Queen Elizabeth has made her journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster as thousands of mourners look on.
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin has reached Westminster Hall after a solemn procession through the streets from Buckingham Palace. Thousands gathered to line the Mall and streets of Westminster, as the treasured late monarch made her journey to the palace of Westminster for the last time. There, she will lie in state until her state funeral on Monday 19th September.
Thousands queued from as far as Southwark Park in the capital, over three miles away from Westminster Hall. The gathered crowds, some of which have waited since Monday to pay their respects, fell silent as the late Queen’s coffin arrived in Parliament Square at 3pm.
The new King and his two sons reunited to walk behind the Queen’s coffin as she left Buckingham Palace for the last time. King Charles, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex accompanied the late Queen on the journey to Westminster Hall for her lying in state. They appeared solemn as they walked behind the coffin, which was wheeled along The Mall on a gun carriage.
A crown was placed on a purple cushion on top of the coffin in front of a wreath made of pine and lavender, featuring white roses, spray white roses and white dahlias Crowds of mourners applauded as the Queen’s coffin and the procession moved past them.
The King and his children were joined by the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, as well as Anne’s son Peter Phillips, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon. The Queen Consort, Princess of Wales, Countess of Wessex and Duchess of Sussex travelled by car.
A 20-minute service was held in Westminster Hall for members of the Royal Family. Other officials also attended, including members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, and members of the UK’s devolved parliaments.
Following the Archbishop of Canterbury, we heard from the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle. He offered further prayers – including the Lord’s Prayer, which was recited by all those present in Westminster Hall. Archbishop Welby offers a blessing to close the short service in Westminster Hall.
Soon afterwards, a sword is tapped firmly on the ground, twice, marking the start of the vigil.
The Queen’s coffin is now officially under watch on all sides, before members of the public are allowed to visit a little later to file past the late monarch. HM King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, then left Westminster Hall shortly after the service finished. The new King and Queen were met with shouts of “God Save the King” from the assembled crowds.
The procession that took place this Wednesday afternoon symbolised a sad, but momentous occasion for the country. As the late Queen made her way down the Mall for the last time, the ceremony signaled the end of the Elizabethan era. The next few years for the UK will be transformative as the country deals with the biggest political and economic challenges in decades.
However, for today at least, the country can unite behind their grief of the passing of a beloved public figure. It is clear to see the impact the late Queen Elizabeth had on the public, as one of the busiest cities in the world stood still to watch the procession. As thousands will file past her Coffin over the coming days, hopefully the shared loss can bring the public together for a historic moment in history.