A kingdom united in grief will mourn the loss of their revered Queen on Monday. Pomp and pageantry will be on display as tens of thousands line the streets of the British capital and hundreds of millions tune in for the state funeral of Elizabeth II.
Monday’s ceremonial events are the culmination of nearly two weeks of public arrangements, codenamed “Operation London Bridge,” honoring Elizabeth’s remarkable life — from a young princess who was not born to be Queen, to a sovereign who redefined the role and won almost universal admiration.
Following the Queen’s death at Balmoral on September 8, her coffin was flown back from Scotland and moved to London’s Westminster Hall in a somber procession. She will lie in state there until the morning of her funeral.
Crowds of mourners will flood the capital in the hopes of witnessing the coffin — draped in the Royal Standard and carrying the Instruments of State — one last time before the Queen makes the journey to her final resting place within St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. Here’s everything you need to know about Britain’s farewell to one its greatest ever monarchs.
A more intimate committal service will take place at St. George’s Chapel at about 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET), conducted by the Dean of Windsor. The royal family will gather there along with a congregation made up of members of the Royal Household, past and present, as well as personal staff who have worked on the private estates.
St. George’s should be a familiar location to many as it is where Prince Philip’s funeral service was held last April, as well as more jubilant occasions like the nuptials of the Queen’s grandchildren.
At the service’s conclusion, the Queen’s coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault, set below the chapel, where many royal family members have been laid to rest.
The service concludes the public arrangements for the late monarch, however, a private burial service will be held for the family later Monday evening. The Queen is to be buried with her late husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, located elsewhere within St. George’s.
The memorial chapel is where the Queen’s father and mother were interred. A casket containing the ashes of the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, is also there.
The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, said last week that orchestrating the event was “both humbling and daunting.” He added that Monday’s event aimed to “unite people across the globe” and “pay a fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign.”