Thousands of people are expected to flock to Westminster Abbey and streets along the 25-mile (40-kilometer) procession route from central London to Windsor, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sovereign’s flag-draped coffin as it travels by hearse to her final resting place in St. George’s Chapel, within the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Though the death of Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, had been anticipated and carefully planned for for years — funeral arrangements, codenamed “Operation London Bridge,” were long the subject of speculation — the magnitude of this moment of mourning and the public outpouring of emotion has still caught many off guard. Even for those who are not fans of the royal family, her death marks the end of an era, a shift in the national landscape.
Many of the Queen’s subjects felt as though they knew her — the woman whose image is on coins and postage stamps, who surveys say appears most frequently in people’s dreams.
The service will be conducted by the Very Rev. David Hoyle, the Dean of Westminster. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who the Queen appointed just two days before her death, will read lessons at the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver a sermon. The service will conclude with 2 minutes silence and the national anthem, “God Save the King,” played by the Queen’s piper.
The day’s events are a display of centuries-old rituals — a royal cavalcade flanked by guards in braided uniforms, kilted bagpipers and drummers, streets lined with soldiers saluting as the coffin passes. Minute guns will be fired in Hyde Park and Big Ben will toll throughout the procession to Wellington Arch, where the coffin will be lifted into a hearse and transported to Windsor.
In a committal service Monday afternoon, attended by members of the royal family and the Queen’s household staff past and present, her coffin will be lowered into a royal vault in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Later in the evening, in a private burial, she will be reunited with her husband of 73 years, “her constant strength and guide,” the Duke of Edinburgh. The couple will be interred together in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, an annex of St. George’s Chapel that also houses the remains of the Queen’s father, her mother the Queen Mother, and her sister Princess Margaret.