Operation London Bridge and the Scottish contingency plan, Operation Unicorn, pretty much spell out a rigorous ten-day mourning and commemoration process for Queen Elizabeth II. I was looking through our previous coverage of Operation London Bridge and doing the math, and I truly thought that QEII’s state funeral would be on Saturday, September 17th. I forgot the cardinal rule of the UK: business can never be conducted on weekends. So QEII’s state funeral will be held on Monday, September 19th. Here are the detailed plans, including when her body is moved from Balmoral to Edinburgh, then to Buckingham Palace and then to Westminster Hall, then to the Abbey.
Funeral arrangements for Queen Elizabeth have been unveiled. On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced that the late monarch will be honored with a state funeral on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey in Central London. It will be the first time a monarch’s funeral has been held at Westminster Abbey since the 18th century. The funeral will be followed by a committal at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor— where the Queen’s parents, sister Princess Margaret and beloved husband Prince Philip are laid to rest.
The Queen’s coffin is currently lying at rest in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, where family members and royal household staff have been paying their respects and quietly remembering the late Queen.
On Sunday, a group of loyal gamekeepers — “people who have known Her Majesty, it’s a personal connection,” a royal spokesperson says — will carry her coffin from the Ballroom out of the castle, to start its journey south to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.
The drive, in a hearse, is estimated to take around six hours, royal officials said on Saturday. Once in Edinburgh, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Holyroodhouse — where it’s set to arrive at about 4:00 p.m. local time, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshall announced.
On Monday, it will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse at 2.35 p.m. in procession to St Giles’s Cathedral. The Queen’s coffin will lie at rest at St. Giles’s Cathedral until Tuesday, Sept. 13, when it will be flown to London, arriving at 8: 00 p.m.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 2:22 p.m. the Queen’s coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for lying-in-state, which will end on the morning of the state funeral.
On the morning of the funeral, the coffin will begin its journey to Westminster Abbey — in a procession from the Palace of Westminster beginning at 10.44 am local time.
The Queen’s funeral will follow a week of ceremonial activities that will see King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla tour the United Kingdom.
Yes, King Charles III has to spend the next week on a tour of the UK. It’s like a Grief Tour, but it’s also about the new sovereign greeting his new subjects. I kind of feel like the grief tour should wait until after the funeral, but whatever, obviously I’m not in charge of anything, and these are the plans. As for how involved it is with the moving of the body and lying in state, it’s all very somber. I would imagine all of it will be done with a lot of dignity and gothic pomp. That’s something the Brits do well – state funerals, dignified grief on display. The vibe is so different from Princess Diana’s funeral.
Should I officially retire the stabbing-the-cake photos? They’re some of my favorites of her. This is how I’ll remember her – a woman who stabbed cakes and had beef with a Scottish pony.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Buckingham Palace, Instar.
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