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Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Highlights from the ceremony

Billions around the world watched Monday as Britain held a state funeral for its longest-reigning monarch.

LONDON — Hundreds of world leaders and the last members of the epically long line of mourners have paid their final respects. Britain is now ready to lay to rest its longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, with billions thought to be watching around the globe to mark the end of a reign that defined an era.

After escorting the queen’s coffin to Westminster Abbey, the royal family joined 2,000 dignitaries at the state funeral for an hourlong service of tributes and prayer that culminated in a two-minute silence and the singing of the national anthem.

King Charles III and his siblings, as well as the queen’s grandsons Princes William and Harry, then joined the solemn procession behind her casket and through the heart of the British capital, with huge crowds lining the streets.

Elizabeth has now completed her final journey to Windsor, where a committal service attended by the royal family and other selected guests took place. She will be buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip.

Here’s what to know today:

  • A line that stretched for miles along London's River Thames has ended after the final public mourners paid their last respects to the queen early Monday.
  • A gun carriage carried the queen’s coffin from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, with King Charles III and other members of the royal family following behind.
  • The grand state funeral featured tributes, prayers and songs, with hundreds of world leaders and other dignitaries in attendance.
  • A royal procession escorted the casket through a central London route lined by crowds in a country that has come to a near-standstill for the event.
  • The queen's coffin has been lowered into the royal vault at Windsor Castle, where the royal family held a committal service before she is laid to rest alongside her husband, Prince Philip.

Follow here for more coverage.

438d ago / 5:52 PM UTC
438d ago / 5:45 PM UTC

Charles sat in same seat as queen for Prince Philip's funeral

King Charles III sat in the same seat for the queen's committal service as his mother had done during Prince Philip's funeral at St. George’s Chapel.

Prince William also followed in the footsteps of his father and sat in the same seat Charles had sat in for the April 2021 funeral.

438d ago / 5:32 PM UTC

Buckingham Palace shares video of queen's piper playing lament

The official Twitter account for the royal family shared moving video of the queen's piper playing a lament as the late monarch's committal service came to a close today at St. George's Chapel.

438d ago / 4:58 PM UTC

'Goodbye, Ma'am': British Armed Forces pay final respects

The British armed forces paid their final respects to their commander in chief, Queen Elizabeth II, today as they played a central role in her funeral procession.

"Goodbye, Ma’am," Britain's Defense Ministry tweeted as it looked back at military members' roles throughout the procession.

438d ago / 4:35 PM UTC

Cleanup operation begins in central London

The cleanup operation has begun in central London after thousands of people flocked to the British capital for the queen's lying-in-state and funeral.

Street cleaning vehicles have been dressed in black ribbons, and workers wearing black bows swept into action to clean up the garbage.

And in Southwark, officials said they had completed a full inspection of the line’s route through the borough and cleared any litter.

438d ago / 4:29 PM UTC

Mourners who made trip to Windsor face long journey home

Mourners who made the trip to Windsor to say a final goodbye to the queen are facing a long journey home.

A sign held by a train worker at Windsor and Eton Central warned of a 1½-hour wait just to board a train.

The town’s open pubs, however, were doing a roaring trade. 

Patrick Smith / NBC News

438d ago / 4:24 PM UTC

438d ago / 4:02 PM UTC

Funeral marks last day of official mourning period

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled for more than 70 years, plunged the United Kingdom into mourning and 10 days of solemn ceremony.

Today's funeral marks the last day in the official mourning period, which included a number of carefully orchestrated and detailed ceremonies, gun salutes, bells pealing across the land and millions gathering to pay tribute in a spectacle few alive have witnessed before.

Code-named London Bridge, the plan for the queen's death has been years in the making. In an otherwise uncertain few weeks for the nation, the details have been meticulously stage-managed, from the succession to a new king to a period of national mourning, the queen’s funeral and the eventual coronation of her eldest son, King Charles III, 73, according to briefings with Buckingham Palace officials.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 4:01 PM UTC

The life and legacy of Britain’s longest-serving monarch

LONDON — She was born a royal but with little hope of wearing the crown. Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, known by her family as Lilibet, was born April 21, 1926 — third in line to the throne after her uncle and her father. But a scandalous royal love affair changed the course of Lilibet’s life and paved the way for her to become the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch and arguably the most famous woman in the world.

Elizabeth’s reign lasted from the industrial age to the internet age — 70 years of endurance and stoicism in which she met generations of legendary, mostly male, global leaders and helped steer Britain through the loss of its empire and its emergence as a midsized multicultural nation.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Crowds mourn the late queen across Britain's capital

Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News

From pubs to parks, people gathered in masses across London today to watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

438d ago / 3:57 PM UTC

Archbishop of Canterbury reads blessing: 'Go forth into the world in peace'

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivered a final blessing as the service at St. George's Chapel neared its end.

"Go forth into the world in peace; Be of good courage, hold fast that which is good, render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help the afflicted, honor all people, love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always. Amen."

438d ago / 3:57 PM UTC

Queen's coffin lowered into royal vault at St. George’s Chapel

The queen's coffin was being lowered into the royal vault and out of the public eye as part of the committal service at St. George’s Chapel, wrapping the public portion of the funeral.

The queen will be buried next to her husband, Prince Philip, at King George VI Memorial Chapel.

The royal family will hold a private burial service later today.

438d ago / 3:46 PM UTC

What is the breaking of the wand?

One of the final acts of the queen's committal service has just unfolded — the breaking of the wand of office by Lord Chamberlain, and the placement of it atop the queen's coffin.

The wand of office is a thin white staff, which was traditionally used by the Lord Chamberlain to intimidate rowdy courtiers who would be prodded with it with a warning to behave.

Image: King Charles II, left, watches as The Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker breaks his Wand of Office, marking the end of his service to the sovereign, during a committal service for Queen Elizabeth II at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, on Sept. 19, 2022.
King Charles II, left, watches as The Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker breaks his Wand of Office during a committal service for Queen Elizabeth II at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.Joe Giddens / Pool via AP

The snapping of the wand symbolizes that the Lord Chamberlain has completed his final duty in post; the overseeing of the monarch's funeral.

The position of the Lord Chamberlain — who acts as the head of the royal household, an adviser to the sovereign, and an intermediary between the monarch and the House of Lords, a chamber of the U.K.'s Parliament — has been held by Andrew Parker, the Baron of Minsmere, since April. A former chief of MI5, Parker was awarded a knighthood in 2019 and is a member of the Privy Council, a group of the closest advisers to the monarch.

438d ago / 3:43 PM UTC

Royal Imperial Crown, sovereign's orb and scepter removed

Since lying in state, Queen Elizabeth II's coffin has been draped in the Royal Standard flag, and adorned with the instruments of the state: the Royal Imperial Crown, the sovereign’s orb and the scepter.

These objects have now been removed from her coffin and placed on an altar, as the royal family members prepare to say their final farewells to the late monarch before she is laid to rest.

438d ago / 3:42 PM UTC

The Kohinoor diamond, part of the crown jewels, was obtained by the empire. Some argue it should be returned

After the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, online users are calling for the British government to surrender artifacts obtained by the British Empire, including the Kohinoor diamond — one of the most famous diamonds in the world.

The Kohinoor, which means “Mountain of Light,” was originally about 186 carats, and while its exact origins are unknown, it was most likely discovered in South India in the 13th century, and is part of the British crown jewels.  

