Tuesday, 4 Oct 2022

World’s most powerful leaders join Royals as billions watch Queen funeral

Britain's biggest ever security operation is in full force as world leaders arrive and up to two million mourners flock to London for the Queen's state funeral.

Her Majesty who died peacefully aged 96 in her summer home of Balmoral Castle, Scotland on September 8, will today (Monday) be officially laid to rest on Monday.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said “nothing can compare” to the “hugely complex” task, which a former counter-terrorism police chief has described as “probably the biggest operation that we’re likely to mount in the UK”.

READ MORE: Queen funeral at 'serious threat' as MI5 and Met launch major anti-terror op

As millions are expected to line the streets of the capital to catch a glimpse of the historic occasion, another 4.1billion are estimated to be glued to their TV screens as the events of the day unfold.

The queue for the late monarch's lying-in-state at Westminster Hall was ended at 6.30am this morning after becoming notorious for its "very British" 13-hour waiting times, which was not too long for David Beckham.

The funeral service will commence at Westminster Abbey at 11am after Elizabeth II's coffin is loaded onto a gun carriage for the short procession from Westminster Hall.

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King Charles III and other senior members of the Royal family will be walking closely behind and arrive at the Abbey for exactly 10.52am.

Yet with the grand doors opening to service attendees at 8am, politicians including Kier Starmer and Jacob Rees-Mogg were pictured entering the Abbey among those dressed in black, two hours early.

The 11am service will be attended by a 2,000 strong congregation including Prince William and Kate Middleton's children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Just before the end of the service at 11.55am, Last Post will be played followed by a national two-minute silence that will be observed in the Abbey and across the country. A lament played by the Queen’s piper will bring an end to the service.

Far from 12pm marking the end of the day remembering the Queen's unprecedented reign and lifetime of service, the coffin will then be placed back on the gun carriage and taken to Wellington Arch in a procession.

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Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, together with NHS workers, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the British Armed Forces will lead the journey.

At precisely 3.06pm, the coffin will arrive at Shaw Farm Gate, Windsor with the hearse driving slowly up the Long Walk where thousands of people waited from the early hours of the morning.

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In a funeral televised like never before, a committal ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, will be held at 4pm and ended with Lord Chamberlain breaking his stick of office over the coffin as it is lowered into the royal vault, out of view.

Finally, a private interment will begin at 7.30pm in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, the tiny venue where Queen Elizabeth II's coffin will be laid with Prince Philip’s coffin to be interred.

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