The funeral services for Queen Elizabeth II have started at Westminster Abbey in London as the UK says its final goodbyes to its longest-reigning monarch. Monday’s state funeral for the Queen was the nation’s first since 1965, and King Charles and other senior British royals followed the flag-draped coffin into Westminster Abbey.
2,000 dignitaries in total, including world leaders, are present to pay their final respects to the Queen.
Scripture passages have been set to music inside the abbey and played during each state funeral since the early 18th century. The Queen Elizabeth II coffin was constructed many years ago and is made of English oak with a lead lining. According to royal tradition, the coffin is made of oak from the Royal Family’s Sandringham Estate, according to Sky News.
A public procession carrying the Queen’s casket from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch in London will start after the funeral service. The State Hearse will then transport the coffin from Wellington Arch to Windsor, where Queen Elizabeth II will be buried. For three days up until Monday, Queen Elizabeth’s coffin lay in state in London’s Westminster hall, draped in the Royal Standard flag and topped with a wreath of flowers and the Imperial State Crown on a cushion.
On Monday, as the Queen’s coffin appeared on screens set up in advance of the funeral service, thousands of people lined up in the streets as a pin-drop silence descended over London’s Hyde Park.
Earlier, as the UK paid its respects to the Queen, hundreds of armed personnel marched past in full ceremonial garb, including kilts, bearskin hats, scarlet tunics, and bands wearing white gloves.