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Crowds swell in London and Windsor as world prepares to say goodbye to the Queen at her funeral | UK News

Tens of thousands of people are gathering at sites across London and Windsor to say their final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Mourners have flocked to the capital and other royal sites across the UK on the national bank holiday, which was created especially to allow as many people as possible to take part in the day.

Upwards of a million people are expected to gather in central London and around the royal palaces for the historic occasion.

All public viewing areas for the funeral procession in the capital were full by just after 9am.

All public viewing areas for procession already full – live updates

Trees provide a handy back rest for those hoping to catch 40 winks near The Mall before the procession and funeral begins

Along The Mall, thousands of people have already lined the route along the barriers ahead of the procession, with some intrepid mourners even camping out in tents and sleeping bags in a bid to get a good spot.

Transport and travel issues on some trains into London on Monday morning mean thousands of mourners could miss the funeral due to rail disruption which has left them waiting for hours on stationary trains.

Read more:
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The full order of service for Queen’s state funeral
Prince George and Princess Charlotte to attend Queen’s funeral

Police officers stand guard on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022.   REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/Pool
People sit on grass at Hyde Park, on the day of state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022 REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

The funeral service – which will also be shown on large screens around the UK and in several cinemas – is set to draw billions of TV viewers across the globe. It is likely to become the world’s most watched broadcast of all time.

The funeral marks the climax of what is being regarded as the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen, surpassing the operation for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Olympics, which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.

The funeral itself will be attended by more than 2,000 people, including royalty, world leaders, politicians and members of the royal household.

Poignantly the Queen was both married and crowned in Westminster Abbey. It is the first time a monarch’s funeral has been held there since 1760.

The abbey opened its door to the congregation for people to take their seats for the service at 8am.

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Queen’s funeral route in 3D

Proceedings began at 10.52am, when the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin will arrive at the West Gate of the abbey after departing Westminster Hall.

The funeral began at 11am and ends at 11.55am when the Last Post will sound followed by a national two-minute silence.

The procession will then head to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, before the journey to Windsor.

A private committal service will then take place at St George’s Chapel, conducted by the Dean of Windsor, and attended by the King and members of the Royal Family.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Queen’s death: Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend state funeral | UK News

Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend the Queen’s state funeral, according to the order of service.

The two eldest children of the Prince and Princess of Wales will be among 2,000 people gathering in Westminster Abbey to say farewell to the monarch they knew as “Gan Gan”.

The second and third in line to the throne will walk in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried by the military bearer party.

Last chance to view Queen’s coffin; funeral to be shown on big screens across UK – all latest news, live

Their grandfather King Charles with the Queen Consort will be immediately behind the coffin, followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, then the Duke of York, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and then the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Nine-year-old George and seven-year-old Charlotte will walk side-by-side behind their parents, followed by their uncle and aunt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the Royal Family.

They are also expected to be at the committal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, later in the day.

Their four-year-old brother Prince Louis, however, is not expected to attend.

Read more:
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‘His sense of duty is equal to the Queen’: Archbishop of Canterbury praises King Charles

Details of the service have been revealed, including the music, which will include the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, playing the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.

Before the service, the tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

One of the hymns – The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want – was sung at the Queen’s wedding, when she married the Duke of Edinburgh in the same abbey in 1947.

The others hymns are: The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended; and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

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Prayers will be said by the Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for “Queen Elizabeth’s long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service”.

The Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally will say a prayer for “our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family”.

Archbishop of Canterbury praises King Charles ahead of preaching the sermon at Queen’s funeral | UK News

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he will miss the Queen “hugely”, as he praised King Charles for having “the sense of service and duty, that is the equal of her late Majesty’s”.

Archbishop Justin Welby, who will preach the sermon at tomorrow’s state funeral, said Queen Elizabeth ll firmly believed she would be reunited with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, along with her father, mother and sister, when she is laid to rest in Windsor.

He also said he hoped world leaders, gathering at Westminster Abbey for the funeral, would be guided by her example.

The Archbishop told Sky’s Anna Botting he felt “very privileged to be there”, clarifying: “Not pleased to be there, because we would all prefer that this has not happened – we’re all going to miss and grieve for the Queen.”

All latest news, live: Funeral to be shown on big screens across UK

Guards and Royal Navy march past Westminster Abbey during a rehearsal for the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II in London, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday, Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
The funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday

He said the ceremony will be “focused on the family first, because this is a family saying goodbye, at a funeral, to someone they loved”.

