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Striking images seen by billions capture the pitch-perfect farewell we gave to our beloved sovereign
Shedding a tear for himself and the nation, King Charles III performed a final act of honour for his mother last night.
He placed the banner of the Queen’s Company of the Grenadier Guards on her oak coffin before it was lowered into the royal vault.
As the Queen sank gently into the depths of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, giving millions of watching mourners a lump in their throats, it brought to a close a mesmerising 11 days of public mourning.
Queen Elizabeth II is now reunited with her ‘strength and stay’ – her beloved husband Prince Philip – and with her parents and her sister Princess Margaret in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor after her coffin was interred overnight in an intimate private ceremony.
Her crown, orb and sceptre were earlier removed from her coffin so she could descend into her grave in the royal crypt as a ‘simple Christian soul’.
An estimated 4.1billion people worldwide watched yesterday morning as kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers joined millions of mourners in London for her historic State Funeral at Westminster Abbey.
More than 4,000 servicemen and women along with some of the Queen’s most loyal subjects put on a display of pomp and majesty like never seen before as her coffin was borne through London.
Pall bearers have been praised for their efforts as they carry the Queen’s coffin up the steep steps of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle
Charles was holding back the tears as he walked solemnly behind his mother’s coffin draped in its Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown on top
Westminster Abbey played a pivotal role in the Queen’s life. It was where she had her coronation and married Prince Philip before world leaders congregated for her funeral there yesterday
The Queen’s coffin was taken along The Mall in a procession during what was one of the largest international events ever seen
Shedding a tear, King Charles placed the banner of the Queen’s Company of the Grenadier Guards on her oak coffin before it was lowered into the royal vault
King Charles placed the banner on the Queen’s coffin while Prince William and Prince George watch on from one side while the Wessexes watch on from the other
The Queen’s coffin is carried in by pall bearers past the choir boys before it is lowered into the ground and seen by the public for the final time
The emotional King looks towards his mother’s coffin, surrounded by his sister the Princess Royal and his two brothers Prince Andrew and the Earl of Wessex
The Queen’s coffin draped in the Royal Standard and adorned with the Imperial State Crown and sovereign’s orb and sceptre
Liz Truss was seen with her husband Hugh O’Leary as well as Kwasi Kwarteng and Therese Coffey who were stood behind former Prime Minister’s and their wives including David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major and Boris Johnson
Mourners who lined the route from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then on to Windsor 25 miles away covered the state hearse in flowers as it passed.
In historic scenes in a separate ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Queen Elizabeth II’s incredible 70-year reign came to an end with the symbolic ‘breaking of the wand’, a moving ceremony in which the Lord Chamberlain – her highest ranking official – took apart his wand of office. It will also be buried with her.
After nearly two tumultuous weeks of high emotion, a mournful King Charles, 73, looked exhausted as he led the nation and the world’s farewell to his ‘Mama’.
The Royal Family stood at the end of the short committal service as the Queen was slowly lowered while the Dean of Windsor said: ‘Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul.’
St George’s Chapel then sang God Save the King.
The striking moment that the coffin of the Queen was lowered into the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel, Windsor
The Bearer Party of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards carried the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Abbey as the emotional Royal Family watch on
As the solemn King departed London’s iconic Wellington Arch following his mother’s funeral he wound down his window and saluted
The Queen’s coffin is followed by the King and Queen Consort with other members of the Royal Family behind them as the congregation stands
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave a reading during the Queen’s State Funeral at Westminster Abbey
The ceremonial procession of the Queen’s coffin on its way from London to Windsor where members of the public of all ages flocked to watch the scenes
The Prince of Wales and his brother Prince Harry can be seen in the background of the Royal Navy carrying their grandmother’s coffin to Westminster Abbey
The Royal Family look on as the Queen’s coffin arrives at the iconic Wellington Arch where thousands gathered to watch the procession
The Queen’s pets played a pivotal role on the day with her fell pony, Emma, standing along the ceremonial precision on the Long Walk
The Queen’s corgis, Muick and Sandy, were also brought out by royal aides to see the Queen’s coffin arrive in Windsor
On an extraordinary day of ceremony and emotion:
- The Queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte made a surprise appearance at her funeral;
- The Duchess of Sussex appeared to wipe away a tear as the coffin was taken from Westminster Abbey;
- More than a million people were thought to have travelled to central London to be part of the commemorations for the Queen;
- Scotland Yard’s new commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, breathed a sigh of relief after the biggest security operation in British history, involving over 15,000 officers and 1,500 soldiers, went off successfully;
