How Britain will say farewell to its Queen: Full schedule of Elizabeth II's state funeral

19 September 2022, 10:00 | Updated: 19 September 2022, 14:39

How Britain will say farewell to its Queen: Timetable of Her Majesty's state funeral
How Britain will say farewell to its Queen: Timetable of Her Majesty's state funeral. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

Britain will say farewell to Elizabeth II with a day of historic pomp and splendour including a full order of service, a royal procession route and hymns - here's the full timetable of events.

More than a million people will line the streets of London with a record breaking four billion watching on tv around the world as King Charles III and the rest of the royal family are joined by monarchs, Presidents and Prime Ministers from nearly every nation for an emotional service in Westminster Abbey.

The Queen's coffin will then be transported by a spectacular procession from the abbey to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, before she is carried by State Hearse to Windsor where she will join her beloved husband Prince Philip in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel.

With a full schedule and timetable of events unfolding throughout the day, here's a list of all the important timings from the Queen's funeral including the order of service, times of the processions and the hymns that will be included:

Read more: The State Funeral Of HM Queen Elizabeth II: How To Listen

Read more: How Many British Prime Ministers Have Served Throughout Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign?

6.30am: The Queen's lying-in-state at Westminster Hall finishes before last vigil and the clock of Big Ben strikes

Proceedings will start at 6.30am, when the last members of the public file past the Queen's coffin in Westminster Hall - marking the end of four-and-a-half days of lying-in-state during which up to 500,000 will have paid their respects. Then the King's guards will begin their final vigil at Her Majesty's casket in the Palace of Westminster. This will then close at 8.30am. At 9am, Big Ben will strike clearly, before the bell's hammer is covered with a thick leather pad to muffle its strikes for the rest of the day out of respect and deference to the late monarch.

8am: Joe Biden's 'Beast' limousine arrives at Westminster Abbey while the rest of the world leaders take shuttle buses

A fleet of buses will bring world leaders including Emmanuel Macron, Australia's Anthony Albanese and New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern to the Abbey from 8am.

World royalty including Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Belgium's King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia, Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and the Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will also be arriving. In the only exception, US President Joe Biden has been allowed to use his armoured limousine, known as 'The Beast'.

10.35-11am: Queen's coffin is placed onto State Gun Carriage and taken to Westminster Abbey in tradition dating back to Victoria's funeral in 1901

At 10.35am, a company of Grenadier Guards, will place her coffin on to the State Gun Carriage - a 123-year-old gun carriage from HMS Excellent on Whale Island in Portsmouth, under the charge of Lieutenant Commander Paul 'Ronnie' Barker - outside the north door of Westminster Hall.

The 2.8-ton carriage has taken four other Monarchs on their final journeys, including her father King George VI in 1952. It has been hauled by Royal Navy ratings using ropes since Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901, when the horses due to pull the coffin reared up.

Then at 10.44am, the coffin will be pulled by 98 Royal Navy sailors from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, via Parliament Square, in a tradition dating back to the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.The sailors, known as the Sovereign's Guard, will pull on ropes attached to the carriage's front wheels, drawing the late monarch forward.

Pre-funeral route of Queen's coffin
Pre-funeral route of Queen's coffin. Picture: LBC/Google Maps

The London funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II begins

Senior royals are expected to follow behind the carriage, just as they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh. 

The coffin will then be carried into Westminster Abbey, down the nave to the High Altar. Soldiers carrying the coffin into the gothic church must be over 6ft and be from a Grenadier Guards unit fondly known as the 'Monarch's Mob'.

11am-12pm: Queen's funeral service at Westminster Abbey

The hour-long service will start at 11am and will be conducted by the Dean Of Westminster, with the sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury and a reading by Liz Truss, followed by a rendition of the Last Post and a national two-minute silence at 11.55am.

Though little else is known about the ceremony, the Dean of Westminster said the Queen's state funeral will remember the late monarch's place in history, with the personal sorrow of a grieving family at its heart.

The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who will lead the ceremony, said the scale of the service on Monday was almost unprecedented, even for Westminster Abbey - the scene of so many royal milestones throughout history.

