Funeral honours Queen’s lifelong sense of duty

The Queen’s “lifelong sense of duty” has been remembered at her state funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

The Dean of Westminster, who led the service, expressed gratitude to a congregation of 2,000 people including world leaders and royalty.

King Charles III led a sombre procession behind his mother’s coffin from Westminster Hall to the abbey.

A small committal ceremony, attended by about 800 guests, is now being held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Guns were fired and bells tolled to mark the Queen’s arrival in Windsor after it travelled there from London.

King Charles, Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Edward, as well as Princes William and Harry, walked behind the hearse in the final procession.

The Queen was buried with her husband of more than 70 years at a private family service yesterday evening.

Earlier, the Dean, the Very Rev.  David Hoyle, began the morning service at the Abbey by speaking of the Queen’s “unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth”.

“With admiration we recall her lifelong sense of duty and dedication to her people,” he said. The congregation sang The Lord’s My Shepherd – a hymn sung at the wedding of the Queen to the late Duke of Edinburgh, which was also held at the abbey.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, said the Queen “touched a multitude of lives” and – quoting singer Dame Vera Lynn – said “we will meet again” as he gave the sermon.

The phrase was used by the Queen in a rare address to the nation at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

The Archbishop said: “The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round, including the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.”

As the abbey service came towards its end, the Last Post was played – by the same musicians who performed it at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – before the nation came to a standstill for two minutes silence.

A piper then played a traditional lament, before the King stood silently as the national anthem was sang.

Among the personal touches was a handwritten message from the King, which was placed on top of the coffin in a wreath of flowers cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, High grove House and Clarence House at his request. It read: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.”

Before the service, the Queen’s coffin was conveyed – in the first of three processions throughout the day – from Westminster Hall where she had been lying in state since Wednesday. -BBC

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