The Daily Telegraph
UK will be in mourning until her state funeral at Westminster Abbey
Public can pay their respects as monarch lies in state before service and being laid to rest with beloved Philip at Windsor Castle
The date of the funeral is yet to be decided. The plans make provision for 10 days of mourning before the funeral itself
The service will be televised, and two minutes’ silence is expected to be held
THE United Kingdom will remain in a period of national mourning until the Queen’s state funeral, after Buckingham Palace set in motion a detailed accession plan that has been honed over a period of decades.
Over the next 10 to 12 days, the British public, world leaders and the Royal family will come together to remember Queen Elizabeth II and give thanks for her reign in what is likely to become a global event.
Operation London Bridge, as the Queen’s funeral plans are codenamed, will be combined with Operation Unicorn, the plan for a monarch dying at Balmoral, which is named after the national animal of Scotland. The plan will cover the Queen’s final journey from her favourite home to her resting place beside her beloved Prince Philip at Windsor, via Edinburgh and London, where she will lie in state so her subjects to pay their respects in person.
The date of the funeral is yet to be decided. The plans make provision for 10 days of mourning before the funeral itself, but because the Queen died at Balmoral that period could be extended.
Balmoral was the Queen’s favourite home, and if she could have chosen the place of her death it would have been at the castle bought by Queen Victoria as a summer retreat. Her coffin is expected to be placed in the drawing room there, where it will be covered with a Royal standard and a wreath of flowers.
It is likely to remain there for the next three days, where the Queen’s children, grandchildren and other members of the Royal family have already gathered and where they will be able to spend time together in a private period of mourning.
The Queen played an active role in making the preparations for her funeral, and every detail has been set down in accordance with her wishes, but everything must first be approved by the new monarch, King Charles III, before they can be confirmed and announced to the public.
The plans will be overseen by the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, in line with tradition, and have been rehearsed regularly over the years.
Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office, Lord Chamberlain’s Office and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are all involved in the execution of the plans, with the Foreign Office co-ordinating incoming heads of state and foreign royal family, and the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police responsible for security.
The Queen’s coffin is expected to be
taken in three days’ time to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the monarch’s official Scottish residence at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where it will remain for 24 hours.
That afternoon a brief service at the city’s St Giles’ Cathedral will be attended by the King.
Arrangements for the coffin to move from Scotland to London are subject to change. A plan to take the coffin on an overnight train journey from Edinburgh Waverley station to London St Pancras are understood to have been replaced by a flight from the Scottish capital to London.
A hearse will then transport the coffin to Buckingham Palace, where it will remain overnight, and where members of the Royal family will say prayers.
From there it will be taken on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament, where it will be placed on a catafalque, where a continuous vigil will be held by the King’s Body Guards, Gentlemen at Arms, the Royal Company of Archers and the Yeomen of the Guard.
The lying in state is likely to run for almost 24 hours a day, closing for a short period only for cleaning, to allow admirers from around the world to pay their respects to the Queen. The Queen’s lying in state is expected to last for a full four days, during which the public will be able to file past the coffin to pay their respects, as they did following the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 2002.
Hundreds of thousands of mourners are expected to join the queues. By next weekend, as the funeral itself approaches, heads of state from around the world will start arriving in London ready for the state funeral at Westminster Abbey. The earliest date for the funeral is likely to be Monday, Sep 19.
On the day of the funeral, the Queen’s coffin is expected to process on a gun carriage to the Abbey, pulled by naval ratings using ropes, rather than horses. Senior members of the Royal family are expected to walk behind it, as they did for the funeral of Prince Philip and that of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Armed Forces will line the streets and also join the procession.
The service will be televised, and a national two minutes’ silence is expected to be held. The service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, with a sermon from the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is expected to be one of the most-watched events in television history, representing a seismic change in the lives of Britons and the Queen’s admirers around the world.
Later the same day, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a televised committal service.
Many thousands of people are expected to line the streets for the Queen’s final journey from London to Windsor.
The carriage carrying her coffin will process slowly along a circular central London route past Parliament Square, The Mall and Hyde Park Corner, to allow the public to pay their respects.
It will then be moved to a hearse for the drive to Windsor Castle.
Following the committal ceremony, there will be a private internment service with senior members of the Royal family.
The Queen’s final resting place will be the tiny King George VI memorial chapel, an annexe to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
Prince Philip’s coffin will be moved from the royal vault, where it has remained since his funeral last year, to the memorial chapel itself.
There the Queen and the man who was by her side during 73 years of marriage will finally be reunited, to rest together in peace.