Lord Dalhousie, a Scottish statesman and governor-general of India, coerced Singh into “gifting” the diamond to Queen Victoria, Dalhousie wrote in a letter in August 1849 to his friend Sir George Couper. 

“He had visions of it becoming the centerpiece of the British imperial crown and had visions of himself becoming famous for facilitating the crown’s appropriation of the stone,” said Danielle Kinsey, an assistant professor of history with a focus on the history of 19th century Britain and empire at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, who spoke of the less glittering aspects of the jewel's past.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 3:33 PM UTC

438d ago / 3:32 PM UTC

Dean of Windsor opens the service at St. George's Chapel

The Right Rev. David Connor, Dean of Windsor, opened the service for the committal of Queen Elizabeth II.

"We have come together to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant Queen Elizabeth," he said. "Here, in St. George’s Chapel, where she so often worshipped, we are bound to call to mind someone whose uncomplicated, yet profound, Christian faith bore so much fruit."

"Fruit, in a life of unstinting service to the nation, the Commonwealth and the wider world, but also (and especially to be remembered in this place) in kindness, concern and reassuring care for her family and friends and neighbors," he said.

"In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope."

438d ago / 3:28 PM UTC

Huge police operation continues in Windsor

The huge police operation in Windsor continued even after the queen’s coffin had been received at Windsor, with security guards and police ushering tens of thousands of people toward train stations in scenes only usually seen at music festivals or big sports events.

Groups of teenagers, families with three generations, married couples, work friends — all were among the throngs who came to say their farewells.

Many had traveled far and waited a long time to witness an event that took just minutes to play out. As with the line to see the late monarch’s coffin in Westminster Hall, the sheer numbers reflect the public's need to participate in such a great moment of national change. 

438d ago / 3:26 PM UTC

Echoes of Prince Philip's funeral as royal family gathers again at St. George’s Chapel

As the royal family gathers once again at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, the moment is reminiscent of Prince Philip's funeral just over a year ago.

Queen Elizabeth II took her seat alone in the chapel during Philip's funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021, which unfolded in the midst of the Covid pandemic.

Now, her loved ones have come together again today to pay their final respects to the late monarch herself as she is finally laid to rest, with Philip to be moved from the royal vault so he can lie alongside her.

Image: Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat alone in St. George's Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, on April 17, 2021.
Yui Mok / Pool via AP file
438d ago / 3:16 PM UTC

438d ago / 3:14 PM UTC

What will happen during the committal service?

The queen's coffin will be lowered into the royal vault at St George’s Chapel, during the so-called committal service, which will feel much more private than the earlier funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

The order of service, which will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, has been discussed with the late queen over a number of years.

Much of the music that will be played at the service has been composed by Sir William Harris, who served as the organist at the chapel between 1933 and 1961, for much of the queen’s childhood.

Prior to the final hymn, the imperial state crown, the orb and the scepter will be removed from the queen's coffin by the crown jeweler and will be passed to the dean, who will place them on the altar.

At the end of the final hymn, King Charles III will place the queen’s company camp color of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin.

At the same time, the Lord Chamberlain, the senior officer of the royal household, will “break” his wand and place it on the coffin to create symmetry with the three instruments of state that have been removed.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the blessing which will be followed by the singing of the national anthem.

The queen is to be buried with her late husband Prince Philip in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in a later private burial service.

438d ago / 3:12 PM UTC

Thousands of mourners line the Long Walk at Windsor Castle

The ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II travels down the Long Walk as it arrives at Windsor Castle for the committal service at St. George's Chapel on Monday. Aaron Chown / AP
438d ago / 3:12 PM UTC

Queen's coffin enters St. George's Chapel

After a day filled with pageantry and highly-choreographed ceremonies, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II has entered the St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the committal service, the order of which was discussed with the late monarch over a number of years.

Elizabeth's casket received a final salute before it was carried into the chapel, as King Charles III and other members of the royal family watched.

Image: The Committal Service For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Pall bearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top into St. George's Chapel.Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

The committal service will be attended by members of her Windsor Castle household, past and present, including personal staff who work or who have worked on the private estates.

The majority of those attending at St. George’s Chapel will not have gone to the earlier service at Westminster Abbey. Royal family members who did not walk in the procession will also join in.

438d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

Crowd gripped as hearse makes its way to Windsor Castle

WINDSOR, England — The crowd’s murmurs dropped to almost a whisper as the procession passed them. All seemed gripped as they witnessed the historic moment — essentially a medieval tradition, unchanged by the ages.

“There’s the queen,” one boy cried, apparently unable to believe that the hearse had arrived on the Long Walk, the tree-lined promenade in front of Windsor Castle.

As the procession inched its way uphill, the crowd was quiet and respectful, the silence punctured by the booms of cannon fire. A sea of camera phones were held aloft and dozens of young children on their parents’ shoulders obscured the view for many, but the importance of the moment was lost on no one.

This was the moment some had traveled across the world to see. Others had camped out, all had stood for hours to see a national icon and international figurehead make her final journey. 

438d ago / 3:03 PM UTC

Staff at British Embassy in the U.S. 'in tears' watching queen's funeral, ambassador says

The staff at the British Embassy in the United States was "very emotional" during the TV broadcast of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral Monday, the British ambassador to the U.S. said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"Everybody watched in silence; obviously we stood for the national anthem, some people were in tears, some people came in military uniform, other people wore their medals," Karen Pierce said.

Pierce recalled that the late British monarch, who visited America several times, thought highly of the U.S. and ordered that "The Star-Spangled Banner" play at Buckingham Palace after the 9/11 terror attacks.

438d ago / 2:58 PM UTC

Queen's coffin reaches Windsor Castle

Queen Elizabeth's coffin has arrived at Windsor Castle, a fortress that she once used as a private home and an official royal residence, and where she undertook certain formal duties.

A sea of people could be seen lining the Long Walk, which leads to the castle, as the hearse carrying the queen's casket arrived, accompanied by uniformed soldiers.

Image: The Royal Family stand by as Grenadier Guards escort the coffin as the Procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, aboard the State Hearse, travels inside Windsor Castle on Sept. 19, 2022, ahead of the Committal Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
The Royal Family stand by as Grenadier Guards escort the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II inside Windsor Castle.Glyn Kirk / AFP - Getty Images

King Charles III and other members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry, walked in step as the coffin arrived.

The castle has been a royal home and fortress for more than 900 years and is known as the largest occupied castle in the world.

438d ago / 2:51 PM UTC

438d ago / 2:47 PM UTC

Leader of U.K.'s opposition Labour Party praises the queen

Keir Starmer, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, has praised Queen Elizabeth II in a tweet, saying “We’re lucky to call ourselves Elizabethans.”

438d ago / 2:44 PM UTC

Prince Andrew checks in on queen's corgis at Windsor Castle

Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, stands with the queen's corgis, Muick and Sandy, inside Windsor Castle on Monday. Glyn Kirk / AFP Pool via Getty Images
438d ago / 2:43 PM UTC

Why was 'Killing Eve' star Sandra Oh at the queen's funeral?

Eagle-eyed viewers around the world spotted a familiar face at the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II: Emmy-nominated “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh.

Oh, dressed in black and wearing a large brooch, entered Westminster Abbey as part of a delegation from Canada. The actor was born in Ontario to immigrants from South Korea.

