By Connor Steel
BUCKINGHAM PALACE have announced that the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will be taking place on September 19 (Monday), with the date confirmed to be an official Bank Holiday as approved by King Charles III; giving the whole nation a final goodbye to their beloved and longest serving Monarch after her sad death.
The event will be the first official state funeral held since the passing of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, whilst it is also scheduled to be the first Monarch’s funeral service to be held in Westminster Abbey since the 18th Century; although the funeral of the Queen’s Mother was held there in early April 2002 following her passing.
Proceedings will begin early that morning as the Queen’s lying in state will officially conclude at 6:30am; her coffin taken from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey by road throughout the morning. Senior Royals are expected to be part of the 1-mile procession by foot, similar to scenes from Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997.
Further details of the service are likely to be released over the coming day but it will start at 11am and is very likely to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. It will be televised on mainstream TV channels with millions expected to watch or line the streets, whilst an national two minute silence will begin at midday.
Two thousand people are expected to attend the historic occasion including Heads of State from across the world and Commonwealth countries; joining the Royal Family to paying their respects. Senior UK politicians and former prime ministers are also expected to attend the service from all parties alongside charity groups.
After the service, the coffin will travel in a procession to Wellington Arch, behind Buckingham Palace; where it will be taken to Windsor. Upon arrival the coffin will travel to St George’s Chapel via the Long Walk, where a private committal service with family will see Her Majesty laid to rest alongside late husband Prince Phillip.
It is widely expected that certain aspects of daily life will cease for 24 hours, with the date officially named a Bank Holiday as the new Monarch was proclaimed over the weekend. British Government departments will therefore close and won’t open until September 20, including council offices and local jobcentres nationwide.
Royal Mail and banks have already announced closures alongside schools; whilst shops and businesses will likely shut their doors for either limited hours or the whole day. The RMT have further called off their planned strikes for the weekend prior to the funeral so people can travel to London in order to pay their final respects.
These details come as the Queen’s coffin began its journey from Balmoral to London on Sunday, departing the county estate at 10am. It proceeded slowly on a six-hour journey to Edinburgh through towns and cities; with visits to Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth before arriving at the Palace of Holyroodhouse just after 4:15pm.
It will stay there until this afternoon before being transported to St Giles’ Cathedral, where the public will be able to view her coffin for a period of 24 hours. It will then move to Edinburgh Airport and travel by plane to RAF Northolt on Tuesday evening. Arriving at around 7pm it will then travel to Buckingham Palace via road.
Her Majesty’s coffin will then be transported via a gun carriage to Westminster Hall, a short public procession starting shortly after 2pm on Wednesday afternoon. It will be passing UK landmarks such as the Mall, Horse Guards and Parliament Square; with military parades led by King Charles and senior Royal family members.
From there it will remain in Westminster Hall for four clear days of laying in state, with the coffin placed upon a raised platform. Hundreds of thousands are expected to file past during this period, whilst more details are expected to be announced by organisers on how this will work safely and securely for all given large crowds.
Readers are encouraged to visit media sites such as BBC News, Sky News and ITV News for all developing updates, whilst the Globe will be publishing tributes from local figures and organisations in the coming days. Anybody who wishes to share their own tributes, personal memories or stories about Her Majesty can send these by email to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to be published shortly.
PICTURED BY BBC NEWS: Tributes including flowers and Paddington Bear seen outside Balmoral Castle.