State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II: the 5 defining moments

Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on Monday morning was an exercise in tradition, respect and national unity rarely seen in modern times. Here are some highlights, taken largely from The Times real time live blog coverage of the farewell to the Queen, who died in September. 8.


Westminster Abbey’s biggest bell rang in the note of D once a minute for 96 minutes, starting around 9.20am London time, and marking 96 years in the Queen’s life each year. The bell rings whenever a member of the royal family dies and also when the dean of the abbey dies.

Heathrow Airport later suspended all flights for half an hour so no noise from air traffic would disturb the two-minute silence at the end of the state funeral.

the people

Royalists or not, the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered in and around Buckingham Palace to attend the historic funeral behaved with the utmost respect. “I wanted to be here to be part of history. I curtsied before his casket,” said Delainie White, 9, explaining that she felt it was important to be there to pay my respects. .

As well as coming to share in the day of national mourning and remembrance, the crowds in Hyde Park – between Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace – were taking part in the funeral and surrounding rituals as much as possible. When the congregation inside Westminster Abbey rose for the first hymn, the entire Hyde Park crowd rose from their blankets and lawn chairs and remained on their feet until the end of the anthem.

During the two-minute silence at the end of the funeral inside the abbey, a hush fell over the crowd in the park, where many stood with their heads bowed, their faces solemn. Not one moved.

The royal family and the funeral procession

With Charles III, Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; William, Prince of Wales; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex; and Peter Phillips walked together. All except Andrew, Harry and Phillips were in military uniform.

Amid the unbroken drumbeat of hundreds of feet marching together, the bagpipes sharpened, striking a suitably dignified tone. It was a traditional sight as the procession approached the castle, with the bright flag adorning the late Queen’s coffin standing out amid the darker tones.

The funeral service

Patricia Scotland – barrister, specially selected Queen’s Counsel and also Commonwealth Secretary General – gave the first reading. New Prime Minister Liz Truss, who Elizabeth met just two days before her deathdid the second.

Following the BBC’s lead, most US channels dispensed with commentary during the service. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby ended his homily with the words “We will meet again”. After singing “God Save the Queen” for most of his life, Charles III remained silent while the the national anthem has just been revised was sung: “God Save the King”.

The coffin

The Queen’s coffin was carried by eight pallbearers chosen from the Grenadier Guards of the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Company, some of whom were summoned from Iraq on the day of the Queen’s death.

After the crown, orb and scepter were removed from Elizabeth’s coffin at the end of the funeral, the world watched as the coffin was lowered into St. Peter’s Church. George’s Chapel’s Royal Vault, joining Prince Philip’s coffin.

Later on Monday, the King and other members of the Royal Family were due to attend a funeral service for the Queen and for Philip, who died in April 2021. It will be at the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Elizabeth’s mother and father are also buried.

Times staff writers Christina Boyle, Nabih Bulos, Mary McNamara and Eli Stokols contributed to this report.