Earlier this year, the 51-year-old performer was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country’s second-highest civilian merit honor. She was recognized for “her artistic career filled with memorable stage, television and film roles in Canada and abroad.”

Oh is best known for her roles on “Killing Eve” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

438d ago / 2:32 PM UTC

London mayor thanks people for attending funeral and the organizers

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has thanked those who came to the British capital for the queen's funeral, as well as those involved in organizing it.

438d ago / 2:31 PM UTC

The queen was not a gentle figurehead for many in Britain’s former colonies

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Just hours after the world learned that Queen Elizabeth II was dead, Twitter feeds across India exploded with angry demands for the repatriation of a precious diamond called the Kohinoor, which has become a symbol of Britain’s often bloody history of colonial conquest and rule.

The British government has denied stealing the Kohinoor diamond and has repeatedly refused to return it to India. And to millions across the Indian subcontinent, the diamond — one of the most famous in the world — has become a symbol of a colonial past.

The demands reflected anger over the history of colonization amid the outpouring of sympathy that followed Elizabeth’s death. Among many residents of former British colonies, such as India and Kenya, the reaction to her death ranged from benign interest to anger and disdain.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 2:29 PM UTC

Princess Charlotte's brooch was gift from the queen


A horseshoe brooch worn by young Princess Charlotte was a gift from the queen, Kensington Palace has said.

Charlotte was pictured wearing the brooch following her late grandmother's funeral service.

Princess Charlotte wears a brooch gifted by her late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, after the monarch's funeral service at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday. Hannah Mckay / AP

The queen's love of horses has long been well-known.

Elizabeth was given her first pony by her grandfather King George V, according to the royal family's website. The Shetland, called Peggy, marked the beginning of her love of horses.

438d ago / 2:23 PM UTC

Hearse carrying queen's coffin covered in flowers as it arrives in Windsor

The hearse carrying the queen's coffin could be seen entering the Long Walk to Windsor Castle.

Image: The Procession following the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, aboard the State Hearse, arrives at The Long Walk in Windsor on Sept. 19, 2022, to make its final journey to Windsor Castle after the State Funeral Service of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
The Procession following the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at The Long Walk in Windsor. Carlos Jasso / Pool via AFP - Getty Images

The hearse appeared to be adorned with flowers thrown by mourners who have lined streets from London to Windsor to pay their respects as the queen's coffin passed by.

438d ago / 2:18 PM UTC

Royal Standard raised above Windsor Castle as crowds warned Long Walk at capacity

The Royal Standard has been raised above Windsor Castle, signifying that King Charles II has arrived at the royal residence ahead of the committal service for his mother.

But as thousands of people tried to pay their respects on the famous Long Walk leading up the castle, the local council said in a tweet that it had “closed as it would not be safe to allow access to any more visitors.”

“If you are just arriving now, you will be redirected to Home Park Public viewing screen,” it said.

438d ago / 2:17 PM UTC

Queen's coffin arrives in Windsor

After a funeral service at Westminster Abbey and a somber procession through the country's capital, the queen's coffin has finally arrived in Windsor, where thousands of people have gathered to greet the queen on her last journey.

The late monarch will be buried at St. George’s Chapel, a part of Windsor Castle, after a public committal service and a private burial service later in the day.

The queen's coffin will move in a procession to the chapel, which will, once again, be joined by some members of royal family, led by King Charles III.

438d ago / 2:06 PM UTC

Ukraine's first lady says it was a 'great honor' to attend the funeral

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska said on Twitter that it was a “great honor” for her to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

438d ago / 2:04 PM UTC

How films and television helped define the queen in public consciousness

In the 21st century, anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection does not lack for information about celebrities. The era of TikTok and TMZ has broken down barriers, making public figures feel nearer to us, reduced to human scale.

The late Queen Elizabeth II was a notable exception. 

In her decades on the throne, cultural mores evolved dramatically, but the queen remained much the same despite being one of the most famous people in the world: reserved, withdrawn, poker-faced and, to most, fundamentally unknowable.

That never stopped screenwriters, filmmakers and other creative personalities from attempting to get inside the queen’s head.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 2:03 PM UTC

Sea of people line Long Walk in Windsor as they await late queen's arrival

Soldiers and police officers lined the entire length of the Long Walk as they awaited the queen’s coffin, with a sea of people on either side.

Patiently watching the hearse’s progress on big screens, mourners grew quieter as the tension built.

Some were feeling the effects of a long wait. James Camplin, 46, a property manager from nearby Maidenhead, arrived at the Long Walk at 11 p.m. Sunday and was on Monday afternoon resting his head on the police barrier.

“For me this was more feasible than going to London,” he said. “The queen is a mythical figure. So many childhood memories, it sounds cheesy but it’s my whole life. She was consistent.”

438d ago / 1:52 PM UTC

Queen Elizabeth to be buried at Windsor Castle

Like her mother and father before her, Queen Elizabeth II will be buried at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the preferred English residence of the late queen.

Built by William the Conquerer in 1070, the castle has been inhabited by successive monarchs for over 1,000 years. Today's castle is largely a reconstruction based on the medieval designs, and underwent extensive renovation work during the Georgian and Victorian periods to give it a more gothic and imposing appearance, according to the Royal Collection Trust.

Although the castle survived World War II unscathed, it suffered extensive damage from a fire in 1992 which destroyed 20% of the castle area, according to the Royal Palaces.

Five monarchs are buried in St. George's Chapel, including Henry VIII and his favorite wife, Jane Seymour. After Elizabeth II's burial, Prince Philip, whose body was laid to rest in the royal vaults adjoining the chapel, will be reinterred and buried beside her.

438d ago / 1:49 PM UTC

The order of service for the queen's committal service

The queen's hearse is approaching Windsor, where her committal service will take place at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The service will begin around 4 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET).

Read the order of service here:

438d ago / 1:44 PM UTC

Anticipation grows in Windsor

As with recent events in London, people from around the world have gathered to pay their respects in Windsor.

Rosa Canonicato, 48, a National Health Service nurse originally from the Philippines and now living near Windsor, had come along to say goodbye to the former monarch.

“It’s just to pay our final respects and be here for this historic event,” she said, adding that the queen was very popular in the Philippines, a Commonwealth country.

“It’s better than watching it on TV. And now it’s nice weather,” she said.

438d ago / 1:39 PM UTC

Obama pays tribute to the queen

Former President Barack Obama has paid tribute to the queen in a new video posted to his Twitter feed during the funeral events.

"She reminded me very much of my grandmother, which surprised me, not just in appearance but also in manner," Obama said. "Very gracious but also a no-nonsense, wry sense of humor. She could not have been more kind or thoughtful to me and Michelle."

He said Buckingham Palace had reached out when Michelle returned to London with their daughters, Malia and Sasha. He added that the queen had invited them to tea and the girls had been able to drive around the palace's garden in a golden carriage.

438d ago / 1:34 PM UTC

Royal expert on the significance of the queen’s coffin design

438d ago / 1:32 PM UTC

Queen Elizabeth II leaves London for the last time

The late Queen Elizabeth II has left London, the city where she was born, for the last time as the hearse carrying her casket departed Britain's capital and headed to Windsor.

Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, and her official residence was Buckingham Palace, but she enjoyed escaping to Windsor and further north to Balmoral in Scotland, where she died.