The funeral will be attended by more than 2,000 people and watched by billions around the world, making it set to become the world’s most watched broadcast of all time.

The archbishop described the “genuinely shared experience” that people in the UK were feeling as, “an experience of grief, for many deep grief, but also mixed with an experience of immense thankfulness”.

Asked if the role of King was too much for Charles, 73, to take on, in his later years, he said: “It would be too much to expect most people to take on this role at any age, frankly.

Archbishop Justin Welby will preach the service at the Queen's funeral - putting the family firmly at the centre of the ceremony
Archbishop Welby said the Royal Family will be at the centre of the ceremony

“He is a man of very great intelligence, humility, thoughtfulness, commitment to service, who has not just been sitting around twiddling his thumbs, waiting to take on the role.

“As we know, his service to the country and the Commonwealth around the world has been huge. And he’s been thinking about this role for very, very many years indeed.

“From the point of view of the head of state, there’s been a seamless transition – not to someone who’s self-centred or anything like that – but as someone whose sense of service and duty is the equal of her late Majesty’s”.

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Queen’s funeral route in 3D

The archbishop described how he last saw the Queen in June, when he gave her a cross of nails, to mark 70 years of unstinting service to the Church of England.

He said: “Her memory was so acute, her observation so perceptive.

“I came back, and I said to my wife, ‘we needn’t worry, I’m not going to have to do a coronation. It’ll be my successor who does that, she’s so fit’.”

The cross of nails has been used as a symbol of reconciliation and peace building around the world.

Read more:
Queen’s funeral plans: Everything you need to know
London to Windsor route revealed where you can see coffin on day of funeral

He said he believes the Queen will now “unite more global leaders, possibly, than at any point in human history”, as heads of state, royal families and government representatives from around the world gather at Westminster Abbey for her funeral.

Archbishop Welby said he hoped and prayed that was a moment “where they will reflect on their own leadership”, looking to her example and taking “a moment where they say to themselves, ‘I would really like people to look on me, in the way that they look on her’.

“She was deeply faithful and faith filled. A demonstrative, quiet Christian, who trusted in the faithfulness of God.”

He said she was now at peace and the nation should “take hope” and comfort from that.

The Queen’s funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey on Monday at 11am.

Queen’s funeral: Public to be able to watch funeral on big screens across UK | UK News

The public will be able to watch the Queen’s funeral on Monday on large screens being put up in public parks and venues across the UK.

Around 125 cinemas across the UK will also be screening the events – alongside Sky News and other TV broadcasters.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has said the occasion will be shown in various locations – including Hyde Park in London; Centenary Square in Birmingham; Coleraine Town Hall in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.

Queen’s grandchildren stand vigil, football’s minute’s silence booed – all the latest news, live

The list of locations also includes Cathedral Square, Sheffield; Bitts Park, Carlisle; Bedford Corn Exchange; Bradford Cathedral; University Square, Coventry; Northernhay Gardens, Exeter; Sandy Park conference centre, Exeter; Exeter City Football Club; Millennium Square, Leeds; Manchester Cathedral and Old Eldon Square in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Hundreds of thousands of mourners will line the streets from London to Windsor in Berkshire, with more than 10,000 police officers on duty – the largest police presence on record.

People are being advised by the government to “plan ahead and prepare for delays to travel”.

A total of 500 foreign dignitaries will attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey alongside 2,000 guests including politicians, civil servants, some celebrities and many ‘ordinary’ members of the public selected for charitable or community works.

After Monday’s service, the late monarch’s coffin will be driven to Windsor in the state hearse before travelling in procession to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk.

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The route the hearse will take from west London to Windsor Castle
The route the hearse will take from west London to Windsor Castle

At 10.44am, the Queen’s coffin will be moved from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral, which will begin at 11am and be followed by a national two-minute silence at 11.55am.

A public procession will begin at 12.15pm as Her Majesty’s coffin travels from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch in London.

The procession, which will proceed in seven groups and be supported by a service band, will travel along Broad Sanctuary, Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Constitution Hill and end at London’s Wellington Arch.

Space dedicated for those with accessibility requirements is available at the Green Park side of The Mall and the St James’s Park side of The Mall.

The Albert Memorial viewing areas will have British Sign Language interpreters and a hearing loop.

Queen Elizabeth II in her carriage during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse.

Her Majesty‘s coffin will then be carried from Wellington Arch by the State Hearse to Windsor, where The Queen will be laid to rest.

