Latest: Thousands line procession route as Queen’s coffin is driven to Windsor


PA

Mon, 19 September 2022 at 2:30 pm

All eyes were on London for the Queen’s state funeral.

VIPs, dignitaries and mourners gathered in the capital to say a final farewell to the late monarch, who died at Balmoral in Scotland on September 8 aged 96.

  • The Queen’s coffin is being driven to Windsor, with thousands of people lining the procession route.
  • The late monarch’s lying in wait ended at Westminster Hall at 6.30am. At 10.44am, she was taken to Westminster Abbey for an hour-long state funeral, which started at 11am.
  • People descended on London to pay their respects, with all public viewing areas for the funeral procession declared full. Millions were expected to watch proceedings on television.
  • After the funeral, the Queen’s coffin was taken to Wellington Arch – where she was transferred to a hearse for the drive to Windsor – on the State Gun Carriage.
  • A committal service will take place at 4pm in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, with a private burial service set for 7.30pm.
DEATH Queen
(PA Graphics)

2.27pm

People queued for hours on South Carriage Drive in a bid to see the Queen’s coffin. Many had tried to line the funeral procession route but were unable to gain access.

Jonathan and Heidi Johnson, both 73, from Worthing, stood for four hours to catch a glimpse of the coffin.

Crowds watch the Queen's funeral procession
Crowds watch the Queen’s funeral procession (David Davies/PA)

Mrs Johnson said: “I felt it was our duty to come. We have had another monarch but she has been our Queen since we were three.

“I have plates with her picture on and have followed her. I thought she was wonderful.”

Mr Johnson added: “She did us proud.”

Colette O’Hart, originally from County Sligo in Ireland, who lives in Pimlico, south London, stood for three hours to try to see the coffin.

The 86-year-old said: “Everyone was very respectful. I wanted to come because she was such a very good woman – always cheerful and a hard worker, even at the very end.”

2.23pm

Former US president Barack Obama has paid tribute to the Queen’s “kindness and consideration” as he recalled his meetings with the monarch.

In a video posted to Twitter, Mr Obama said the first time he met the Queen she reminded him of his grandmother, when she “could not have been more kind or thoughtful” to him and his wife, Michelle.

“Which surprised me not just in appearance but also in manner… (she was) very gracious but also no nonsense, (with a) wry sense of humour,” he said.

On another occasion Mr Obama described, his wife and two daughters were invited to tea at Buckingham Palace and later driven in the Queen’s golden carriage around the grounds – a moment that he said “left a mark in my daughters’ lives that’s still there”.

In another meeting, a state dinner in 2011 at Buckingham Palace, Mr Obama said the Queen was “dressed up quite a bit” which was concerning for Mrs Obama who had selected a “small, modest broach” of “nominal value” as a gift for the Queen.

However the following evening at a dinner at the US Embassy the Queen was wearing the then First Lady’s broach, in a moment Mr Obama said “was an example of the subtle thoughtfulness that she consistently displayed, not just to us but to everybody she interacted with”.

The Queen and then US President Barack Obama at a Buckingham Palace State Banquet
The Queen and then US President Barack Obama at a Buckingham Palace State Banquet (PA)

“The combination of a sense of duty and a clear understanding of her role as a symbol for her nation and as the carrier of a certain set of values, combined with a very human quality of kindness and consideration I think that’s what made her so beloved not just in Great Britain but around the world,” Mr Obama concluded.

2.22pm

Alexandra Cussons, 28, said the crowd in central London watching the procession had been full of mother and daughter pairs, which illustrated the Queen’s importance as a matriarch.

Ms Cussons along with her mother Sheila Martin, both from London, befriended another pair, Clare Ronai and Lister Bolton, in the crowd.

The coffin procession heads down the Mall towards Wellington Arch
The coffin procession heads down the Mall towards Wellington Arch (Zac Goodwin/PA)

She said she had been brought to tears when the service commenced and was comforted by Ms Ronai, also from London.

“(The Queen) was in a sense an icon for women and mothers,” Ms Cussons said.

