a senior officer in the House of Lords, bowed once to the coffin and walked to the end of Westminster Hall.
The government announced the queue had been closed just after 10.30pm last night. An estimated 300,000 people have queued to pay their respects, with the wait time reaching an estimated 17 hours.
Later this morning, the Queen’s coffin will be carried on the state funeral gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the Westminster Abbey, towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy.
Carol Ann Duffy, the former poet laureate – who was appointed by the Queen in 2009 – has written a poem entitled Daughter, shared exclusively here, to mark the monarch’s death:
Further up Whitehall, Christina Burrows is sitting against a bollard. She met the Queen once in her thirties, at a charity event in 1992, but “I’ve always seen her as a beacon,” she says. “During lockdown, when she said ‘We’ll meet again’, that was wonderful. It gave me a lot of hope. So I wanted to be here for her like she was for us.” She sighs and claps her hands to her cheeks. “I don’t know how I’ll feel when she goes past,” she says. “Oh god, I can’t believe it. There’ll never be another day like this in our lives.”
Food confiscated from people waiting in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state is being donated to charity, reports PA Media:
People are not allowed to take food or drink inside the Palace of Westminster and any such items will be confiscated.
Charity the Felix Project said it expects to collect over 2 tonnes of food, mostly snacks including crisps, chocolate and biscuits, and is also accepting unwanted blankets.
With people waiting up to 24 hours to complete the five-mile walk from Southwark Park to Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the Queen, they are coming with plenty of food to keep them going.
When they get to Victoria Tower Gardens the food is confiscated before entry to the parliamentary estate is allowed and instead of being thrown away, all non-perishable and unopened packages are saved.
The Felix Project will distribute the items to the thousands of community groups it works with across the capital.
Charity chief executive Charlotte Hill said: “We are honoured to be here to play a small part in this hugely poignant event and to know that an extra layer of good is being done here.
The Transport for London commissioner, Andy Byford, said that today will be “probably one of the busiest days” the service has ever faced:
It’s hard to say exactly how many additional people [will travel], but we’re preparing for potentially a million people just within the footprint of the royal palaces and Hyde Park …
Yesterday, figures from Trainline showed that demand for services into London for today was 56% above the level recorded for the same day the previous week. Train companies including LNER and East Midlands Railway have warned that services into London will be very busy.
Robert Madeley and Christopher Clowes arrived at 4am from “just up in Regents Park” and Leicestershire, and they’re in full morning dress with a box of flapjacks – “it’s what she would have wanted,” Clowes says.
Perhaps confused by their outfits, police have already ushered them through to a restricted area before realising their mistake.
“The difficulty is you always think there might be a better view 100 metres away,” says Madeley. “But I’m happy with our spot.”
About 1 million people are expected to visit central London today. As you cross the city towards Westminster Abbey, the ordinary 5am sight of people going to work or coming home from a bank holiday night out begins to give way to bored looking stewards in tabards, crowd control signs, and middle aged couples with folding chairs and sandwiches.
There are veterans with a chestful of badges, tourists with selfie sticks huddled under foil sheets, a dog in a bow tie, a woman in a black fascinator, and a queue for the loo at Westminster Station that’s snaking up and out to the street by 430am.
“I’ve been asleep for two hours,” says William Sidhu, gesturing to the phone box from which he has just emerged on Parliament Square. “I think I’ve lost my place.”
The death of the Queen has thrown up a smorgasbord of strange traditions and ceremonies that have not been heard of or seen since the death of the last reigning monarch, her father George VI in 1952.
Among the more unusual protocols will be featured in the committal service being held at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at 4pm on Monday, after the Queen’s coffin is driven there when the actual funeral service at Westminster Abbey ends.
This involves the official “crown jeweller” removing the imperial crown from the coffin to symbolically separate the Queen from her crown. It also features the lord chamberlain, Baron Parker, former head of MI5, breaking his “wand of office” and placing it on the coffin signifiying the end of his service to the Queen.
PA Media reports:
During the committal service, which will be conducted by dean of Windsor, David Conner, the imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre will be lifted from the Queen’s coffin by the crown jeweller, separating the Queen from her crown for the final time, PA Media reports.
With the help of the Bargemaster and a Serjeant of Arms, the crown jewels will be passed to the dean who will place them on the high altar.