The hearse is due to arrive in Albert Road and, at 3.10pm, it will travel in procession along Albert Road and the Long Walk before arriving at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle ahead of the committal service, where The Queen will buried next to the Duke of Edinburgh, which is not open to the public.

There are a limited number of public viewing areas on The Long Walk, including a number of viewing spaces for those with accessibility needs, and there will be big screens for people to watch the services and procession from London.

A National Moment of Reflection in the form of a one-minute silence will take place at 8pm on Sunday 18 September.

Community groups, clubs and other organisations, as well as people at home, and expats across the world, are being encouraged to mark the moment.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Watch and follow the Queen’s funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Focus turns to Queen’s funeral as world leaders arrive, scaffolding is erected and rehearsals get under way | UK News

Preparations are well under way for the Queen’s state funeral with scaffolding being erected, world leaders arriving in London and rehearsals at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

As the lying in state continues in Westminster Hall, the queue of mourners waiting to see the monarch’s coffin is now expected to take around 22 hours from the back to the front.

Representatives from the Commonwealth nations have been invited to pay their respects, and heads of state from around the world are arriving throughout the weekend, both to attend the Queen’s funeral, and to sign a book of condolences.

A sign in Southwark Park in London, informing members of the public that the queue to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday is 14 hours plus. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.

Meanwhile, King Charles will meet the chiefs of staff at Buckingham Palace before visiting police headquarters, where he will thank representatives from all the emergency services involved in the planning and delivery of the events during the mourning period.

He will also attend, with Camilla, the Queen Consort, a lunch for governors general – the people who represent the monarch in overseas realms – at the palace.

Man in custody after trying to rush Queen’s coffin, queues through a cold London night – all the latest, live

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The Queen’s children stand vigil for a final time ahead of her grandchildren’s tribute

Also on Saturday, the Queen’s grandchildren will take their turn standing in vigil around her coffin.

The Prince of Wales will stand at the head, the Duke of Sussex at the foot.

William will be flanked by his cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Philips – the children of the Princess Royal – while Harry will be with the Duke of York’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall leave after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, Britain, June 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Peter Phillips (L), Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall (2nd L) during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Earl of Wessex‘s children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn will stand near the middle.

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Forecasters say the sun is expected to shine on those waiting in the queue and those already securing the best spots for the funeral procession. After a cold start, Saturday should see long, sunny spells with maximum temperatures of 17C (62F), they predict.

London to Windsor route revealed where thousands can see Queen’s coffin on day of funeral

Queen Elizabeth II portrait

A London Fashion Week diversity fashion show will also take place in honour of the late Queen on Saturday. Models will carry a white lily in tribute.

Codenamed Operation London Bridge, arrangements for the Queen’s death have been carefully pored over for years, with the monarch herself overseeing and approving every detail before her passing.

However, the exact details were kept under wraps until the sitting sovereign, King Charles III, gave it his final seal of approval.

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What is a state funeral?

Monday’s funeral is at Westminster Abbey, one of London’s most recognisable landmarks and near the Palace of Westminster.

It has been the setting for every coronation since 1066, and was where the then-Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Watch and follow the Queen’s funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Russia calls Queen’s funeral snub ‘profoundly immoral’ and ‘blasphemous’ | World News

Russia has described the decision not to invite its representatives to the Queen’s funeral as “profoundly immoral” and “blasphemous”.

Leaders and dignitaries from around the world have been invited to the late monarch’s state funeral, but Russia’s Vladimir Putin and others were snubbed.

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“We view this British attempt to use a national tragedy that has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world for geopolitical purposes to settle scores with our country during the days of mourning as profoundly immoral,” Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

“This is especially blasphemous to the memory of Elizabeth II, who is known to have served during World War II in the territorial defence ranks of the British Armed Forces fighting the Nazis,” she added.

Ties between the UK and Russia are strained following the February invasion, with Britain taking a lead among Western nations in sending weapons to Ukraine.

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“The unifying image of Queen Elizabeth II, who has not interfered with politics as a matter of principle during her reign, has not become an obstacle to London’s dissenting attacks, which are subject to accomplishing their own conjectural objectives,” Ms Zakharova said.

“For our part, we express our profound condolences to the British people for the great loss that befell them.”

Queen’s lying in state enters first full day as rehearsals take place overnight for late monarch’s funeral | UK News

The Queen’s lying in state has entered its first full day, with mourners braving lengthy queues for the chance to file past the late monarch’s coffin.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to walk through the ancient hall of Westminster Palace after the doors opened to the public at 5pm on Wednesday.

