Last week, the world took note of one of the most historic events in recent history when Elizabeth II—the longest-reigning monarch in British history—passed away at the age of 96.
Plans are being made for Queen Elizabeth II’s goodbye as a new era in Britain dawns.
The monarch passed away on Thursday at her Scottish estate of Balmoral after an unprecedented reign. According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, her son, King Charles III, has asked for a time of Royal Mourning to be observed beginning on Friday, Sept. 9, and lasting for seven days after the Queen is buried.
The announcement also stated that the funeral date would be established “in due course.” What can you anticipate taking place in the upcoming days?
How will the Queen’s body be transported back to London?
Her remains are being prepared for transportation back to London as we speak. The casket will first travel from Balmoral, the Queen’s country residence in Scotland, to Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse. The building serves as the British monarch’s official residence in Scotland.
The Queen will then likely be transported in procession to Edinburgh’s St. Giles Cathedral to repose before being transported down to London. The coffin’s specific path to the south isn’t yet known, although there are options for both rail and plane travel.
How can the general population honour the deceased?
The oldest section of the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Hall, is where the Queen is most likely to lie in state after she arrives in London, according to historical practise.
The catafalque, or raised platform, where the coffins of previous monarchs have lain, in the centre of the hall, has been manned 24 hours a day by members of the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, Foot Guards, or Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Brass plaques in the hall from the 11th century indicate the locations of the state funerals for Edward VII in 1910, George V in 1936, George VI in 1952, and Queen Mary the following year. The more than 1,000-year-old hall served as the location of Winston Churchill’s state funeral in 1965.
In 2002, the Queen Mother—the second royal consort to receive the honor—became the most recent member of the royal family to lie in state in the hall. Her grandchildren, Viscount Linley, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, participated in the guard on that occasion, which is also known as “The Vigil of the Princes.”
The sons of King George V also provided security at his lying in state. Who might be a part of the guard for the Queen has not yet been confirmed by the palace.
The casket will probably stay there for a few days, at which point members of the public will be permitted to pass by the platform and observe the coffin of the queen. Thousands are anticipated to line up, with some possibly camped out over night to show their appreciation.
What may the Queen’s memorial service entail?
Queen Elizabeth will automatically get a publicly financed state funeral since she is the monarch. It will occur at Westminster Abbey some time over the course of the next two weeks, though the precise day will be announced later.
One of London’s most well-known structures, the abbey was built by Benedictine monks in 960 AD. Over the years, it has frequently served as the location for significant royal occasions like coronations, weddings, and burials.
A guest list won’t be finalised for a few days, but heads of state and dignitaries from all around the world are likely to travel to London to honour the Queen and her 70 years of national service. Some of the 15 previous prime ministers and top MPs who served under the Queen will also be recognisable faces.
In contrast, ceremonial royal funerals are typically given to members of the British royal family who have high military rank, the consort of the sovereign, and the heir to the throne, as was the case at Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021.
The main distinctions between state and ceremonial funerals, according to a House of Commons briefing note from 2013, are that a state funeral necessitates parliamentary sanction and that the Royal Navy sailors, as opposed to horses, pull the gun-carriage carrying the body.
At the official burial for Queen Victoria in January 1901, the sailors’ custom got its start. The horses who were intended to carry the gun carriage “got restless standing in the cold and were behaving in a dangerous manner, so… a squad of sailors took over the work of pulling the gun carriage to St. George’s Chapel,” according to the royal family’s official website.
Isaac Newton, Horatio Nelson, the first Duke of Wellington, and of course Churchill are among the non-sovereigns who have had the honour of a state funeral.
In a letter to Parliament sent after Churchill passed away in 1965, Queen Elizabeth II praised the wartime commander for having “served his country unfailingly for more than 50 years and in the hours of our greatest danger was the inspiring leader who strengthened and encouraged us all.”
Where is the Queen going to be buried?
Her Majesty’s casket will depart from London following the funeral service and head toward Windsor. It travels to the now-familiar St. George’s Chapel in the Windsor Castle grounds.
There were many joyous events like the weddings of the Queen’s grandchildren and the memorial service for Prince Philip.
After the Duke of Edinburgh’s service in 2021, his coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, which is located underneath the church and has previously been as the final resting place for other members of the royal family. With the Queen’s passing, he is anticipated to be moved and the two will be reunited to rest side by side at the King George VI memorial chapel located somewhere else in St. George’s.