438d ago / 1:31 PM UTC

Flight changes to respect queen's funeral procession

As the queen's hearse travels to Windsor and driving by London's Heathrow Airport, there will be minimal noise from the usually roaring skies above after flight changes were announced earlier this week.

"As a mark of respect, operations to and from the airport will be subject to appropriate changes in order to avoid noise disturbance at certain locations at specific times on Monday," a statement from the airport said.

In order to observe these moments Monday, airlines will need to adjust their schedules accordingly, which will mean some changes to flights, the statement also said.

One of the country's biggest airlines, British Airways, also announced earlier this week that it had reduced its schedule and rescheduled some flights at Heathrow to ensure the skies are quiet at certain moments Monday.

438d ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Biden leaves the U.K. after funeral service

President Joe Biden has left the U.K. after a brief trip to attend the queen's funeral.

The president and the first lady visited Westminster Hall on Sunday to pay their respects to the queen as she lay in state. They also signed the official book of condolences.

The Bidens attended the funeral service at Westminster Abbey early Monday, before heading to Stansted Airport to board Air Force One shortly after 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET)

438d ago / 1:17 PM UTC

Watch the key moments from this morning's funeral service

438d ago / 1:10 PM UTC

Crowds grow in Windsor as queen makes final journey from London

Vast crowds lined both sides of the Long Walk in Windsor after the queen’s funeral service, with growing numbers arriving to catch a glimpse of the procession when it arrives just after 3 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).

The somber atmosphere was punctured by the laughter of new friends and the squeals of children playing in a clearing just off the ancient sloping path.

The Committal Service For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Alex Pantling / Getty Images

“I did the lying-in-state as well,“ said Colin Hickey, 53, from nearby Farnborough in Hampshire, dressed smartly in a gray suit with a black tie and a black armband.

“If a statistician worked out how much time people had given back to that and this, it would be worth billions."

438d ago / 1:08 PM UTC

Watch choir sing ‘God Save the King’ at queen’s funeral

438d ago / 12:56 PM UTC

'God save the queen' and applause as hearse winds through London

Mourners lining the route of the hearse carrying the queen's coffin as it makes its way to Windsor, the monarch's last resting place, were heard breaking into applause, cheering and shouting: "God save the queen."

The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
David Ramos / Getty Images
438d ago / 12:55 PM UTC

Tears and tributes in London's Hyde Park

Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral London
Susannah Ireland for NBC News

Crowds gathered around a large television screen to watch Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession from Hyde Park in central London on Monday.

438d ago / 12:54 PM UTC

The historical significance of Wellington Arch

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession passed Wellington Arch, the landmark at Hyde Park Corner in central London.

The arch was originally constructed in the 1820s as the entrance to Buckingham Palace. Six decades later, the arch was moved to its current location, where it commemorates the Duke of Wellington's defeat of Napoleon in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.

"It's a beautiful focal point near Buckingham Palace," British historian Andrew Roberts told NBC's Hoda Kotb during live coverage of the funeral procession.

438d ago / 12:38 PM UTC

Queen's coffin departs Wellington Arch as crowd cheers

After being loaded into a hearse, the queen’s coffin has departed Wellington Arch following a royal salute and the playing of the national anthem.

Crowds clapped and cheered as the hearse drove past. It’s now headed to its final destination in Windsor, a town about 30 miles southwest of London where the queen will be buried.

King Charles III and the queen consort, along with the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the royal family are departing for Windsor by car, followed by those who are to take part in the procession in Windsor. The king, along with his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and his siblings, walked behind the coffin along a procession route in central London for nearly 1.5 hours.

After the coffin and members of the royal family leave, the bells at Westminster Abbey will ring fully muffled throughout the afternoon.

438d ago / 12:34 PM UTC

Archbishop of Canterbury says it was 'an honor of a lifetime' to preach at queen's funeral

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby shared a tweet expressing his mixed emotions after preaching at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral Monday.

438d ago / 12:29 PM UTC

438d ago / 12:26 PM UTC

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried down the Mall

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Mounties of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police along the Mall.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Horse Guards Parade after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II along the Mall. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
The queen's funeral cortege borne on the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy travels along the Mall.Zac Goodwin / Pool Photo via AP

438d ago / 12:25 PM UTC

Queen's coffin arrives at Wellington Arch en route to Windsor

After an hourlong procession from Westminster Abbey, where the funeral service was held, the queen's coffin has arrived at Wellington Arch.

The procession took the coffin through a route lined by mourners in central London, including the late queen's official residence — Buckingham Palace.

It will now be transferred onto a hearse for the rest of its journey to Windsor Castle, the queen's final resting place.

438d ago / 12:21 PM UTC

Elizabeth passes Buckingham Palace for the last time

The queen's coffin was carried past Buckingham Palace during the procession to Wellington Arch.

It will be the last time the late queen will pass the palace, where she spent much of her life.

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of British sovereigns since 1837 and today, serves as the administrative headquarters of the U.K.'s monarch.

438d ago / 12:19 PM UTC

In the U.S., the queen’s funeral procession is a wall-to-wall TV event

The three major American broadcast networks and many of the top cable news channels have interrupted regular programming to air live coverage of the queen’s funeral and subsequent procession, underscoring the once-in-a-generation nature of the moment.

ABC, CBS and NBC are all airing special reports dedicated to the morning’s events. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have done the same, with anchors and commentators on hand to provide real-time analysis.

438d ago / 12:16 PM UTC

Europe's longest-serving monarch faces its newest

Sitting across from King Charles III at Westminster Abbey, Europe's longest-serving monarch faced its newest.

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II became the first female Danish sovereign in 1972 and is marking her 50th year on the throne.

She changed her celebration plans last weekend after Queen Elizabeth II's death.

438d ago / 12:15 PM UTC

Member of Metropolitan Police carried away on stretcher ahead of funeral

A member of the Metropolitan Police could be seen being carried away on a stretcher by two members of the Royal Navy ahead of the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.

It was not immediately clear what occurred in the lead-up to the moment.

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Christopher Furlong / Getty Images
438d ago / 12:08 PM UTC

Mourners grieve at Holyrood Park in Scotland

Image: The Nation Mourns The Death Of Queen Elizabeth II On The Day Of Her Funeral
Members of the public watch Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral on a TV screen in Holyrood Park Monday in Edinburgh, Scotland. Euan Cherry / Getty Images
438d ago / 12:06 PM UTC

Queen's coffin passes memorials for her parents

The funeral procession along the Mall passed statues that Queen Elizabeth II unveiled to honor her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The bronze memorial of her father was inaugurated in 1955, two years after her coronation.

Another bronze nearby was put up in 2009 to honor her mother who died at age 101 in 2002.

438d ago / 12:05 PM UTC

Charles' realm is set to shrink

LONDON — The prime minister of the Bahamas had just signed the condolence book for Queen Elizabeth II when he made an announcement that would not have been music to the dead monarch’s ears.

Prime Minister Phillip Davis said he intended to hold a referendum to remove Elizabeth’s son and successor, King Charles III, as the official head of state in the Bahamas and turn his country, which has been politically independent since 1973, into a republic.

The Bahamas is a member of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 56 independent countries, most of them former British colonies. It is a union the late queen dedicated much of her reign to preserving. Prior to her death, she was the official head of state of 14 of those countries.