Ms Ronai, an account manager, said: “Everything went really quiet when the service started and then when the hymn started you could not only hear the audio from the abbey, but a murmur through the crowd who were singing along, which was incredibly emotional, and I think started the tears for me.

“People were hugging all around us and crying.”

2.20pm

The coffin procession heads down the Mall towards Wellington Arch before the Queen was transferred to a hearse for the drive to Windsor.

The coffin procession heads down the Mall towards Wellington Arch
(Zac Goodwin/PA)

2.15pm

Dr Caroline Harper, chief executive of the charity Sightsavers, of which the Queen was patron, was inside Westminster Abbey for the funeral.

She told the PA news agency the atmosphere inside was sombre “but also one of community”.

A mourner carrying an order of service
A mourner carrying an order of service (Peter Byrne/PA)

She added: “One of the most special moments was when the Queen arrived accompanied by pipers.

“You could just hear the pipers getting closer and closer. It was an incredible atmosphere, with people bowing their heads. It was very moving.”

2.13pm(/strong>

The streets of London were lined with mourners and well-wishers as the hearse made its journey to Windsor.

The State Gun Carriage carrying the Queen's coffin arrives at Wellington Arch
The State Gun Carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin arrives at Wellington Arch (Jane Barlow/PA)

There appeared to be few gaps along the roadside as the public paid their respects to the late monarch.

2.07pm

Last-minute travellers are continuing to pour out of Windsor and Eton Riverside Station to catch the final journey of the Queen’s coffin through the Berkshire town.

Hundreds of people were flooding out of the station at 2pm, joining the thousands already lining the streets.

2.05pm

Mourners have started to arrive at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, where a committal service will be held at 4pm.

Mourners arrive for the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Berkshire
(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

2.04pm

Three military personnel had to be assisted by colleagues after appearing to get into difficulty by Wellington Arch.

One appeared to collapse to the ground after the royal family had left, while two others were also seen being helped away before and after the transfer of the Queen’s coffin to the state hearse by the monument.

2.02pm

Television presenter Dan Walker has shared a newspaper cartoonist’s drawing of an elderly man watching the Queen’s funeral on the television while glancing at an empty chair beside him.

Walker wrote: “I spoke to a woman on my way into work today still grieving the loss of someone in her own family.

“Today has brought it all back. Funerals are hard. We can all look out for the lonely”

1.59pm

Thousands of mourners clapped and waved Union flags as a marching band paraded down the Long Walk in Windsor.

Dressed in official regalia, the band was led by officials on horseback as they marched from Windsor Castle down the pathway ahead of the Queen’s final journey through Windsor.

Outside the viewing areas, crowds struggled to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin to Windsor.

Despite requests from security guards, members of the public cut holes in netting, clambered up railings and pressed themselves into holly bushes along the edge of Hyde Park as the funeral cortege passed by.

1.54pm

The Queen’s coffin was gently placed into the state hearse before a sea of colourful military personnel, bands, and some cavalry gathered around Wellington Arch.

The transfer from the gun carriage to the vehicle took place in a still silence as the King, the Queen Consort and other senior members of the royal family stood to its side just metres away.

Charles and Camilla could be seen leaning their heads together to exchange a few words at one point.

Members of the military band play during the funeral procession
Members of the military band play during the funeral procession (Mike Egerton/PA)

Princess Charlotte, stood between her parents the Prince and Princess of Wales, clasped her mother’s hand.

The King and military personnel all saluted as the state hearse pulled away and the national anthem was played.

As the Queen continued on her final journey out of London, cheers could be heard from the distant park crowds.

1.52pm

Applause and a spontaneous three cheers broke out as the Queen’s coffin passed the Albert Memorial in Kensington in its way to Windsor.

King Charles III and the Princes Royal walk down The Mall, central London in the coffin procession after the Queen's state funeral
King Charles III and the Princes Royal walk down The Mall, central London in the coffin procession after the Queen’s state funeral (Martin Rickett/PA)

As the hearse drove off flowers were thrown into the road by members of the public watching from behind a fence.

Others waved Union flags as the fleet of vehicles drove past.

Following the departure of the coffin and the royal family, the bells at Westminster Abbey began to ring out.

