Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral takes place at Westminster Abbey in London l SBS News

An emotional King Charles III, his sons William and Harry and other senior royals joined a solemn procession behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin through the quiet streets of London, after a state funeral at the Abbey of Westminster.
Hundreds of thousands of people crammed into central London on Monday (local time) to watch a ceremony attended by leaders and royalty from around the world, an end to Great Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Britain who earned widespread respect for 70 years on the throne.
His flag-draped coffin was fired on a gun carriage at close range from Westminster Hall to the Abbey by 142 sailors with linked weapons. A bell rang and bagpipes twirled.

Silence fell over nearby London’s Hyde Park as thousands of people, who for hours had picnicked and chattered, fell silent the second the Queen’s coffin appeared on screens erected for the opportunity.

Shortly before, hundreds of armed servicemen in full ceremonial dress marched in a historic parade of kilts, bearskin hats, scarlet tunics and marching bands.
Inside the abbey, lines of scripture were set to music which have been used at all state funerals since the early 18th century.
Among those walking behind the coffin was the Queen’s great-grandson and future king, nine-year-old Prince George.

The 2,000-person congregation included some 500 presidents, prime ministers, foreign royals and dignitaries, including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden, among leaders from New Zealand, France, Canada, China, from Pakistan and the Cook Islands.

The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Camilla, Queen Consort, Prince George of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Sophie, Countess of Wessex are seen at the state funeral. Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

‘We’ll see each other again’

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told the congregation in a sermon that the grief felt by so many across Britain and around the world reflected the late monarch’s “abundant life and loving service”.
“Her late Majesty said on a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to the service of the nation and the Commonwealth,” he said.

“Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen.”

The Royal Family stand before Queen Elizabeth's coffin during her state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

King Charles III, Queen Consort, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Countess of Wessex, (second row) Duke of Sussex, Duchess of Sussex , Princess Beatrice, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Lady Louise Windsor, and (third row) Samuel Chatto, Arthur Chatto, Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her state funeral at the Abbey of London. Source: AAP / Dominic Lipinski/PA

The Archbishop said Her Late Majesty’s broadcast during the COVID-19 lockdowns ended with ‘we will meet again’ – ‘words of hope’ from singer Vera Lynn.

“We will all face the merciful judgment of God. We can all share the hope of the Queen, who in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death – all who follow example of the Queen and inspire confidence and faith in God can, with her, say: ‘We will meet again.'”

Princes Harry and William united in mourning

William and Harry were young boys when their mother, Diana, died in 1997.
The photos of the two brothers at their mother’s funeral were among the most heartbreaking and widely publicized at the time.

Now, 25 years later, in scenes similar to 1997, the couple reunited at their grandmother’s funeral, amid reports of a rift between the brothers after the move of Harry in the United States.

William, the current Prince of Wales, and Harry, Duke of Sussex, pictured at the funeral of their mother Princess Diana in 1997 and at the state funeral of their grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

William, the current Prince of Wales, and Harry, Duke of Sussex, pictured at the funeral of their mother Princess Diana in 1997 and at the state funeral of their grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. Source: AAP

Among the crowds from across Britain and beyond, people clambered over lamp posts and stood on barriers and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession – one of the largest of its kind in Europe. modern history of the capital.

The Queen died on September 8 at her Scottish summer home, Balmoral Castle, aged 96.

The fortieth sovereign in a line that dates back to 1066, she ascended the throne in 1952, Britain’s first post-imperial monarch.

The Abbey’s tenor bell – the site of coronations, weddings and burials of English and then British kings and queens for nearly 1,000 years – has rung 96 times.

Among the hymns chosen for the service was The Lord’s My Shepherd, sung at the wedding of the Queen and her husband Prince Philip at the Abbey in 1947.
Towards the end of the service, the church and much of the nation fell silent for two minutes.
The trumpets sounded before the congregation sang God Save The King. The Queen’s piper ended the service with a lament that faded into silence.

The coffin then began its journey through central London, passing Buckingham Palace to Wellington’s Arch at Hyde Park Corner, followed by the Monarch and Royal Family on foot during the procession of 2 .4 kilometers.

The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles III follows the Queen’s funeral procession after a service at Westminster Abbey Credit: Peter Summers/Getty Images

What happens now?

From there, the coffin will be placed on a hearse to be taken to Windsor Castle, west London, for a service at St George’s Chapel. It will culminate in the crown, orb and scepter – symbols of the monarch’s power and governance – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.
The Lord Chamberlain, the highest official in the royal household, will break his wand of office, signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and place it on the coffin.
It will then be lowered into the royal vault.

Later in the evening, at a private family service, the coffin of Elizabeth and her husband of more than seven decades, Philip, who died last year aged 99, will be buried together at the King’s George VI Memorial Chapel, where his parents and his sister, Princess Margaret, are also buried.