It will stay open for four full days until 6.30am on Monday – the day of her funeral.

Queen lies in state as guard faints – latest news

There are predictions the line could stretch for up to 10 miles with waits of up to 30 hours to get into Westminster Hall.

However, as of 5am on Thursday it was 2.1 miles long – stretching to Southwark Bridge.

Sky News reporter Olive Enokido-Lineham waited six hours to enter the palace, suggesting wait times are much shorter than initially feared.

Police officers, volunteers, and stewards are managing the queue, while toilets and water fountains are being provided at various points along the route.

People waiting in line are being given a coloured and numbered wristband to prevent any queue jumping, and to allow them to leave for short periods, such as to get food.

Watch the Queen lying in state

Members of the public wait in line in central London, to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.

Rehearsals for funeral take place overnight as King takes day for reflection

Rehearsals have been taking place overnight for the Queen’s funeral.

Members of the military could be seen in Westminster carrying a stand-in coffin, ahead of Monday’s state funeral.

An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Thursday September 15, 2022.
An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth
An early morning rehearsal for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Thursday September 15, 2022.

King Charles has returned to his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire. He will have a private day of reflection and is not expected to attend any public events.

In the detailed planning for the aftermath of the Queen’s death – known as Operation London Bridge – a day was set aside at this point for the new monarch to have some time away from public duties.

A rehearsal for the Queen's funeral procession
A rehearsal for the Queen's funeral procession
A rehearsal for the Queen's funeral procession

The period will allow the King to pause, but it is understood he will be working in preparation for his new role and will already be receiving his red boxes of state papers.

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Elsewhere, King’s Counsel will take part in wreath laying after the death of the Queen.

Senior barristers, now known as KCs instead of QCs after the proclamation of the King, have been invited to dress in robes and court mourning attire.

They will then gather outside the Old Bailey before walking to Gray’s Inn Chapel for the ceremony.

Meghan postpones celebratory event

Members of the royal family, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, walk as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown placed on top, arrives at Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Meanwhile, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has postponed a celebratory event she was due to attend as a woman of honour, as well as the release of her podcast, out of respect for the Queen.

Meghan was selected alongside other high-profile women, including Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Malala, as part of US outlet Variety’s Power of Women event.

The honourees will feature on the cover of the publication’s Power of Women special edition, with an event taking place on Wednesday, 28 September.

“Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, was chosen as one of one of this year’s stellar honorees,” Variety said.

“The Duchess’ cover will be postponed to a later date, out of respect for the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“Similarly, she will not attend the Power of Women event in Los Angeles later this month.”

Meghan’s podcast, Archetypes, will also not be released during the duration of the mourning period for the Queen.

The bearer party carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall, London, where it will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
The bearer party carries the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall

Among her fellow honourees was US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who conducted the explosive interview with Harry and Meghan in March 2021.

Speaking recently at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Winfrey said she hoped the Queen’s death will allow the Royal Family to come together and provide “an opportunity for peacemaking”.

The royals were reunited as they joined a procession behind the Queen as she left Buckingham Palace for the final time on Wednesday.

King Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex accompanied the monarch on the journey to Westminster Hall for her lying in state. The Queen Consort, Princess of Wales, Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Sussex travelled by car.

Prince Andrew to wear military uniform for vigil but not Queen’s funeral after being stripped of his honorary military roles | UK News

Prince Andrew will wear military uniform for the final vigil around the Queen’s coffin during the lying in state at Westminster Hall – but not for her funeral or other ceremonial events in the coming days.

The disgraced royal was stripped of all of his honorary military roles in January, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre, a woman he claimed never to have met.

He denied all her claims.

King flies in to lead procession amid huge security operation – royal news latest updates

Andrew, a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War, retained his rank as a Vice Admiral.

While working royals including the King, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex will parade in military uniform at the state funeral next Monday and on other occasions in the coming week, Andrew will not, apart from at the vigil.

As a non-working member of the Royal Family, the Duke of York will wear uniform as a special mark of respect for the Queen at the vigil in Westminster Hall, sources said.

It has not yet been confirmed whether the Duke of Sussex – also a non-working royal – will wear military dress.

At the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021, the issue of military dress was dealt with by the Queen, who decided that no members of the Royal Family should wear uniform.

It was a break with tradition but seen as the most eloquent solution to a host of problems.

Reports had suggested Andrew was considering wearing the uniform of an admiral.

He was due to be promoted to Admiral in 2020 to mark his 60th birthday but this did not go ahead following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.