Queen’s Coffin Arrives At Westminster Hall After Royals Escort Her On Final Journey From Buckingham Palace

The Queen has left Buckingham Palace for a final time, as members of the Royal Family escort her coffin to Westminster, where she will lie-in-state for five nights.

Crowds lined the street as the military procession began at 2.22pm, with the ceremony expected to last for around 40 minutes before arriving at the Palace of Westminster at 3pm.

Placed on a carriage pulled by black horses, the coffin was draped in the royal standard, with the crown resting on a purple cushion placed on top. The carriage was flanked by a row of the Queen’s guardsmen, in their iconic red uniforms and bearskin hats.

The Queen’s four children – including the new King Charles – walked behind the coffin, while the Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex travelled by car.

The Queen’s Coffin

In a rare joint appearance, Prince William and Prince Harry walked shoulder to shoulder behind their father.

The event will mark the second time the pair have reunited publicly in four days, following a long-reported rift between the two brothers following Prince Harry’s decision to step back from the family. The scenes were reminiscent of the brothers walking behind their mother Princess Diana’s coffin aged just 15 and 12, but saw Prince William in formal military attire while Harry wore morning dress.

The Royal Family

Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also walk behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.

Looking sombre with gazes fixed firmly ahead, the royals walked in strict military precision before saluting as they passed the cenotaph.

Guardsmen march from Buckingham palace 

 

Members of the Queen’s staff were among those marching in the procession, including two of the Queen’s Pages and the Palace Steward who walked directly in front of the coffin.

Her long-standing top aide, private secretary Sir Edward Young, and the Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens, who is in charge of the monarchy’s finances, also made-up part of the procession. The pall bearers were eight members of the Grenadier Guards.

Prince William

The procession travelled past key London landmarks, proceeding down The Mall, past Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch and down Whitehall. Union Jacks hung along the route, along with flags from across the Commonwealth, while shots were fired every minute for the duration of the procession.

Thousands of members of the public turned out for the event, with London’s City Hall warning that “all ceremonial viewing areas for the procession of the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall are full.”

The Princess of Wales

Many dressed in black, they could be seen crying, clapping and taking photographs as the procession passed.

Anyone in central London who would like to watch the procession is being directed to a viewing area where screens have been put up in Hyde Park.

Members of Royal Family

As the procession reached Westminster Hall a choir sang softly, and the coffin was paced atop a purple catafalque surrounded by candles. The Queen Consort, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Sussex and Countess of Wessex joined their husbands standing close to the coffin.

The Archbishop of Canterbury led a short service assisted by The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, and the cross of Westminster was placed at the head of the coffin.

Members of the Queen’s Life Guard took their positions at each corner of the catafalque, before the King and Queen Consort left the hall to be driven back to Clarence House.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said today’s procession would be “one of the most important ceremonial days in our country’s history”.

“It will be something everyone will remember and the whole nation will be watching. It’s the beginning of a goodbye. Something we always hoped we wouldn’t see.”

Members of the military were pictured taking part in an overnight rehearsal for the procession at 4am yesterday morning, with a black coffin being pulled on a carriage by seven black horses.

At the end of the procession, the Queen’s coffin will be laid in Westminster Hall, where the public will be able to pay their respects from this evening.

Hundreds of mourners have already begun to queue in central London to visit the coffin, with queues of up to 30 hours expected. The line is expected to stretch for five miles from Westminster Hall to Southwark Park in Rotherhithe. The queue is still growing, with up to 10 miles prepared for crowds to wait.

The coffin will remain in Westminster until the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

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