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Queen’s funeral – latest: Final hours of lying-in-state before Britain says farewell to Elizabeth II – The Independent





Britain’s monarch of 70 years to be buried this evening after memorial at St George’s Chapel
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Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin carried from Westminster Hall ahead of state funeral
A committal service for Queen Elizabeth II is under way at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, attended by King Charles III and other royal family members.
The late monarch’s coffin was brought by car from central London, following a procession to Wellington Arch from Westminster Abbey, where hundreds of mourners gathered this morning for her funeral service.
The late monarch will be buried later this evening in the Royal Vaults.
In his sermon at her funeral in Westminster Abbey, the Archbishop of Canterbury said “we will meet again”, echoing the words spoken by the Queen to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic. He also praised her for “abundant life and loving service”.
Some 2,000 mourners – including world leaders like US president Joe Biden – attended the service in the 1,269-year-old church.
The state funeral on Monday was the first of its kind since Winston Churchill received the honour in 1965.
The committal service at St George’s Chapel is now under way, with the Queen’s coffin laid on the catafalque.
The bearer party was once again the same members of the Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
The service began with the choir singing Psalm 121, set to music by Sir Henry Walford Davies, who previously served as an organist of the chapel.
Over a number of years, the Queen was involved in discussions about the order of service for her funeral, to approve the choice of prayers, hymns and other accompanying music.
Following the psalm, which includes the line “the Lord shall preserve thee from all evil”, the choristers move on to sing “The Russian Contakion of the Departed”, which was also performed at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April last year.
King Charles and his siblings have rejoined the cortege as the Queen’s coffin arrives at Windsor Castle.
Carole and Michael Middleton, parents of the Princess of Wales, have also arrived at the castle for the committal service.
Also at the service at St George’s Chapel are prime minister Liz Truss and husband Hugh O’Leary and New Zealand’s premier Jacinda Ardern.
Bouquets from the public lined the route of the Queen’s cortege as it approached Windsor Castle.
The royal corgis have been spotted waiting for the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
My colleague Aisha Rimi has more details here:
Sandy and Muick were gifted to the late monarch by her son Prince Andrew
The hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin has passed through the gates of Windsor Castle.
From our chief reporter, Simon Murphy, in Windsor:
Among those watching events this afternoon on one of the big screens lining the Long Walk, outside Windsor Castle, were Justine Grant and Deborah Thomas from nearby Ascot.
Thomas, a company director, told The Independent: “I had a sort of real calling to come here and I’m not sure if it was, perhaps, because my mother was a massive royalist. I was born in Windsor, I could see the castle from my bedroom window and my mother passed away in September, a year ago … so I feel like I’m doing it for her because she was such a royalist and I am a royalist as well.”
Her mother was, she explained, the same age as the late monarch, adding: “I have this real love of the Queen and I just felt the need to come here and be surrounded by other people that feel the same.”
Grant, 52, a British Airways cabin crew member, said: “I just wanted to pay my respects. I felt it was my duty as a citizen … we have seen her a lot locally as part the community and I hold her in really high regard and I just wanted to say thank you for all that she did for the country …”
Elsewhere in the crowd at the Long Walk were married couple Katie and Jonathan Tooke.
The pair, from Sale, Greater Manchester, have a picture of the late monarch in the hallway of their home and even a cardboard cutout of her in the kitchen.
Katie, 49, a police officer who formerly worked in the prison service, said: “I always see the Queen as my boss, I’ve worked for her nearly 30 years so I just thought it was important to see her, either in London or here.”
She added: “I was always proud to wear the crown on my shoulder … just admired her as a person, I suppose.”
Jonathan, 51 — a HGV driver who previously served in the armed forces for 10 years in the Parachute Regiment and worked in the prison service for 15 years — said he and his wife were royalists, adding that “for us to be sat at home and not done anything would have been ridiculous so we had to do something”.
Katie and Jonathan Tooke
Huge crowds of people ignored police orders to stay on the pavement as they surged forward to try and get a glimpse of the Queen’s funeral procession, my colleague Holly Patrick reports.
Journalist Dylan Hayward, 28, who filmed footage of the crowds, described the scene as “crazy.”
“Nobody listened, which lead to dozens of people racing towards the entrances and climbing over road barriers… It was pretty scary and the police gave up on stopping people almost straight away,” he added.
Huge crowds of people ignored police orders to stay on the pavement as they surged forward to try and get a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession today, 19 September.Footage shows officers asking people to stay away from the road near Hyde Park in London.Journalist Dylan Hayward, 28, who filmed footage of the crowds, described the scene as “crazy.”“Nobody listened, which lead to dozens of people racing towards the entrances and climbing over road barriers… It was pretty scary and the police gave up on stopping people almost straight away,” he added.Sign up to our newsletters.
The Queen’s corgis are at Windsor Castle, where her coffin will arrive shortly.
Her son, Prince Andrew, who has been handed responsibility for the Queen’s beloved pets, was seen with the corgis.
The “dignity, courage, spirit, selflessness and good humour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showed throughout her reign will always be with us”, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.
The Queen’s coffin is being carried along Windsor’s famous Long Walk, a three-mile, tree-lined avenue leading from Snow Hill – where Henry VIII is said to have awaited news of the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn.
The promenade through the park was first created by King Charles II in 1680, carving a route through what were then the royal hunting forests and through which a herd of 500 deer still roam freely to this day.
My colleague Joe Sommerlad has more background on the route of the Queen’s coffin here:
Queen Elizabeth II to be buried at St George’s Chapel after service at Westminster Abbey
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