At the end of the last hymn, the King will step forward and place the Grenadier Guards’ Queen’s Company Camp Colour – a smaller version of the Royal Standard of the Regiment – on the coffin.
The Grenadier Guards are the most senior of the Foot Guards regiments and the Queen was their Colonel in Chief.
Only one Royal Standard of the Regiment is presented during a monarch’s reign, and it served as the Queen’s Company Colour throughout her lifetime.
At the same time, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker - the Lord Chamberlain and the most senior official in the late Queen’s royal household - will “break” his Wand of Office and place it on the coffin.
The ceremonial breaking of the white staff signifies the end of his service to the Queen as sovereign.
As the coffin is lowered into the royal vault, the dean will say a psalm and the commendation before the Garter King of Arms pronounces the many styles and titles of the Queen.
The last in line
A woman and her younger female companion became the last to join the lineup to see the Queen lying in state when a steward handed her a wristband.
“You are the last person in the queue,” he told her, according to footage shown on Sky News on Sunday night.
The woman said “Bless you” and received a round of applause from stewards and other people waiting as she filed through the cordon to take her place.
Her relief was mired by groans from those just behind her who were turned away.
“I’m absolutely gutted,” said one disappointed mourner.
With the queue to see the Queen’s coffin lying in state now closed, the last mourners will file through Westminster Hall in just under two hours from now.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said after 10.30pm on Sunday night that the last people had been admitted to the queue.
“The queue to attend Her Majesty The Queen’s Lying-in-State is at final capacity and is now closed to new entrants,” the department said.
“Please do not attempt to join the queue. Stewards will manage those already nearby.
Thank you for your understanding.”
What will happen today?
Here is a guide to today’s events. All times are BST.
6.30am – The Queen’s lying-in-state will end
The lying-in-state, in which the Queen’s closed coffin has been on view to the public at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, will come to an end.
8am – Westminster Abbey opens
Westminster Abbey will open to the congregation attending the Queen’s funeral. The funeral, which will be one of the largest gathering of heads of states and royalty the UK has hosted in decades, will include European royal families and world leaders.
10.30am – Queen’s coffin carried to the Abbey
The coffin will be carried by the gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the Abbey, being towed by 142 sailors from the Royal Navy. King Charles III, joined by royal family members as well as members of the royal household, will follow the coffin.
10.52am – Procession arrives at Westminster Abbey
The procession will arrive at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey, and the bearer party, which is made up by members of the Queen’s guard, will carry the coffin from the gun carriage.
11am – Service begins
The service, which will be led by the dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle, will begin. The sermon will be delivered by the archbishop of Canterbury.
11.55am The last post
The last post will be played, and will be followed by a two-minute silence.
Noon – State funeral service ends
The national anthem will be played, bringing the state funeral service to a close. The coffin will then be carried to the state gun carriage.
12:15pm – Coffin procession to Wellington Arch
The procession, led by the King, will be made up of several groups, with each accompanied by a service band. These groups include representatives from the NHS, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as detachments from the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth. Guns will be fired every minute in Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, while Big Ben will toll every minute as the procession makes its way through the streets.
1pm – Coffin placed in the state hearse
The procession will arrive at Wellington Arch, and the bearer party will transfer the coffin to the hearse before the car leaves for Windsor. There will also be a royal salute, and the national anthem will be played.
3.06pm – Arrival at Windsor
The hearse will arrive in Windsor and join a procession up Long Walk to Windsor Castle. It will be joined by the King and members of the royal family before moving to St George’s Chapel for the committal service.
4pm – Committal service begins
The committal service begins in St George’s Chapel attended by around 800 people, including the King, the royal family, Commonwealth leaders, governors-general and mourners from the Queen’s household past and present, including personal staff from across her private estates. It will be conducted by the dean of Windsor with a blessing by the archbishop of Canterbury. The Queen’s coffin will then be lowered into the royal vault.
7.30pm – Private burial service
A private 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 at St George’s chapel, alongside Prince Philip and her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother.
After 10 days of official mourning, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II takes place in London today.
It will be a day of ceremony and tradition – as well as one of the largest gatherings of heads of state and other world leaders witnessed in years.
The last of those queueing to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall will pass by the catafalque at 6.30am BST. That will bring to an end days that saw queues of up to 5 miles (8km) winding along the Thames as members of the public came to pay their respects.
This live blog will cover all the events of the day. Here is how some other Guardian readers are planning to spend it: