Briefing

Inside the queen's funeral

A final goodbye to the beloved monarch who reigned for 70 years

On Monday, the British royal family, world leaders, and other dignitaries will gather at Westminster Abbey to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II. Her funeral is set to begin at 11 a.m. London time, and will be televised around the world. Here's everything you need to know:

How can I watch the queen's funeral in the United States? 

The funeral will begin at 6 a.m. ET and 3 a.m. PT on Monday, with live coverage on several networks, including NBC, ABC, CNN, BBC America, and Fox News. BBC News will also livestream the funeral, as will ITV News on YouTube.

What can we expect on Monday?

This will be the first state funeral held in Britain since Winston Churchill's death in 1965, the first funeral at Westminster Abbey for a monarch since King George II in 1760, and the first time cameras will be allowed at a British monarch's funeral (King George VI's procession was broadcast live on television in 1952, but not his funeral).

The queen's coffin has been lying in state at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, with members of the public lining up for hours in order to file past her coffin and pay their respects. On Monday morning, a gun carriage towed by 142 sailors will bring her coffin to Westminster Abbey, with the procession led by roughly 200 musicians with the Scottish and Irish Regiments, The New York Times reports.

The funeral service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, with British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland giving readings. The sermon will be delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby. Just before the end of the funeral at noon, there will be two minutes of silence, marked nationwide. At the conclusion of the service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and NHS doctors and nurses will lead a procession to Wellington Arch, where the queen's coffin will be moved to a hearse for the drive to Windsor Castle.

Where will the queen be buried?

Queen Elizabeth will be buried at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was interred in the Royal Vault beneath the chapel following his death in 2021, and he will be moved and buried next to the queen in the King George VI Memorial Chapel. This chapel is also the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth's father, George VI; the Queen Mother; and the queen's younger sister, Princess Margaret.

A committal service will be led by the Dean of Windsor, with the royal family joined by current and former members of the queen's personal staff. The Archbishop of Canterbury will read a blessing, the queen's piper will play a lament, and the Crown Jeweller will remove the Imperial State Crown, orb, and scepter from the coffin, placing the priceless jewels on an altar before he returns them to the Tower of London. At the conclusion of the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury will give a blessing and the attendees will sing "God Save The King." The burial will be private, BBC News reports, with just close family members in attendance.

Did the queen have any say in her funeral service?

Yes, she did. Buckingham Palace aides told BBC News Queen Elizabeth was consulted on the arrangements, including the order of the service, and requested "a playing of a lament by her piper."

Which dignitaries and notable names will be attending the queen's funeral?

More than 2,000 people are expected to gather for the funeral. The official guest list hasn't been released, but several world leaders and royals have said they are attending, including President Joe Biden with first lady Dr. Jill Biden; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; French President Emmanuel Macron; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; Kenyan President William Ruto; Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako; King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium; King Felipe VI of Spain; and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

It won't just be household names at Westminster Abbey; BBC News reports that 200 people who were recognized at the Queen's Birthday Honors have also been invited to the funeral, including health care workers who were on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.

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