But in recent years, former British colonies, especially those where Black residents were enslaved by colonial masters, have been demanding accountability from the royal family, which became fabulously rich on the backs of slaves. The Bahamas is not the only nation where the removal of a royal head of state has been proposed; Barbados removed the queen as head of state in 2020, and in nations such as Canada and Australia, public appetite for a British royal as head of state has also long been waning.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 12:01 PM UTC

Buckingham Palace household staff pay respects to queen

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Buckingham Palace household staff pay their respects during the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday in London.Carl Court / Getty Images
438d ago / 12:01 PM UTC

Why weapons in procession are held in reverse

Officers in the armed forces in the queen's procession could be seen holding their weapons in reverse as they escorted the late monarch's coffin through London.

The tradition of reverse arms in Commonwealth nations is a sign of respect or mourning.

438d ago / 11:58 AM UTC

At 73, how will King Charles face the strain of being monarch?

At 73, King Charles III is starting his dream job at an age most men are long retired and relaxing in a comfortable chair — not sitting on a throne.

But the new king has something many of his British subjects don’t have — namely the remarkable genes he inherited from his parents, gerontologists say.

King Charles has long-living genes,” said Dr. June McKoy, a professor of medicine in geriatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Both parents lived a long time. That’s because they have long telomeres, protective caps at the end of a chromosome. Charles could live into his 90s, and the monarchs generally work until they die.”

Both President Joe Biden, 79, and former President Donald Trump, 76, are older than Charles, too.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 11:52 AM UTC

Stamps, seals and cereal boxes: What changes now that Charles is king?

Her name, initials and image are woven into the fabric of daily British life — on money, stamps and even cereal boxes.

But her portrait, insignia or initials that have formed the backdrop of daily life in the United Kingdom for the past seven decades will now be phased out and replaced by those of her oldest son, King Charles III.

British money, mailboxes, stamps and even consumer goods such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, which previously bore the Royal Warrant of Appointment on British bottles, will all have to be updated to bear Charles' insignia or face.

Those changes will likely be disconcerting for some, even if they had never met the queen in person, said Michala Hulme, a history professor at the University of Birmingham. “Her death takes away that constant, reassuring notion that she’s always there,” Hulme said in an interview before the queen’s death. “She is the only queen most of us have ever known. Politicians change, political parties change, we go through amazing things as a country or trying times, and she’s always there.”

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 11:51 AM UTC

Wind, rain and cold no barrier for mourners hoping to witness queen's final journey in Windsor

Wind, rain and cold was no barrier to mourners determined to get a good spot for when the queen’s coffin makes its final journey through Windsor on Monday.

Alison Walton, 55, a warehouse operative from Milton Keynes in southern England, arrived at the Long Walk at 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET) Sunday. No tents are allowed past the airport-style security barriers, so she and her friends endured a night under the stars in sleeping bags.

Alison Walton, 55, a warehouse operative from Milton Keynes in southern England, arrived at the Long Walk at 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET) Sunday.
Alison Walton, 55, a warehouse operative from Milton Keynes in southern England, arrived at the Long Walk at 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET) Sunday.Patrick Smith

“It was very beautiful, I couldn’t imagine it being any different to how she would have wanted it,” she said just after the queen’s funeral service had ended, watched in silence by the thousands gathered here.

“I went to see her on Wednesday [at Westminster hall] — there isn’t a word to describe what I felt. It was magical, really moving.”

438d ago / 11:46 AM UTC

Queen Elizabeth II's death revives criticism of Britain’s legacy of colonialism

As the death of Queen Elizabeth II prompted an outpouring of grief from millions across the world, it also revived criticism of her legacy, highlighting the complicated feelings of those who saw her as a symbol of the British colonial empire — an institution that enriched itself through violence, theft and oppression.

Matthew Smith, a professor of history at University College London who directs the Center for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership, said: “The reactions indicate the complicated and mixed relationship that people have had with the British monarchy, people in the Commonwealth and particularly in the Caribbean.

The queen died less than a year after Barbados removed her as its head of state and became a republic, a move born, in part, from growing criticism of the monarchy among Caribbean countries. Others, including Jamaica, have hinted at declaring their independence.

Read the full story here

438d ago / 11:44 AM UTC

Procession behind queen's coffin led by King Charles III

The queen's coffin, heading to Wellington Arch at central London's Hyde Park, is being followed by senior royal family members, led by King Charles III, on foot, as they marched in sync.

The route, along which thousands of people have gathered, is lined by the armed forces.

Mounties of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police led the procession followed immediately by representatives of the George Cross foundations from Malta, the former Royal Ulster Constabulary, and four representatives from Britain's National Health Service.

438d ago / 11:43 AM UTC

Big Ben tolls after failing to strike last night

Big Ben can be heard tolling throughout the procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch after the world-famous clock failed to chime last night.

A spokesperson for U.K. Parliament confirmed that Big Ben had failed to strike at 8 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) Sunday "as planned" to mark a moment of silence in the queen's honor.

However, the spokesperson said, the snag was down to a "minor technical issue" that was resolved.

438d ago / 11:35 AM UTC

Prince George and Princess Charlotte take part in the procession to Wellington Arch


As the queen's coffin makes its way to the historic Wellington Arch in central London en route to Windsor, Kensington Palace has confirmed that two of her great-grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will take part in the procession.

They will ride in the cars behind the members of the royal family walking on foot.

438d ago / 11:30 AM UTC

King Charles thanks mourners ahead of funeral service

King Charles III has spoken of how "deeply touched" he and Camilla, the queen consort, have been by the many messages of condolence from across Britain and around the world.

"In London, Edinburgh, Hillsborough and Cardiff we were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, the late queen," he said in a message shared ahead of the funeral service, noting the couple's recent visits to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

"As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief," he said.

438d ago / 11:30 AM UTC

Grenadiers and Yeomen: what's the difference?

A bearer party consisting of the The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards were the ones to lift the monarch's coffin onto the gun carriage, a historic carriage that has carried the coffins of monarchs since Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901.

Famed throughout the world for their distinctive bearskin caps, the queen's company of grenadier guards is one of the oldest and most senior regiments of the British Army, according to the U.K.'s defense ministry. They have held the ceremonial and military role of protecting the monarch since 1656. The queen's company are a step above regular grenadier guards, although this is still a senior regiment of the British army.

They traditionally have the role of acting as pallbearers to the deceased monarch, since all of them are over the height of 6 feet, according to the British Army.

As the coffin left Westminster Hall, it was saluted by the Officer and Sergeant Major of the Yeomen of the Guard. More popularly known as "beefeaters," yeomen are the oldest regiment of the army, and act as personal bodyguards to the monarch.

438d ago / 11:26 AM UTC

Royal gun salute to mark procession of the queen's coffin

Royal salutes will be fired in London's Hyde Park just after noon local time (7 a.m. ET) Monday as Queen Elizabeth II's coffin travels from her state funeral at Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.

Members of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery Battery will fire one round to mark each minute of the coffin's procession, according to a tweet from the Royal Parks, a charity managing London's royal lands.

438d ago / 11:21 AM UTC

Camilla is now queen consort. What will her duties be?

In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, there is no longer a British queen, but there is a queen consort. That title was bestowed upon Camilla, King Charles III’s wife of 17 years. 

In practical terms, the role of queen consort involves accompanying the monarch to official engagements, at which she is addressed as “Her Royal Highness.” 

