Britain and the world will bury Queen Elizabeth II on Monday in a state funeral that has drawn presidents and kings, princes and prime ministers, and up to a million people who have lined the streets of London for a final farewell to a monarch whose 70th birthday has been celebrated -year reign defined an age.
A day of funeral services in London and Windsor got off to an early start as the doors of the 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had stood before her coffin since September 14. Many of them had spent cold nights outdoors paying their respects at the foot of the Queen’s flag-draped coffin in a moving burst of national mourning.
The closing of the hall marked the end of four full days in which the coffin lay in state and the start of Britain’s first state funeral since that in 1965 for Winston Churchill, the first of 15 Prime Ministers during Elizabeth’s reign. Two days before her death on September 8 at her summer residence in Balmoral, the Queen appointed her last Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
For the burial, Elizabeth’s coffin is carried from Westminster Hall across the street to Westminster Abbey on a royal carriage drawn by 142 Royal Navy seamen. The same carriage was used to transport the coffins of the late Kings Edward VII, George V and George VI, and Churchill.
The service concludes with two minutes’ silence, followed by the national anthem and a whistling wail, before the Queen’s coffin is taken in procession, surrounded by units of the armed forces in dress uniforms, with her children in tow, to Wellington Arch near Buckingham Palace.
There it is loaded onto a hearse to be driven to Windsor for another procession along the Long Walk, a three-mile avenue leading to the town’s castle, before a funeral service at St George’s Chapel. She will then be buried at a private family service with her late husband Prince Philip.
When is Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service?
On Monday 19 September, the Queen’s coffin will be taken from Westminster Hall to nearby Westminster Abbey in London for a State Funeral beginning at 11am BST / 6am EST.
Officials said the funeral will be the largest international event Britain has hosted in decades.
How to watch live coverage
Millions of people around the world are expected to tune in to see Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service, which will be televised by major TV networks and streamed online.
NBC News will specifically cover the funeral. A live stream will be available in the player above at 5:30am ET/2:30pm PT
Who is expected to attend the funeral?
British officials say about 500 foreign dignitaries will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, but no invitations have been sent out to the leaders of Russia, Belarus or Myanmar.
US President Joe Biden was among the first to announce he would be flying in with his wife Jill Biden.
Presidents in attendance include Emmanuel Macron of France, Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Sergio Mattarella of Italy, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, as well as Spain’s former monarch Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia will also travel to London for the occasion.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday his official delegation to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral next week will include racehorse trainer Chris Waller and wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott.
Waller and Alcott are among 10 “ordinary Australians” who will represent Australia at Monday’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, Albanese said.
“It was a request from the Palace that 10 ordinary citizens who are making donations to the local communities be invited to the Queen’s funeral,” Albanese told reporters in Canberra.
At least one leader of the Pacific neighbors, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape, has accepted Australia’s offer of help to get to the funeral.
Among the 2,000 mourners will be nearly 200 people honored by the late Queen for their work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in areas including charities, healthcare and education.
Where is Queen Elizabeth buried?
After the state funeral in London, the Queen’s coffin is then taken in the state hearse to Windsor, where 800 people, including members of the Queen’s household and staff at the Windsor estate, attended a funeral service at St George’s Chapel, near Windsor Castle be held.
At the end of the service, the coffin is lowered into the Royal Tomb and the sovereign’s piper plays a lament. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will deliver the blessing and the congregation will sing “God Save The King”.
Members of the Royal Family will then hold a private funeral service at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where the Queen will be buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99.