Queen Elizabeth II will be honoured with a full state funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey in honour of her long reign as the monarch of the United Kingdom. The nation-wide period of public mourning will last for a week following the funeral, as requested by the Queen’s heir apparent, King Charles III.
In order to attend the state burial for the Queen, who passed away at the age of 96, President Droupadi Murmu travelled to London on Saturday.
When is Queen Elizabeth’s funeral?
The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey today. It will start around 3.30 p.m. (IST) and run for an hour, according to expectations.
The coffin was brought to the Houses of Parliament, popularly known as the Palace of Westminster, earlier on Wednesday by a horse-drawn gun carriage, where it was laid in state at Westminster Hall for four days.
Prior to this, the casket was transported from Balmoral, Scotland, where she passed away at the age of 96, to London’s Buckingham Palace. Before the remains was transported to London, rites and processions were held in Balmoral after her passing.
The Queen’s funeral procession will depart from the state funeral on Monday towards Wellington Arch, where the coffin will be loaded onto a hearse and driven to Windsor Castle.
The committal service will be broadcast from St George Chapel within Windsor Castle.
Later in the evening, the Queen and her late husband would be buried together in a small chapel inside St. George’s Chapel called the King George VI Memorial Chapel at a private family service.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was married to the Queen until his death on April 9, 2021, and his mortal remains were kept in the Royal Vault in St. George’s Chapel. He will be transferred to rest next to Queen Elizabeth II and her parents in the memorial chapel after the Queen’s formal burial.
Why is Westminster Abbey the location of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral?
The Queen’s casket will be carried to Westminster Abbey for the formal burial after spending four days at rest in Westminster Hall.
Since 1066, Westminster Abbey has served as the coronation cathedral and served as the resting place for 17 kings and queens. With the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII, practically every British monarch has been crowned here since 1066. The first coronation shown live on television was that of Queen Elizabeth II.
About 16 royal marriages have also taken place at the Abbey, including those of the late Prince Philip and the late Queen in 1947, as well as Prince William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, in 2011.
Why St. George’s Chapel?
King Edward III established St. George’s Chapel in 1475, and by the 19th century, the royal family had made it their preferred site of final rest.
The King George VI Memorial Chapel, which was built in 1969, will serve as the Queen’s final resting place. She will be interred with the remains of her sister, Princess Margaret, who passed away in 2002, as well as her parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The mortal remains of Prince Philip will also be transported here.
The Week claims that there is a slight separation between the main Royal Vault and the tiny side-chapel. The vault is located beneath the altar of St. George’s Chapel and was built between 1804 and 1810. The St. George’s Quire is immediately below the memorial chapel.
Currently, more than 20 royals are interred in the vault, starting with Princess Amelia, the youngest daughter of King George III.
What makes the casket of Queen Elizabeth II unique?
The Queen’s coffin was made of English oak and coated with lead more than 30 years ago, according to sources, to preserve the dead remains after burial in a crypt. Lead is supposed to make the coffin airtight, keeping moisture out, a method also employed in Prince Philip’s coffin.