The queen consort also serves as a counselor of state, which  allows her to temporarily carry out some duties on behalf of Charles if he is ill or traveling abroad. Those responsibilities can include “attending Privy Council meetings, signing routine documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors to the United Kingdom,” according to the royal family’s official website

“I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much,” Charles said of his wife in a public address delivered shortly after he became king.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 11:18 AM UTC

Big Ben failed to strike last night, but officials say they solved the problem

Big Ben, the world-famous bell in the clock tower at London's Palace of Westminster, failed to chime at the appointed time Sunday night, but parliamentary officials say they have figured out the issue.

Big Ben is expected to toll once a minute Monday as the queen's coffin leaves Westminster Abbey.Marco Bertorello / AFP - Getty Images

"Big Ben failed to strike at 8 p.m. [local time] as planned," a spokesperson for U.K. Parliament said Sunday. "We have investigated this as a matter of urgency and have identified a minor technical issue that has now been resolved.

"We will be testing the bell again later tonight and are confident that it will not affect the tolling tomorrow during the state funeral procession," the spokesperson added.

Big Ben is scheduled to toll once a minute Monday as Queen Elizabeth II's coffin leaves Westminster Abbey.

438d ago / 11:17 AM UTC

What does the note on queen's coffin say?


As the queen's coffin was carried into Westminster Abbey, a note could be seen placed on top of her coffin.

The note, officials said, was written by King Charles III, and said: "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R."

The note sat on top of a wreath of flowers chosen for their meaning and significance to the queen.Hannah Mckay / Pool via AP
438d ago / 11:14 AM UTC

Queen's coffin begins procession to Wellington Arch after funeral service

After a funeral service that lasted just over one hour, the queen's coffin is being carried out of Westminster Abbey and will be taken to Wellington Arch in the heart of London enroute to her last resting place in Windsor, a town about 30 miles southwest of the capital.

438d ago / 11:12 AM UTC

Queen’s piper plays ‘Sleep Dearie Sleep’

The queen’s piper, Paul Burns, played the song “Sleep Dearie Sleep” as the late monarch’s funeral service came to an end.

The queen’s coffin will shortly leave Westminster Abbey for Windsor.

438d ago / 11:07 AM UTC

Music at queen’s funeral chosen for ‘special significance’

Much of the music at today’s funeral for Queen Elizabeth II was selected for its “special significance” to the late monarch, Westminster Abbey has said. Meanwhile, many of the choices also have a long association with the church itself.

“Among the hymns are ‘The Lord is my Shepherd,’ sung at the wedding of the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Abbey in 1947; while ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’ is sung in an arrangement first heard at the wedding of ... The Prince and Princess of Wales here in 2011,” according to Westminster Abbey’s official Twitter account.

“Like As The Hart,” a setting of Psalm 42 by Master of the King’s Music Judith Weir, was composed specifically for today’s service, along with the anthem “Who Shall Separate Us?,” which draws on words from Romans 8.

The anthem “O Taste and See” was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams for the queen’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1953, it said. Williams’ ashes are buried in the north choir aisle of the church, according to Westminster Abbey.

438d ago / 11:06 AM UTC

Outside Westminster Abbey, sun peeks through parting clouds as funeral comes to a close

Just as the queen’s funeral was ending, the clouds parted swapping bright sunshine for what had been a cloudy morning.

“It’s come out for her,” said Trevor Slaughter, 54, an agricultural salesmen who came up from Sussex with his wife Louise, 45. “It just makes you so proud to be British; no one in the world does this better than us.”

438d ago / 11:01 AM UTC

Britain stands still for two minutes in honor of queen

The service for the queen ended with a national two-minute moment of silence, followed by the singing of the national anthem, which has been changed to "God Save the King" after the queen's death.

438d ago / 11:00 AM UTC

Prayer for the late queen's soul led by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby commended the queen's soul to God with a prayer.

"We entrust the soul of Elizabeth, our sister here departed, to thy merciful keeping, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life," Welby said.

438d ago / 10:54 AM UTC

Last two mourners to see Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin forge 'forever' friendship

They forged a friendship that will “last forever” while saying farewell to Queen Elizabeth II.

Chrissy Heerey, a member of the Royal Air Force, was the last of the legion of mourners to file past the former monarch’s coffin when the doors to London’s Westminster Hall were finally closed at 6:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET) Monday.

Just ahead of her was Sima Mansouri, who said she had idolized the queen since the 1970s when she was a little girl in Iran.

 “I was the last person to pay my respects to the queen and it felt like a real privilege to do that,” said Heerey, who traveled to London from Melton Mowbray, a small town around 120 miles north of Britain’s capital.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 10:53 AM UTC

Buckingham Palace reflects on history of the state gun carriage

A post shared by the royal family’s Twitter account looked back on the historic use of the state gun carriage, which has been used to carry kings and queens who preceded Elizabeth II’s reign, including her father, King George VI.

“As for her father King George VI, grandfather King George V, great-grandfather King Edward VII and great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, Her Majesty The Queen’s coffin was borne in a Procession to Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage,” the account said, sharing a montage of photos from past funerals.

438d ago / 10:52 AM UTC

Queen's funeral procession began in Scotland, although questions about the future of the union remain

Queen Elizabeth's funeral ceremonies began with pomp and ceremony in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, not London, last Monday, due to the queen’s relatively sudden, if not unexpected, death at Balmoral Castle, her cherished residence in the Highlands.

Cannons boomed, ceremonial bodyguards brandishing longbows escorted the hearse, and King Charles III led the royal procession behind the coffin of his mother.

Elizabeth, whose mother was of Scottish descent, vacationed at Balmoral every summer from her childhood, and was seen by many locals as a neighbor they often ran into at the Highland Games held there every year.

Although Scotland was a country close to Elizabeth’s heart, it is also a place with its own often uneasy relationship to the crown. Scotland is far less royalist than England, with some polls putting support for the monarchy as low as 45%. Intertwined with that is the belief among some campaigners that King Charles III’s ascension could boost the possibility of Scotland — and potentially Northern Ireland and even Wales — separating from the U.K. entirely.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 10:40 AM UTC

Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to the queen in his sermon

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the queen's lifelong dedication to serving the nation and the Commonwealth in his sermon.

"Rarely has such a promise been so well-kept," he said. "Few leaders receive the outpouring of love that we have seen."

As Archbishop of Canterbury, Welby is the leader of the Church of England. And as supreme governor of the church, the British monarch is its titular head.

Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby speaks during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, held at Westminster Abbey, in London on Monday. Gareth Fuller / AFP - Getty Images
438d ago / 10:38 AM UTC

King Charles III's reign promises to be unlike his mother’s

No heir has prepared for the crown longer than King Charles III. Whereas his mother Elizabeth was 27 when she became queen, he is 73, older at ascension than any other monarch in British history.

There has long been a debate about the type of sovereign Charles will be after the queen’s quiet, widely popular reign.  His defenders say he has been the hardest-working royal, a tireless campaigner for charitable causes who fought for conservation long before such issues became fashionable.

But due to the purely constitutional role of the monarchy in Britain, critics believe that Charles' openly political positions could cause a crisis if the government adopts a position he has previously backed  — from supporting farmers to approving controversial architecture — even if there is no evidence he has actually intervened.

Read the full story here

438d ago / 10:36 AM UTC

Friendships formed at barriers along procession: 'It's a celebration'

Friendships were being formed at the barriers, just as they were in the hourslong line to see the queen’s coffin.

