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LONDON – Britain bids farewell to Queen Elizabeth II – in style.
Much of the country will grind to a halt as world leaders gather in London on Monday for the monarch’s state funeral. Shops and pubs will close, Britons will take the day off from work and school, and the country will pause and observe a nationwide minute’s silence on a remarkable seven-decade reign.
It is the first state funeral in Britain since the death of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965 and truly marks the end of an era – so no detail has been left to chance. Here’s POLITICO’s guide to what to expect.
How the day unfolds
Expect plenty of pomp, a hefty dose of ceremony – and a rare moment of calm and tranquility for a country that has spent so much of the past decade arguing with itself.
at 6.30 a.m UK time Monday The Queen The state lie officially comes to an endwhich concludes an unprecedented display of affection for the monarchy by members of the British public – encapsulated, of course the epic queue. Even for a nation of queues, the Brits have outdone themselves, queuing for miles to get past the late monarch’s coffin, which lay beneath Westminster Hall’s centuries-old hammerbeam roof. The doors close on Monday morning.
at 10:44 a.mthe coffin of the queen is loaded onto a carriage for the Procession to nearby Westminster Abbey. The new king will follow on foot, accompanied by senior members of the royal family.
at 11 a.m., the actual funeral service – attended by world leaders and foreign dignitaries (more on this grumbling bunch below) – begins. The Dean of Westminster will lead the service, and there will be readings by Prime Minister Liz Truss – who was appointed by the Queen just two days before her death – as well as Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby , the head of the Church of England.
Expect an understated affair (by royal standards, at least) that is in keeping with the Queen’s wishes. Former Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who was briefed on the arrangements during his tenure, told the BBC on Sunday that the Queen “didn’t like what she called ‘long, boring services'” and promised a ceremony to begin The Book of Common of 1662 is the root of Prayer, the traditional prayer book of the Anglican Church.
at 11:55 a.mThe Last Post – a short, traditional fanfare played in commemoration – sounds before the UK comes to a nationwide halt two minutes of silence. The funeral itself is coming to an end – but there is more to come.
At about 12 o’clockthe coffin of the queen is transported Wellington Arch on the corner of London’s Hyde Park in a procession led by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the military, the Police of Northern Ireland and staff from Britain’s popular National Health Service.
After that the last trip begins as the coffin slowly meanders by state hearse Windsor Castlethe royal residence 30 miles west of London in the leafy heart of Berkshire.
Because Arrival at windsor a little after 3 pm., the hearse then drives through the city in front of the television obligation service. This starts at 4 p.m in St George’s Chapel and will be presided over by the Dean of Windsor in front of around 800 guests.
Expect some moments of very British ceremonies upon admission. Before the final anthem, the Reich state The crown, orb and scepter are removed from the queen’s coffin and placed on the altar to be later transported to the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are kept.
Before the Queen’s coffin is lowered into the royal vault, tradition dictates that the Lord Chamberlain – a role currently held by former spy chief Andrew Parker – should hold a ceremony “Break” his staff of office and placed it on the coffin, signaling the end of his service to the Queen.
at 19:30 o’clocka private person Burial will take place in the King George VI Memorial Chapelthe final resting place of the Queen’s father, mother and sister.
The Queen’s husband Prince Philip, whose remains have been kept in the Royal Vault since his death last year, will be buried next to her in the chapel.
Who is going?
Pretty much anyone who’s anyone in the world of global royalty and diplomacy – so keep your eyes peeled for the usual heady mix of protocol violations, hot mic moments and presidents sitting in the wrong chairs.
Around 500 leaders and dignitaries from Britain and around the world are expected to attend the royal family’s funeral at Westminster Abbey and there has been a frantic push for invitations ahead of the event — as well as plenty of whining about the buses British officials have asked most of the world’s heads of state to take for the funeral.
The invitees range from the relatively uncontroversial – the kings and queens of Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain; US President Joe Biden; EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – to raise her eyebrows a little more.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was invited despite howls of protest from human rights activists and reporters who remain outraged at the state-ordered assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. British Foreign Office sources said on Sunday he would not be attending, with Riyadh instead being represented by Prince Turki bin Mohammed al Saud.
Although Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be there, British MPs are also annoyed that a Chinese delegation is attending, given the sanctions Beijing has imposed on outspoken lawmakers in the UK whom Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has dubbed a “criminal” on allegations of fraud of flight”.
Also notable for his absence is Vladimir Putin or any representative of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. “We consider 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 in its days of mourning, as deeply immoral,” he said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
In addition to the leaders of the diva world, pay attention to at least a handful of representatives from planet earth. Expect to see servicemen and women who have received Victoria Cross and George Cross awards. a number of Queen’s staff; and 183 members of the public. The latter group was chosen for their service to the community and recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.
how can i watch
As befits a huge global news event, you’re not short of viewing options.
Traditionalists will want to stay with the BBC, the state broadcaster, which will inevitably get a kick from almost everyone for being either too patriotic or not patriotic enough in its reporting, depending on your own disposition.
The Beeb provides full coverage of the state funeral on TV, radio and its online iPlayer service, with special programming – directed by Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young, Fergal Keane, David Dimbleby and Sophie Raworth – on the air from 8am to 5pm
Fancy alternative guys can always opt for Sky News, which airs outside Westminster Abbey from an ungodly 5am. The day’s hosts include Kamali Melbourne, Kay Burley, Anna Botting, Jayne Secker and Mark Austin.
ITV will also broadcast the service and procession live. It tapped Mary Nightingale, Chris Ship, Rageh Omaar, Nina Hossain and Charlene White for coverage of the day and is showing two special documentaries – ‘Queen Elizabeth II: A Nation Remembers’ and ‘Queen Elizabeth II: The Final Farewell’ – from 7.30pm Watch In a sign of a return to normal life, later this week ITV will begin showing commercials between shows for the first time since the Queen’s death.
For those tuning in in the States, CNN’s Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper are in London for a day of coverage, as are CBS’ Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell; NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb; and Fox News’ Martha MacCallum – who later in the day can enjoy the endless wisdom of guest star and famous Meghan Markle fan Piers Morgan.
How can I not watch?
Feeling a little queasy from weeks of royal coverage? Don’t worry: Britain’s Channel Five has you covered.
While the rest of the nation mourns, she’s instead broadcasting a somber concoction of The Emoji Movie, Stuart Little, and Ice Age 3.