Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II to be held September 19

The state funeral for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will take place a week from Monday at Westminster Abbey, and she will lie in state in Westminster Hall from Wednesday, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Britain’s longest-serving monarch died peacefully Thursday at her Scottish country estate in Balmoral.

Earlier Saturday, King Charles III gave the order for a public holiday across the United Kingdom for the day of the funeral.

The Queen currently rests in the ballroom at Balmoral Castle, where estate staff can pay their last respects, a senior palace official said. Her oak coffin has been draped with the Royal Standard for Scotland, and a wreath of flowers is laid on top.

Sunday morning, her coffin will embark on a six-hour journey to Edinburgh and the Palace of Holy Roodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.

On Monday, it will process to St Giles’s Cathedral for a service attended by the King and Queen Consort, and a congregation made up “from all areas of Scottish society,” the senior palace official said.

After the service, the coffin will rest there for 24 hours to allow the Scottish public to pay their respects. King Charles and members of the royal family will take part in the guard – or vigil – Monday evening.

Princess Anne will accompany her mother’s body the following day as it is flown back to London, and placed on trestles in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace overnight, the official said.

Wednesday will see an extraordinary silent procession take the coffin on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace over to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster, where the Queen will lie in state until the morning of the funeral.

In what is likely to be an incredibly poignant moment, members of the royal family will walk behind their beloved matriarch. During the procession, Big Ben will toll and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire minute guns at Hyde Park, the official added.

It will be placed on a raised platform – or catafalque – in the middle of the hall and guarded around the clock by officers from the Household Division, the King’s Bodyguard or the Royal Company of Archers.

On the morning of September 19, the coffin will travel in procession once more to Westminster Abbey for the funeral, the details of which will likely come in the following days. After the service, it will be taken again in procession to Wellington Arch, before traveling to Windsor where it will process up the Long Walk and to St. George’s Chapel for a committal service. -BBC

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