In the U.K., the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 at the age of 96, is held.
On Monday, September 19, 10 days of national mourning end, and the whole day is dedicated to the funeral of the deceased head of the United Kingdom. The events start in London and end in Windsor, where Elizabeth II is laid to rest. How is the funeral conducted and who was invited?
The schedule of the funeral of Elizabeth II
Monday is a day off for most British people so that they can watch the live broadcast of all the events from early morning till 7:30 PM (9:30 PM Kyiv time).
The first part of the official ceremony with guests began at 11:00 AM (1:00 PM Kyiv time)in Westminster Abbey, writes Time. This is the first funeral of a British monarch where cameras were allowed at all events.
Elizabeth II funeral ceremony: live broadcast [video]
The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines played at the ceremony in Westminster Abbey, and Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines lined the streets as the queen was making her final journey to Windsor Castle.
At the service, readings and prayers were given by political and religious leaders, including the newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The head of the British government paid her last respects to Queen Elizabeth II, who appointed her as Prime Minister just before her death.
The funeral service at Westminster Abbey ended at 11:55 AM (1:55 Kyiv time) with two minutes of silence for Queen Elizabeth II and the performance of the national anthem "God Save the King" — for the first time after 70 years of "God Save the Queen".
The carriage with the coffin then moved through the streets of London, accompanied by Big Ben’s continuous toll, while members of the royal family, including King Charles III and heir to the throne Prince William, followed Elizabeth’s carriage in cars.
The last moments of the funeral service for Elizabeth II will be carried out in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the queen is to be buried.
Who attends and who was invited to the funeral of Elizabeth II
Planning a state funeral of this magnitude was a logistical nightmare that British officials likened to "arranging 100 state visits all in one go". Westminster Abbey was prepared to accommodate more than 2,000 guests who came to pay respect to Queen Elizabeth II in person.
Although the full attendance list wasn’t disclosed, the following political leaders are known to have attended the ceremony:
- U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden;
- President of France Emmanuel Macron;
- Indian President Droupadi Murmu;
- Vice President of China Wang Qishan;
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand;
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada;
- Turkish President Recep Erdoğan;
- President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe;
- President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen;
- South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol;
- President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil;
- President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa;
- Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia.
Ukraine was represented at the Westminster Abbey ceremony by First Lady Olena Zelenska, while nobody was invited from the terrorist country Russia, as well as from Belarus, from which an assault on Ukraine was carried out and Russian missiles have been launched.
No invitation was also sent to the self-proclaimed leaders of Myanmar who seized power in a coup.
Among the members of the royal family, King Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla, Charles’ two brothers, Andrew and Edward, and his sister Princess Anne were in attendance.
Eight of Elizabeth's grandchildren also attended her funeral, including Prince William with his wife Catherine and Prince Harry with his wife Meghan Markle.
Many other relatives to the royal family also came from Europe, including Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Denmark’s Queen Margarethe II and King Harald V, and Queen Sonja of Norway.
Among well-known aristocrats, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Malaysia’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk were in attendance.
Where the kings of Great Britain are laid to rest
Many kings and queens of Great Britain were laid to rest at Westminster Abbey, including:
- Edward the Confessor
- Henry III
- Edward I
- Edward III
- Richard II
- Henry V
- Edward V
- Henry VII
- Edward VI
- Mary I
- Elizabeth I
- James I
- Charles II
- Mary II
- William III
- George II
Queen Elizabeth II will be buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the place where the following monarchs were also buried:
- Edward IV
- Henry VI
- Henry VIII
- Charles I
- George III
- George IV
- William IV
- Edward VII
- George V
- George VI
Some British monarchs were buried separately, like Queen Victoria, who was laid to rest in the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, built for her and her husband Albert.
Elizabeth II will also be interred not in the main royal vault but in an annex known as the King George VI Memorial Chapel. This chapel was built at her commission in 1969 as a burial place for her father.
The Queen will be buried there alongside her father George VI, her mother Elizabeth, sister Margaret, and husband Philip — Prince’s coffin will be moved from the Royal Vault where it has been stored since his death in 2021.