- The Queen’s beloved corgis and one of her horses met her coffin as the cortege arrived at Windsor Castle;
- Royals paid tribute to the Queen with jewellery she had given them, including a horseshoe brooch worn by Charlotte and Kate and Meghan’s earrings;
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, with his hands by his side as he is surrounded by family members saluting in their military uniform
The Duchess of Sussex, dressed in all black with a wide-brimmed hat, was visibly emotional at Westminster Abbey
The Princess of Wales and Queen Consort follow the 123-year-old State Gun Carriage with the Queen’s coffin mounted on top
The Duke of York’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was at the Queen’s funeral alongside her daughters Princess Beatrice (pictured left) and Princess Eugenie
Princess Beatrice (left) and Princess Eugenie (right) were visibly emotional during their grandmother’s funeral at Westminster Abbey
- Joe Biden was placed 14 rows back inside the abbey as planners battled with the diplomatic puzzle of how to seat hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries;
- Liz Truss played a prominent role at the ceremony before flying off to attend her first global summit as Prime Minister today;
- Adventurer and Chief Scout Bear Grylls and Killing Eve star Sandra Oh were among a small group of celebrities invited to the funeral;
- Almost 200 ‘everyday heroes’, including a lifeboat volunteer, a nurse and a lawyer who delivered hundreds of free meals in the pandemic, joined world leaders, royalty and politicians for the service;
- In his funeral sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Queen’s strong faith meant that her famous assurance during the pandemic that ‘we will meet again’ would also come true in the afterlife;
- Before the funeral began, RAF servicewoman Christina Heerey became the last of the 400,000 people to queue for hours to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall;
- Thousands of mourners missed the Queen’s funeral after being left stranded by rail cancellations caused by damage to power cables between Reading and Paddington stations in west London;
- Britain ground to a halt, with supermarkets, high street chains, offices and factories closed for the bank holiday;
- Nations honoured ‘the Queen of the world’, with images of Her Majesty projected on to Sydney Opera House and a dark Times Square in New York lit up by footage of the funeral;
- 357 people in London for the Queen’s funeral needed treatment by 3.30pm, of whom 45 were taken to hospital.
Incredible images throughout the day captured the crowds which descended on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle as a procession delivers the State Hearse for the committal service
Thousands of mourners kept behind barriers were desperate to catch a final glimpse of the Queen’s coffin on the Long Walk
Flowers were placed on the State Hearse as the procession led the Queen’s coffin draped in the Royal Standard down to St George’s Chapel
An incredible shot of the Queen’s former residence, Windsor Castle, as thousands of mourners came to pay their respects for the final time
Pipe Major Paul Burns concluded the Queen’s State Funeral which thousands of world leaders and foreign dignitaries atteneded
Her Majesty’s long journey to her final resting place began in Balmoral on the day of her death on September 8 and ended last night with her private interment next to Philip, with the new King scattering earth on his mother’s coffin at a private family service. Britain’s longest reigning monarch – who vowed on her 21st birthday to devote her whole life to serve ‘whether it be long or short’ – had been borne by Grenadier Guards pallbearers into St George’s Chapel.
They were followed by Charles III, her children and grandchildren including Prince William, the new Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry.
Earlier at her State Funeral service at Westminster Abbey, more than 2,000 mourners including royals, heads of state and 200 members of the public heard the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby quote Dame Vera Lynn in his sermon as he said: ‘All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again’.’
Queen Consort Camilla leads the family, including young Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at Westminster Abbey
The young royals have been commended for their role during the day as they took the world stage for their great-grandmother’s funeral
Young Prince George shares a moment with his father, the Prince of Wales during the committal service at Windsor Castle
Princess Charlotte of Wales, the daughter of Prince William and Kate, looked solemnly out of the car window as she arrived at Windsor Castle
Prince George and Princess Charlotte stand outside Westminster Abbey with their mother, Princess Kate, the Queen Consort, Sophie Wessex and their aunt, the Duchess of Sussex
The young siblings were on show for the world to see as they mourned the loss of their great-grandmother the Queen
The archbishop added: ‘She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.’
Giving the sermon at the Abbey, the Archbishop said: ‘People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.
‘But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.
‘The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.’
The Archbishop, standing in the church where kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, added: ‘We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death.’
The Queen was buried last night alongside her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, an announcement on the Royal Family’s official website said. The statement said the ceremony was conducted by the Dean of Windsor.
Scotland Yard said it had arrested a total of 67 people by 5pm yesterday as part of its massive policing operation.