What are the plans for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?

A long-established plan covers arrangements for the queen’s final journey to London and state funeral, to be held on September 19.

queen elizabeth
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place on September 19 [File: Stuart C Wilson/Pool via AFP]

The death of Queen Elizabeth II set in motion a tightly choreographed series of ceremonial and constitutional steps, as the United Kingdom undergoes a period of national mourning and enters the reign of King Charles III.

A long-established 10-day plan, code-named Operation London Bridge, covers arrangements for the queen’s final journey to London and a state funeral. Here is a look at what will happen in the coming days:

Saturday, September 10

  • King Charles III met at St James’s Palace with senior officials known as the Accession Council and was officially proclaimed king. With a trumpet fanfare, an official read the proclamation aloud from a palace balcony. It was also read out in other locations across the UK.
  • At Parliament, new British Prime Minister Liz Truss and senior lawmakers took an oath of allegiance to the new king before holding a day of tributes to the late queen.
  • Prince William and his wife Kate, the princess of Wales, were joined by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, to view floral tributes left by the public in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Near Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the queen’s three younger children — Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — and their families read some of the notes left along with hundreds of floral tributes to the queen.
royals inspect floral tributes
William, prince of Wales, Catherine, princess of Wales, Prince Harry and Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, look at floral tributes as they walk outside Windsor Castle, following the death of Queen Elizabeth [Paul Childs/Reuters]

Sunday, September 11

  • The queen’s oak coffin will be carried from Balmoral Castle in Scotland by six gamekeepers from her estate and driven to Edinburgh, passing through towns and villages so people can pay their respects along the route. It rests overnight at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital.
  • In London, the king hosts a reception for diplomats from the 14 other Commonwealth countries where he is king.

Monday, September 12

  • The queen’s coffin, accompanied by the king and queen consort, travels to Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral where it will stay for 24 hours so the public can pay their respects. Members of the royal family will hold a vigil by the coffin in the evening.
  • King Charles II and Camilla, the queen consort, will visit Parliament to receive condolences from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
  • The royal couple then flies to Edinburgh where they attend a service of remembrance for the queen, visit the Scottish Parliament and meet senior officials.
charles and camila inspect floral tributes
King Charles II and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will visit Parliament on September 12 to receive condolences [Henry Nicholls/Reuters]

Tuesday, September 13

  • The queen’s coffin is taken by hearse to Edinburgh Airport. It will be flown by the Royal Air Force to London and taken to Buckingham Palace.
  • The king and Camilla visit Northern Ireland, where they meet politicians and faith leaders and attend a service of remembrance at St Anne’s Cathedral.

Wednesday, September 14

  • The coffin is transported from Buckingham Palace to Parliament on a gun carriage, with the king and other royals walking behind.
  • It is placed in Parliament’s medieval Westminster Hall, where the archbishop of Canterbury conducts a short service. The queen will then lie in state for four days, until the morning of her funeral. Members of the public will be able to pay their respects and troops will keep a round-the-clock vigil.

Friday, September 16

  • The king and queen consort will visit Wales.

Monday, September 19

  • The queen’s coffin will be taken from Westminster Hall to nearby Westminster Abbey for a state funeral that begins at 11am (10:00 GMT). Leaders and dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend. The funeral marks the end of 10 days of national morning, and the day will be a public holiday across the UK.
Source: AP