The Queen's is the first funeral of a reigning king or queen to be held in Westminster Abbey since George II's in 1760. The Abbey held the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and the Queen Mother five years later.

It also was the scene of Princess Anne's wedding to Captain Mark Phillips in the church in 1973, the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and her grandson Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

The gothic church - whose official title is the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster - has been the coronation church since 1066. The Queen's was the 38th. It is also the final resting place of 17 monarchs, including Charles II and Elizabeth I.

12.15pm: Queen's coffin is carried 1.5 miles in grand procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner

Reveille, the national anthem and a lament, played by the Queen's Piper, will bring the state funeral service to an end at 12pm

After the funeral service, at 12:15pm, the coffin - followed by King Charles and the Queen Consort - will emerge through the Abbey's Great West Door before its extraordinary 1.5-mile journey procession featuring more than 4,000 military personnel to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner.

The route of the coffin post-funeral
The route of the coffin post-funeral. Picture: LBC/Google Maps

People in Windsor reflect on the life of Queen Elizabeth II

1pm-3.06pm: Queen's coffin will travel in State Hearse to the Long Walk at Windsor Castle

After the procession through London ends at 1pm, the coffin will travel in the State Hearse from Wellington Arch, by Hyde Park Corner, to the entrance to Queen's Home Park at Shaw Farm Gate in Windsor.

To allow more people to pay their respects the route was amended on Friday so the coffin will travel on A-roads rather than the M4. The coffin will travel through Queens Gate and head down Cromwell Road, before heading down Talgarth Road via the Hammersmith Flyover. After following the A4 through West London, the cortege will skirt the south of Heathrow before passing Runnymede, the meadow where Magna Carta was signed.It will continue on the Great South West Road (A30) and will then take the A308 to make the final part of the journey to Shaw Farm Gate outside Windsor Castle.

3.06-4pm: Queen's coffin is borne in glorious procession led by Household Cavalry Regiment to St George's Chapel

At 3.06pm the State Hearse will arrive at Long Walk, the tree-lined avenue that runs to Windsor Castle, and the Queen's coffin will be borne in another glorious procession.

It will be led by dismounted soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment, followed by the mounted Sovereign's Escort and massed pipes and drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments and the Bands of the Coldstream Guards. A total of 102 military horses will take part.

After 34 minutes, the King and other members of the Royal Family will join the procession as it arrives in the castle's quadrangle.

The parade will march to the beat of artillery guns firing from the Castle's East Lawn and the toll of the Sebastopol Bell - a relic from the Crimea War which is rung to mark the death of senior royals.

Shortly before 4pm, Grenadier Guards will lift the coffin up the West Steps of St George's Chapel. Sixteen months earlier, Prince Philip was borne up these steps.Inside the Chapel will be staff from the Queen's various estates, the majority of whom will not have attended the earlier funeral service at Westminster Abbey. Governors General and Prime Ministers from the Commonwealth will also attend.

4pm: Committal Service at St George's Chapel where the coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault

The Committal Service, conducted by the Dean of Windsor, will begin at 4pm. In a moment of sombre symbolism, the Imperial State Crown, Orb and Sceptre will be removed from the top of the coffin before the final hymn.

The King and members of the royal family will take part in centuries-old traditions and say their final goodbyes before the private burial.

The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park.

After the final hymn, the King will place the Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin, while the Lord Chamberlain, former MI5 chief Lord Parker of Minsmere, breaks his Wand of Office and places it on the coffin. The tradition dates back centuries, but this is the first time it will be seen by the wider public. 

The Dean of Windsor will say a psalm and the Commendation while the Queen's coffin is lowered into the royal vault.

7.30pm: King Charles and other senior royals attend burial service in King George VI Memorial Chapel

At 7.30pm the King and other Royals will attend a burial service in King George VI Memorial Chapel. 

There, the Queen will be reunited with her husband in a small chapel that is also the resting place for her parents, George VI and the Queen Mother, and where the ashes of her sister Margaret are interred.

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