Queen Elizabeth II Funeral: Britain Bids Farewell To Beloved Monarch

The state funeral ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London is being attended by royalty, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world and over 2,000 people.


The coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is being carried during her funeral in London

The world has been watching with bated breath as the United Kingdom prepares itself to give its final sendoff to her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her coffin has been taken in a gun carriage from Westminster Abbey for one last last procession through the heart of London.

The coffin is being transported to Windsor, outside the British capital, where the former monarch will be laid to rest later Monday. 

King Charles III and other senior royals are marching behind the coffin to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. Tens of thousands of people are lining the route. Gun salutes are being fired in nearby Hyde Park, and Big Ben is tolling at one-minute intervals during the procession. 


The coffin is to be taken by hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year. 

On the eve of the event, which has drawn important dignitaries from across the world to England, people across Britain paused for minute in silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the Queen, Britain's longest-serving monarch. A bell at Westminster Abbey has begun tolling 96 times, once for each year of Queen Elizabeth II's life.

The state funeral ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London has already was attended by royalty, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world and over 2,000 people. 


The funeral procession has already begun and is being attended by all members of the royal family.

Royal funeral

The UK's first state funeral in 57 years follows a strict protocol steeped in military traditions, with rehearsals being undertaken for many days.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has set up public viewing areas in London and Windsor, where the Queen will be laid to rest later on Monday – a public holiday across the UK. 

The funeral is set to be broadcast across all big screen theatres and movie halls in London. 

World dignitaries in London to pay homage to Queen

The long queues at  Westminster Hall, where the queen is lying in state, have seen many famous faces. US President Joe Biden was among those in London for the funeral. Interacting with reporters on Sunday, the POTUS said that his the Queen had reminded him of his own mother and that her, adding  left a “giant hole".

Dozens of world leaders arrived in groups by bus including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Irish President Michael D Higgins and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also joined dozens of other guests at the reception.  Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, has appeared at London's Westminster Hall to pay her respects to Queen Elizabeth II. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however, is not expected to attend as the war in Ukraine continues.


Representing India, President Droupadi Murm is also in London on a three-day visit to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II scheduled at Westminster Abbey on Monday. On Sunday, she signed a condolence book on behalf of the Indian government to mark the queen's passing and attended an “official state event” hosted by the King and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace in the evening.

Royal family in mourning 

King Charles III reflected upon his late mother’s “lifelong service” in a thank you message ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Queen Consort Camilla, the wife of King Charles III also paid homage to the late Queen Elizabeth II in a video message that was broadcast Sunday night: “It must have been so difficult for her being a solitary woman," she said, adding, “There weren't women prime ministers or presidents. She was the only one, so I think she carved her own role.”


Prince Andrew has paid tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II, saying he will forever treasure “your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence.” Addressing the late monarch as “Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty,” Andrew said “it has been an honour and privilege to serve you.”

'Biggest event since 2012 Olympics'

With such large movement of crowds expected on Monday, London's transport authority has had to prepare for around 1 million people who will be visiting the British capital Monday for the state funerals state funeral. Across the country, some 250 extra train services will run, including some overnight trains to prepare for what is being dubbed as the “biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.


More than 100 Heathrow Airport flights will be cancelled to prevent aircraft noise from disturbing the funeral at Westminster Abbey Monday morning and the queen's committal service at Windsor Castle afterward.

Security nightmare

Meanwhile, managing the Queen's security arrangements in keeping with royal protocols amid such massive crowds and influx of important international dignitaries has been a challenge for police and law enforcement authorities in London. 

Police officers were dotted along the route along the Long Walk, a 3-mile (5-km) avenue where a walking funeral procession will be held before the queen is laid to rest in St George's Chapel.


Mourners are being made to through a security check before entering the premises and have been told not to bring tents or gazebos, only chairs and blankets. Stalls have opened along the road, selling food and refreshments.

Protecting the Queen's remains has also been a challenge. On Sunday, London Police charged a man accused of lunging at the Queen's coffin as it lay in state at the Houses of Parliament with a public order offense.

(With inputs from Agencies)