The muffled peal will continue throughout the afternoon, which only occurs after the funeral of a sovereign.

1.51pm

The packed crowds at Whitehall have now mostly cleared, after police and stewards opened the barrier along Parliament Street and allowed the public to head towards the Thames and Westminster Bridge.

A significant crowd had built up, with people attempting to cross the street through the Westminster underground system before the barrier was opened.

1.50pm

Members of the Blues and Royals and The King’s Life Guards, the regiments of the Household Cavalry, lined up outside Hyde Park Barracks on South Carriage Drive.

Senior offices gave the salute as the hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin drove past and the troops stood to attention.

King Charles III, the Princess Royal and The Duke of Sussex follow the State Gun Carriage carrying the Queen's coffin after her funeral
King Charles III, the Princess Royal and The Duke of Sussex follow the State Gun Carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin after her funeral (Nick Potts/PA)

Meanwhile thousands of people lined the street next to Hyde Park.

Mourners waved flags, threw flowers and many gave the coffin a round of applause as the hearse slowly drove past.

1.48pm

There were shouts of “open the road” as police faced questions from spectators about the exit system from Whitehall.

Frustrations have grown in the last view minutes, amid conflicting reports of exit routes and when the roads in the vicinity of Whitehall are reopening.

People are now entering the Westminster underground station, at the corner of Parliament Square, but a significant crowd remains in the area.

1.47pm

Robert Scott and Fiona Russell, both 53, from Camden in North London, said that the Queen’s funeral procession was both sad and upbeat.

The pair had come to see Mr Scott’s brother Stan Scott, who was performing in the Band and Bugle of the Rifles.

Mr Scott said: “(The procession) was very complex but very moving. It was special for me because my brother was in the first band that set off.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
(Ian West/PA)

“Seeing the gun carriage with the coffin pulled by the sailors was the absolute pinnacle.”

Ms Russell said: “It felt fairly upbeat. It wasn’t as solemn as I expected. The sad part was seeing the Queen’s coffin with the crown on top.

“I didn’t really notice (the royals walking) as I was fixed on the coffin. It was too much to take in. I wasn’t too bothered about seeing them, I was here for the Queen. She was amazing.”

1.45pm

As the hearse left Wellington Arch, the national anthem was sung while the vehicle was given the royal salute by members of the military parade.

The King, the Queen Consort and members of the royal family are following the hearse to Windsor by car, ahead of the procession to St George’s Chapel where a committal ceremony will take place from 4pm.

1.40pm

A significant crowd remains in Whitehall, with police officers on the scene trying to manage the situation as bottlenecks build up in several areas.

Many in the crowd have complained about a lack of information regarding exits, with some growing frustrated at still being effectively kept at the scene long after the procession has ended.

1.36pm

The Queen’s coffin has been transferred to the State Hearse at Wellington Arch ahead of beginning its journey to Windsor for a committal ceremony later this afternoon.

Members of the royal family watched on as the bearer party lifted the coffin from the State Gun Carriage and loaded it into the back of the vehicle.

Much of the procession party lined up in formation on the green next to the monument and stood in silence during the moving of the coffin.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
(Martin Rickett/PA)

1.34pm

The procession has arrived at Wellington Arch, with the Queen’s coffin now being transferred to a hearse for a drive to Windsor.

1.29pm

As many members of the funeral congregation departed Westminster Abbey on foot and headed towards waiting buses, a motorcade of vehicles with the US presidential seal left the area shortly after 1.10pm, driving down Millbank.

1.25pm

Mourners lining the barriers on Constitution Hill waved red and white roses as the Queen’s coffin passed them.

The King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex appeared solemn as they walked behind.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
(Ian West/PA)

Princess Charlotte looked out at the crowds of people lining the street as she rode past in a car with the Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales and her brother Prince George.

The Duchess of Sussex and the Countess of Wessex both appeared sombre in a vehicle directly behind.

Following them, Princess Eugenie and and Princess Beatrice waved and smiled at mourners from a third car.

1.24pm

The Queen’s coffin was taken past Buckingham Palace for the final time as it travelled towards Wellington Arch.

