The Queen’s coffin has been seen in public for the last time before she is laid to rest beside her husband – with the nation bidding farewell to Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
Thousands of people lined the Long Walk leading to Windsor Castle and broke out in applause as the coffin was carried in a procession to the landmark.
A committal ceremony was held at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of the castle, where the Queen’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, with a private burial service taking place later this evening.
The Queen’s final resting place is in the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
The coffin of the Queen’s beloved husband, Prince Philip, has been moved from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join her.
In a touching gesture, the late monarch’s two faithful friends, her corgis Muick and Sandy, were part of the day and made an appearance outside St George’s Chapel.
Around 800 people, including senior royals and members of the Queen’s Household and Windsor estate staff, attended the committal service.
The King took the same seat where the Queen sat alone for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the final hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the orb and the sceptre were removed from the Queen’s coffin, and placed on the altar.
At the end of the final hymn, the King placed the Queen’s company camp colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.
The coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault as the dean of Windsor read a psalm. The Queen’s piper then played a lament as he walked away, in a symbolic gesture.
The Archbishop of Canterbury then concluded the service with a blessing before the congregation sang the national anthem.
Queen’s state funeral
Earlier, the King led members of the Royal Family in a procession to Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s state funeral, where world leaders were among the congregation at the hour-long service.
In a personal touch, the wreath adorning the Queen’s coffin had a handwritten note written by the King, which read: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.”
Following the funeral, the coffin was carried in a grand procession through London, passing Buckingham Palace, before it was driven to Windsor.
Hundreds of thousands of people have travelled to London and Windsor for the funeral and burial service, which are being watched on television by millions around the world.
Some 2,000 mourners – including heads of state, prime ministers, presidents, and members of European royal families – gathered for the funeral at the abbey, where the first guests took their seats hours before the service started.
‘We will meet again’
Delivering the sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury told mourners the “grief” felt around the world over the Queen’s death “arises from her abundant life and loving service”.
“She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives,” the Most Rev Justin Welby said.
“People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.
“Her late Majesty’s broadcast during the COVID lockdown ended with ‘We will meet again’, words of hope from a song of Vera Lynn.”
He added: “All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again’.”
Shortly after 10.35am, the coffin left Westminster Hall where the final members of the public queued overnight to see the Queen lying in state.
The Queen’s children walked behind the coffin, which was carried on a gun carriage in a military procession.
Inside Westminster Abbey, the King and the Queen Consort walked immediately behind the coffin, followed by the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the Prince and Princess of Wales.
George and Charlotte walk behind coffin
Prince George and Princess Charlotte accompanied their parents, followed by their uncle and aunt, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the Royal Family.
Before the service, the Princess of Wales could be seen holding Charlotte’s hand, and giving her a reassuring touch on the shoulder.
As the youngsters walked behind their great grandmother’s coffin, Charlotte held her hands clasped in front of her and George had his arms by his side.
The Dean of Windsor told the congregation: “Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer.”
The King was close to tears during the funeral, while the Countess of Wessex was seen dabbing her eyes.
The wreath on top of the coffin included flowers requested by King Charles and cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House.
State trumpeters from the Household Cavalry sounded the Last Post followed by a two-minute silence across the country, with the national anthem then sung by the congregation.
Crowds gather for historic procession
Crowds lining The Mall in London broke into spontaneous applause after the national anthem was played.
Tens of thousands of mourners lined the ceremonial procession route from the Abbey to Wellington Arch, where the Queen’s coffin left for Windsor Castle.
In a moving gesture, staff from Buckingham Palace stood outside the gates of the royal residence and watched as the late monarch was taken past.
Behind her coffin were the King and his siblings – the Princess Royal, Duke of York and Earl of Wessex – who were followed by the monarch’s three grandsons, Peter Phillips, Duke of Sussex and Prince of Wales.
Travelling behind in state limousines were the Princess of Wales and her children George and Charlotte, the Queen Consort, the Duchess of Sussex and the Countess of Wessex.
After the Queen’s coffin was transferred to the state hearse at Wellington Arch, flowers were thrown into the road by members of the public watching from behind a fence.
All public viewing areas for the funeral procession were full nearly two hours before the start of the service, London’s City Hall said.
The Queen died on Thursday 8 September at the age of 96, bringing an end to her 70-year reign and triggering a period of national mourning.