LONDON — The processions, mourning and commemorations that have followed the death of Queen Elizabeth II will culminate on Monday with the queen’s funeral at 11 a.m. (London time) at Westminster Abbey, an event that will draw dignitaries from across the globe and a massive worldwide audience watching online and on television.
Grand processions through the streets of London and then at Windsor Castle will accompany the queen’s coffin before it is buried on Monday evening in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor.
Buckingham Palace officials have detailed minute-by-minute plans for Monday. Here are some key events.
Monday morning heads of state and foreign royals will gather at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a home for retired soldiers in West London. From there, they will travel together to Westminster Abbey, though the palace did not specify the mode of transportation. According to local media reports, the communal transportation has upset many international leaders, disgruntled by rumors that some of them would receive preferential treatment and be allowed to take their own cars.
The doors of Westminster Hall, where the queen is lying in state, will close to the public at 6:30 a.m., in preparation for the queen’s coffin to be moved to Westminster Abbey for her funeral.
Westminster Abbey will open at 8 a.m. for attendees who have been invited to the funeral.
A procession will accompany the coffin from Westminster Hall to the abbey. The journey is expected to take less than 10 minutes, and the route will be lined by members of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines. The procession will be led by about 200 musicians including the pipes and drums from the Scottish and Irish Regiments. The carriage will be followed by King Charles III and members of the royal family.
The dean of Westminster will conduct the funeral service, with readings by Prime Minister Liz Truss and Patricia Scotland, the secretary general of the Commonwealth. The archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, will give the sermon.
Toward the end of the ceremony, two minutes of silence will take place across Britain. The service is to end at 12 p.m.
A procession will then follow the coffin to Wellington Arch, near Hyde Park, before being driven to Windsor.
Buckingham Palace has not disclosed the names of attendees, but President Joe Biden has said he will attend, as will the leaders of Germany and Italy. Australia’s leader, Anthony Albanese, and New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, have accepted invitations, and so has Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, according to the BBC. Emperor Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako, of Japan are to attend, and so is the new president of Kenya, William Ruto.
Of course, members of the British royal family will attend. And members of other royal families from across Europe have confirmed their presence, including King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and the king’s mother, Princess Beatrix.
King Felipe VI of Spain will represent the country at the funeral as the head of state, the Spanish government said. But reports of a private invitation received by his father, the former king, Juan Carlos, have raised eyebrows in Spain. King Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 and left his country in the wake of fraud investigations, which have since been dropped. He now lives in the United Arab Emirates.
Westminster Abbey has more than 2,000 seats, and Buckingham Palace said in a statement that 200 people who were recognized in the queen’s honors list this year would also join the congregation, including those who made “extraordinary contributions” to the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and have volunteered in their local communities.
After the funeral, a senior palace official said, visiting heads of state and government representatives would attend a reception hosted by the foreign secretary.
A final stop, at Windsor Castle
At Windsor, the hearse will join a new procession to St. George’s Chapel. There, a committal service will take place. It is open to the queen’s past and present staff, including those who have worked on private estates.
The service will be conducted by the dean of Windsor.
Before the final hymn, the crown jeweler will remove the Imperial State Crown, the orb and the scepter, which are resting on top of the coffin, and place them on the altar.
After the hymn, the coffin will be lowered into the royal vault, a burial chamber under the chapel.
The archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the blessing, which will be followed by the singing of “God Save The King.”
The burial service that will follow, at 7:30 p.m., also conducted by the dean of Windsor, will be private.
“The Queen is to be buried together with The Duke of Edinburgh,” her late husband, Buckingham Palace said in a release.
How to watch it
Monday’s service will be the first time cameras will be allowed into the funeral of a British monarch. In 1952, King George VI’s funeral procession — but not the service itself — was broadcast on television.
The BBC will stream the procession from Westminster Hall, the funeral and the committal service on TV and on its website, where it will be available to watchers from around the world.
The broadcast will be shared as widely as possible with international affiliates; American outlets such as CNN will show it.