Preceded by members of the armed forces, her coffin was taken clockwise around the Victoria Memorial on a gun carriage drawn by naval ratings.

Staff members from the Palace said their final goodbyes as the late monarch moved by, standing with their hands clasped and heads bowed.

1.20pm

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “It was the honour of a lifetime, and among its saddest moments, to preach at the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose hope and faith in Jesus Christ inspired her servant leadership.”

1.19pm

The crowd along the Mall broke into applause and cheers after the Queen’s coffin passed them and circled round the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

Members of the royal family, including the King, remained expressionless as they marched behind, while other members of the royal family, including the Princess of Wales, looked on at the crowds as they passed them in vehicles.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
(David Davies/PA)

Once the coffin reached Buckingham Palace, members of staff at the palace bowed and curtsied both at the coffin and members of the royal family as they made their way past.

1.16pm

People gathered around the country to watch the Queen’s funeral.

1.09pm

The Queen’s coffin procession has reached Buckingham Palace, with members of the public lining The Mall breaking out into a round of applause as the State Gun Carriage moved past.

The King’s Guard turned out in the forecourt of the Palace to give a salute to the coffin at the Queen Victoria Monument.

1.07pm

Hundreds of colourful bouquets have brightened the base of Windsor Castle ahead of the procession of the Queen’s coffin through the Berkshire town.

Several mourners have been seen praying and quietly shedding a tear as they laid flowers for the late monarch.

The Duke of Sussex looks at the coffin following his grandmother's funeral
The Duke of Sussex looks at the coffin following his grandmother’s funeral (Andrew Milligan/PA)

1.04pm

The Ministry of Defence tweeted: “Thank you Ma’am.

“The Armed Forces are honouring their Commander-In-Chief today as part of the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“Thousands of personnel have lined the streets and led The Queen’s coffin from Westminster Abbey.”

1.01pm

A “back-up” hearse has arrived at Hyde Park Barracks, in London, the headquarters of the Household Cavalry.

Emotional members of the public during the Queen's funeral
Emotional members of the public during the Queen’s funeral (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The vehicle will discreetly follow the hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin as it travels to Windsor after the funeral procession.

1pm

The head of the procession leading the Queen’s coffin through London has reached the Wellington Arch monument at Hyde Park Corner, where the coffin will be transferred on to the state hearse.

The mass of military bands and personnel slowly marched into the green space around the imposing monument.

According to English Heritage, the arch was an original entrance to Buckingham Palace, later becoming a victory arch commemorating the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon.

The arch is topped by a large bronze sculpture, depicting the angel of peace descending on the four-horsed chariot of war.

12.57pm

The State Gun Carriage carries the Queen’s coffin after her funeral:

The State Gun Carriage carries the Queen's coffin after her funeral
(Zac Goodwin/PA)
The State Gun Carriage carries the Queen's coffin after her funeral
(Zac Goodwin/PA)

12.54pm

Mourners held a two-minute silence outside the doors of Westminster Abbey, where the Queen’s funeral was held, shortly before noon.

12.51pm

The Queen’s coffin has been borne through Horse Guards Parade, where Her Majesty presided over scores of Trooping the Colour ceremonies during her reign.

It has now has entered The Mall as the funeral procession continues towards Buckingham Palace.

The sombre scene is bathed in sunshine, with the accompanying music of the military bands punctuated by the chimes of Big Ben.

Members of the public on the Mall listen to the Queen's funeral
Members of the public on the Mall listen to the Queen’s funeral (Tim Goode/PA)

12.47pm

The crowd in Whitehall broke into a chorus of “hip, hip, hooray” and a round of applause as the procession drew past and people began to move on.

12.46pm

Young children sat on their parents’ shoulders to watch as the procession made its way along Constitution Hill.

Camera phones attached to selfie sticks were held up by some members of the crowd to capture the cortege when it passed.

The State Gun Carriage carries the Queen's coffin after her state funeral at Westminster Abbey
The State Gun Carriage carries the Queen’s coffin after her state funeral at Westminster Abbey (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Some mourners lining the barriers along the route clutched red roses as the sound of the military bands drew closer.

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