Queen Elizabeth’s funeral arrangements have been released.
On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced that the late monarch would be honored with a state funeral on Monday September 19 at Westminster Abbey in central London. It will be the first funeral of a monarch at Westminster Abbey since the 18th century.
The funeral will be followed by a burial at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where the Queen’s parents, her sister Princess Margaret and her beloved husband Prince Philip are laid to rest.
The Queen’s coffin currently rests in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, where family members and staff from the Royal Household pay their respects and quietly remember the late Queen.
On Sunday, a group of loyal gamekeepers – ‘people who knew Her Majesty, it’s a personal connection,’ a royal spokesperson said – will carry her coffin from the ballroom outside the castle, to begin her journey south to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.
The journey, in a hearse, is expected to take around six hours, royal officials said on Saturday. Once in Edinburgh, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Holyroodhouse – where it is expected to arrive around 4:00 p.m. local time, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshall, has announced.
On Monday he will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse at 2.35pm in procession to St Giles Cathedral. The Queen’s coffin will lie in repose at St. Giles Cathedral until Tuesday September 13, when it will be flown to London and arrive at 8.00pm.
On Wednesday, September 14 at 2.22 p.m., the Queen’s coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for interment, which will end on the morning of the state funeral.
On the morning of the funeral, the coffin will begin its journey to Westminster Abbey – in a procession from the Palace of Westminster from 10.44am local time.
The news comes two days after the Palace announced that she died “peacefully” at 96 at her beloved Balmoral Castle after her doctors said they were “concerned” for her health.
The Queen’s funeral will follow a week of ceremonial activities which will see King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla visit the UK.
Earlier on Saturday, her eldest son and successor said the date of his mother’s funeral would be a UK-wide bank holiday. Schools and businesses will be closed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as a sign of respect.
Charles, 73, endorsed the move during his first meeting as monarch with the Privy Council. The new king met with the group of advisers (including senior Cabinet ministers, judges and Church of England leaders) after the Accession Council formally proclaimed him monarch on Saturday morning.
The ceremony took place in the State Apartments at St. James’s Palace in London at 10 a.m. A historic first, the rite was televised.
As Prince William and Queen Camilla looked on, a clerk of the council read: ‘The crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland belongs solely and rightly to Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.’
“We … do now hereby, with one voice and with consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become our sole rightful and lawful overlord, Charles III.”
The Clerk ended with “God Save The King”, which was echoed by the 200 Privy Councillors, led by former Prime Ministers including Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Gordon Brown.
After the initial 10-minute ceremony was over, the Privy Council moved into the throne room where King Charles joined them.
Addressing the Council as lords, ladies and gentlemen, he made it his “most painful duty” to announce the death of his “beloved mother, the Queen”.
Praising his mother’s reign as “unparalleled in its duration, dedication and devotion”, Chares added that he hoped to follow her “inspirational example”.
“Even as we mourn, we give thanks for this life of the most faithful. I am deeply aware of this great heritage and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now been handed down to me,” he said in part. The historic two-part ceremony lasted just 40 minutes.
Although King Charles rose in rank immediately after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, the accession should not be confused with the official coronation.
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Charles’ coronation ceremony is not expected anytime soon and courtiers have yet to announce a date. Her mother’s coronation took place 16 months after her accession on February 6, 1952, following the sudden death of her father, King George VI.
In updated communications on the Buckingham Palace website on Friday, King Charles asked
the public to observe a period of royal mourning, taking effect immediately and lasting up to a week after his mother’s funeral.
Flags will fly at half mast above royal residences throughout the period, and floral tributes will be allowed to rest at specified gates.