William Gleason, 28, a former Marine from Los Angeles, had struck up an unlikely bond with Nicole Cox, 56, a teacher from France.

“I came over for the platinum jubilee too,” Gleason said. “It’s history and you’re never going to see this again: no president, no prime minister and not even any monarch will get this treatment again.”

They were in good spirits. “It’s a celebration, completely different to Diana’s funeral,” Cox said. “She did 70 years of royal service, so we are celebrating that.”

William Gleason and Nicole Cox
William Gleason and Nicole Cox Alexander Smith
438d ago / 10:34 AM UTC

Outside Westminster Abbey, modern life breaks through solemn silence

In the crammed public viewing areas outside Westminster Abbey, the procession of the queen’s coffin was a moment of epochal gravity mixed with the frustrated intrusions of modern life.

The crowd fell mostly silent as the pipers began to play at the gates of Westminster Palace. It was not the pin-drop silence her coffin had been greeted with in Edinburgh. Some people muttered as they held their phones aloft and craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the era-defining events around 50 yards away.

The silence was also interrupted by security guards, struggling to maintain a clear passageway through the crowds, asking people who had been waiting for hours to move. Few willingly gave up the position they had staked out since the early hours.

“Never again, bruv, I’m never doing this again,” one of the security personnel was overheard saying. “I’ll stick to nightclubs.”

It was a jarring moment that juxtaposed with the official pages of history being written on the other side of the barriers.

After the coffin went into the abbey, choral music wafted over the crush as dozens of people watched news broadcasts on their phones.

438d ago / 10:30 AM UTC

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth delivers first lesson of the service

Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, delivered the first lesson of the service.

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" she read from Corinthians 15.

"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth usthe victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

438d ago / 10:29 AM UTC

The full order of service for the funeral at Westminster Abbey

The funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II is underway at Westminster Abbey.

Read the full order of service here:

438d ago / 10:27 AM UTC

National two-minute silence to take place

A national two-minute silence will take place today to mark the death of the queen, the British government has said.

It will commence at 11:55 a.m. local time (6:55 a.m. ET).

438d ago / 10:26 AM UTC

Crowds gather in Windsor ahead of arrival of queen's coffin: 'We just felt we had to come'

As the ceremony in London in Westminster got underway, thousands were already gathered at the Long Walk in Windsor, where the queen’s coffin will slowly progress to its final resting place later Monday.

Some mourners were in tears watching the funeral on one of four large screens erected for the occasion.

The moment the queen’s coffin entered Westminster Abbey was met with warm applause.

Louise Austerfield, 42, a company director from Wakefield in West Yorkshire in the north of England, said she he had never been to any events involving the royal family before but couldn’t miss this.

“We just felt we had to come,” she said. “My mum died in May and she had a full church [for her funeral]. It just means a lot when people turn up.”

438d ago / 10:19 AM UTC
438d ago / 10:19 AM UTC

Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey for queen's funeral

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
438d ago / 10:18 AM UTC

'How can you miss an event like this?'

Bevereley Edgerton waited 27 hours to be at the front of the barrier when the queen’s coffin was carried into the abbey.

As the procession went by, she wept.

“What I just saw was a young woman in her 20s who wrapped her arms around the whole world and has never stopped since,” said Edgerton, 61, a bus driver from Croydon. She arrived early Sunday to get her spot.

“Some of us had chairs, others brought tents. We slept a bit and generally looked after each other, going to collect drinks and food,” she said of her epic feat of stamina. “It was definitely worth it. It probably won’t happen again for centuries, so how can you miss an event like this?”

Bevereley Edgerton.
Bevereley Edgerton.Alexander Smith / NBC News
438d ago / 10:17 AM UTC

Dean of Westminster recalls queen's 'lifelong sense of duty'

The Dean of Westminster opened the funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II.

"With gratitude, we remember her unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years," David Hoyle said of the late monarch.

"With admiration, we recall her lifelong sense of duty and dedication to her people," he said. "With thanksgiving, we praise God for her constant example of Christian faith and devotion."

He also recalled Elizabeth's "love for her family" as he asked attendees to remember their "many reasons for thanksgiving."

438d ago / 10:17 AM UTC

The symbolism behind wreath of flowers on the queen's coffin


A colorful wreath of flowers could be seen placed upon the queen's coffin as it was carried to Westminster Abbey on Monday.

At King Charles III's request, the wreath contains flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, Buckingham Palace said.

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

It includes plants chosen for their symbolism, including rosemary for remembrance and myrtle, the ancient symbol of a happy marriage. The myrtle in the wreath was cut from a plant grown from a sprig in the queen's wedding bouquet in 1947. English oak, which is meant to symbolize the strength of love, was also included, the palace said.

Other elements of the wreath include scented pelargoniums; garden roses; autumnal hydrangea; sedum; dahlias; and scabious, with shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, as well as touches of white reflecting the Royal Standard on which the wreath sits.

Also upon the king's request, the wreath was made in a sustainable way, in a nest of English moss and oak branches and without the use of floral foam, it said.

438d ago / 10:07 AM UTC

Queen's funeral service underway

As the queen's coffin was brought into Westminster Abbey, the people in attendance, including hundreds of foreign dignitaries, bowed their heads in respect.

Royal family members including the heir to the throne, Prince William, and two of his children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, could be seen solemnly walking behind the coffin.

438d ago / 10:07 AM UTC

King Charles III in procession to Westminster Abbey

King Charles III follows a gun carriage carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her funeral service in Westminster Abbey in central London on Monday.Emilio Morenatti / AP
438d ago / 10:06 AM UTC

What is the history of Westminster Abbey?

It has been the setting for every coronation since 1066, 16 royal weddings — including that of William and Kate, and the queen and Prince Philip — and countless other ceremonies and events.

Set on the site of a church dating back to the 1040s, the abbey was rebuilt in the 13th century under Henry III, and was worked on by the next 14 monarchs until its completion in 1519. Originally a Catholic place of worship, the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII during the English Reformation, a time of great religious upheaval where the Catholic Church was replaced by the Church of England. The abbey survived the destruction of that period, and was later made a "royal peculiar" by Elizabeth I — a church responsible directly to the ruling monarch.

Westminster Abbey is the burial site to 30 kings and queens, and 3,000 others including statesmen, poets and writers, according to historical work conducted by Westminster Abbey. King George II was the last monarch to be buried there in 1760. Due to space constrictions, later monarchs were buried at Windsor, where Elizabeth II's coffin will travel by car today.

Image: Police officers patrol outside Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 19, 2022, ahead of the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
Police officers patrol outside Westminster Abbey in London on Monday, ahead of the state funeral service for Queen Elizabeth II.Hannah McKay / Pool via AFP - Getty Images
438d ago / 10:04 AM UTC

The queen's funeral route

At 6:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. ET) Monday, the final mourners were allowed into Westminster Hall to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II as she lay in state.

Hours later, the queen's coffin was lifted from Westminster Hall to the State Gun carriage by the late monarch's Grenadier Guards, famed around the world for their distinctive tall bearskin caps and red jackets.

The carriage is 123 years old and has been used in state funeral processions since that of Queen Victoria in 1901, and is traditionally towed by sailors, instead of horses. On Monday, the new King Charles II, and Elizabeth's other children, as well as Princes William and Harry, and a guard of honor, will accompany the coffin on foot to nearby Westminster Abbey.

