Canadian ‘Mounties’ will lead funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II to final resting place

The procession to Westminster Abbey

The final members of the public will be admitted to Westminster Hall to view Queen Elizabeth’s lying in state at 6.30am on Monday, after which preparations for the state funeral will take precedence.

At 10.35am on Monday, a bearer party found by The Queen’s Company, 1st Bn Grenadier Guards will lift the coffin from the catafalque and place it on the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy, which was retired in 1901 for the funeral of Queen Victoria and has been used for the funerals of Edward VII, George V, George VI, Winston Churchill and Earl Mountbatten. It will be drawn by hand by 142 Royal Navy Ratings through Parliament Square, where a tri-service Guard of Honour will be standing to attention.

Led by the massed pipes and drums of the Scottish and Irish regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas and the RAF, the coffin, which will be followed on foot by the King and members of the Royal family, will arrive at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey at 10.52, where the bearer party will carry it into the Abbey and place it on a catafalque.

The state funeral

Beginning at 11am, the state funeral is expected to be one of the most-watched televised events in history, with a potential worldwide audience numbering in the billions.

It will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, with lessons read by the Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and a sermon delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The 2,000-strong congregation, who will start arriving from 8am, will include Royal family members, heads of state and members of the Government, but also emergency workers, George Cross and Victoria Cross recipients and ordinary members of the public who were recognised for their public service in the most recent Queen’s birthday honours.

Visiting heads of state and overseas government representatives will muster at the Royal Hospital Chelsea to be taken in buses to the Abbey, though so-called “top tier” heads of state, including Joe Biden, the US president, will be allowed to use their own transport.

The Order of Service has not yet been released, but at 11.55am, Last Post will sound, followed by a two minutes’ silence both in the Abbey and throughout the UK. The service will end at noon with the National Anthem and a lament played by the Queen’s Piper, Pipe Major Paul Burns of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Pipe Major Burns would have woken the late Queen on her final morning, playing below her window at Balmoral as he had done every day.

The Queen’s piper played for 15 minutes underneath her window at 9am every morning, whether she was at Balmoral, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace or Holyroodhouse.

The bearer party will then carry the coffin back to the waiting gun carriage for the next stage of the late Queen’s journey.

When the service ends, visiting heads of state will walk to Church House next to the Abbey for a reception hosted by James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary.

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