After the funeral, the coffin will proceed to Wellington Arch, the original entrance to Buckingham Palace, which later becoming a victory arch proclaiming the Duke of Wellington's defeat of Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo. Once there, her coffin will be transferred to the state hearse and travel to Windsor Castle, west of London, where Elizabeth will be buried.

438d ago / 10:01 AM UTC

Queen's coffin enters Westminster Abbey

The queen's coffin has entered Westminster Abbey after a highly-choreographed procession from Westminster Hall, setting the stage for the funeral service.

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried by the bearer party into Westminster Abbey.Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images
Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into Westminster Abbey.Chris Jackson / Getty Images
438d ago / 9:57 AM UTC

Queen's coffin arrives at the gate of Westminster Abbey

Image: The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, arrives at Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 19, 2022, for the State Funeral Service for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, arrives at Westminster Abbey.Marco Bertorello / AFP - Getty Images

After a somber procession from Westminster Hall, where the queen lay in state for several days, her coffin, draped in the Royal Standard flag, has arrived at Westminster Abbey for the funeral service, which will start at 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. E.T.).

438d ago / 9:50 AM UTC

Queen Elizabeth II's 'final journey' begins

For ten days, many in Britain have mournedreflected on and adjusted to the absence of Queen Elizabeth II. That grief has gained physical form in the sight of the late queen's coffin traveling through the streets of Scotland and England whilst making its final journey.

In a days-long funeral procession that began last Sunday, the queen's oak coffin traveled from Balmoral, the Scottish castle where she died, to Holyroodhouse, her official palace in Edinburgh. On Tuesday, the procession continued to Buckingham Palace in London and then to Westminster Abbey, where today's funeral proceedings are taking place.

Mourners had the opportunity to see the queen's oak coffin as it lay in state in Edinburgh and London, with queues in England's capital topping 14 hours.

Read the full story here.

438d ago / 9:49 AM UTC

Deafening silence as queen's coffin emerges from Westminster Hall

One could hear a pin drop as Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was lowered onto the gun carriage for the transfer to Westminster Abbey, where her funeral service will be held.

Her children and grandchildren, including King Charles III and heir to the throne Prince William, lined up behind the carriage as the procession has left for the abbey.

438d ago / 9:48 AM UTC

Princess Charlotte, Prince George travel to Queen's funeral

Image: The State Funeral Of Queen Elizabeth II
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Catherine, Princess of Wales and Camilla, Queen consort are seen on The Mall ahead of The State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday in London, England. Anthony Devlin / Getty Images
438d ago / 9:47 AM UTC

Procession to Westminster Abbey begins

Members of the royal family have begun a somber procession to Westminster Abbey, with King Charles III, his siblings, Princes William and Harry and others following behind the queen's coffin.

438d ago / 9:42 AM UTC

What are the objects on top of the queen's coffin?

Since lying in state, queen Elizabeth's coffin has been draped in the Royal Standard flag, and adorned with the instruments of the state; the Royal Imperial Crown, the Sovereign’s Orb and the Sovereign’s Sceptre With Cross. These objects will remain in place until the end of the funeral ceremony at Windsor Castle, when they will be ceremoniously lifted off her coffin and placed on an altar.

The imperial state crown is what the monarch wears on their coronation day, as well as at other official occasions such as the opening of the English parliament. It is made from gold and set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and 4 rubies, and symbolises the sovereignty and power of the monarch. A centerpiece of the crown is St Edward's Sapphire, discovered in the tomb of St Edward the Confessor in 1163.

The sovereign's orb and spectre both date back to the coronation of Charles II in 1661. The orb, a golden globe surmounted by a cross, the orb reminds the monarch that their power is derived from God. The spectre has been used at every monarch's coronation since 1661, and was transformed in 1910 by Elizabeth's grandfather George V, with the addition of the Cullinan I diamond, the largest colourless cut diamond in the world.

It is known as the "great star of South Africa". The jewel was a gift of the government of South Africa after the Boer War in 1907, but like the Indian Kohinoor diamond in the Queen Mother's coronation crown, has recently attracted calls on social media and by historians to be repatriated, as South Africa was under British imperial rule when they made the gift.

438d ago / 9:42 AM UTC

Queen's coffin being placed onto gun carriage

After lying in state since Wednesday, the queen's coffin is being moved onto the gun carriage for the somber procession to Westminster Abbey, where the queen's funeral service will be held.

Image: The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves Westminster Hall for her funeral service in Westminster Abbey in central London on Sept. 19, 2022.
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II leaves Westminster Hall for her funeral service in Westminster Abbey.Nariman El-Mofty / Pool via AP
438d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

Royal spouses arrive for funeral service

The spouses of senior royal family members have departed for Westminster Abbey, including King Charles III's wife and queen consort Camilla, Prince William's wife and Princess of Wales, Catherine, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

438d ago / 9:40 AM UTC

Members of the royal family arrive for the funeral

Members of the royal family have started arriving at Westminster Abbey for the funeral service after hundreds of foreign dignitaries, including President Joe Biden, filed in and took their seats for the service.

King Charles III will be arriving separately.

438d ago / 9:38 AM UTC

Windsor readies for queen's committal service

Windsor and the surrounding areas are prepared for the queen’s committal service later on Monday, with tributes in almost every shop window and high security all around.

Security in Windsor includes not just thousands of police officers, but boats on the Thames too.

438d ago / 9:34 AM UTC

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive

Image: President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive ahead of the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on Monday in London.Phil Noble / WPA Pool via Getty Images
438d ago / 9:33 AM UTC

Mourners cheer as King Charles III makes way to funeral service

Mourners clapped and cheered as King Charles III made his way to Westminster Abbey.

The king will be joined by other royal family members and more than 500 foreign dignitaries, who have already arrived.

438d ago / 9:24 AM UTC

British Prime Minister Liz Truss arrives at Westminster Abbey

Liz Truss, the last of the 15 British prime ministers to be appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, has arrived for the service.

The day the queen died, Truss, who had been appointed just days before, said the monarch's passing was a "huge shock" for the nation, calling her "the rock on which modern Britain was built."

Truss was joined by all living former British prime ministers at the service.

438d ago / 9:24 AM UTC

438d ago / 9:23 AM UTC

Former British prime ministers arrive

Former British prime ministers have arrived at Westminster Abbey.

Former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Tony Blair could all be seen walking into the church ahead of the service.

438d ago / 9:18 AM UTC

What is the gun carriage that will carry queen Elizabeth?

Pulled along by 98 sailors, queen Elizabeth's coffin is being carried along by a 123-year-old gun carriage, first used in the funeral of Queen Victoria, Britain's second longest reigning monarch in 1901.

The tradition of using members of the Royal Navy to tow the carriage also dates back to Victoria's funeral, although historical accounts of why they were first used differ, according to the Naval Historical Society of Australia.

One observer said that horses reared and threatened to overturn the late queen's coffin during her funeral procession in 1901, while another claimed that part of the carriage broke during the ceremony. Either way; the resulting fact that sailors on hand saved the day using improvised drag ropes to bear the carriage has been used as a tradition in place in all following royal funerals.

Queen Elizabeth is strongly linked to Britain's navy. As well as being head of the armed forces, her father, George VI served as a naval officer, as did her husband, the late prince Philip.