The Queen today began her last public duty – to lie in state for the nation until Monday – after she completed her final and saddest journey to Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace accompanied by the bereft Royal Family.
King Charles, his three siblings and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry, had marched behind her coffin in the September sunshine to Parliament watched by hundreds of thousands of people before they handed Her Majesty over to her subjects.
From 5pm mourners will be able to file past the coffin to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch with an estimated 1million people expected to queue for up to 30 hours to see her before the state funeral on Monday. The queue snaking through central London is already more than two miles long.
During an extraordinary 38 minute march down a packed Mall and down to Parliament Square, Her Majesty’s children and grandchildren, led by King Charles III, delivered her to Westminster where she is laid to rest before her funeral next Monday.
The Queen’s coffin entered Westminster Hall as the choir of Westminster Abbey and the choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, sang Psalm 139. The Archbishop of Canterbury then read the opening prayer, which the King led the royals in reciting. The family stood silently for the short service that the late monarch had put together with the Church of England before she died aged 96.
Cries of ‘God save the King’ could be heard as the King and the Queen Consort left Westminster Hall as Big Ben rang out at 3.30pm. Royal couples left the building side by side, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex holding hands and the Princess of Wales rubbing her husband’s arm reassuringly.
At 2.22pm today Her Majesty was carried down The Mall on a gun carriage – a tradition dating back to the death of her great-grandmother Queen Victoria in 1901 – as her children, grandchildren and other senior royals marched behind in time to a funeral march.
The Queen arrived at Westminster Hall at 3pm – where she was placed on a catafalque – a raised platform, with her crown, orb and sceptre on top. The monarch will lie in state there for four days and five nights.
William and Harry again set aside their feud and stood next to each other as they accompanied their beloved grandmother to Parliament. Their wives travelled separately in cars. During the service, the senior royals stood in formation facing the coffin on its purple-covered catafalque, which was flanked with a tall, yellow flickering candle at each corner of the wide scarlet platform.
The King and Queen Consort stood together a metre or so apart, with the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence behind them, then the Duke of York alone, and in the next row the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Behind them were the Prince and Princess of Wales, with the Duke of Sussex behind William, and the Duchess of Sussex directly behind Kate. The Cross of Westminster was placed at the head of the coffin.
When the Queen arrived, Charles, William and Anne saluted. Harry and Prince Andrew – barred from wearing military uniform – bowed their head instead. The Princess of Wales was wearing the Diamond and Pearl Leaf Brooch which belonged to the Queen.
Meghan and Harry left holding hands while the Princess of Wales rubbed her husband’s arm reassuringly as walked from Westminster Hall.
Her Majesty has been handed to Britain by the King to lie in state until Monday
The Queen’s coffin entered Westminster Hall as the choir of Westminster Abbey and the choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, sang Psalm 139 (pictured)
King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, follow the Queen’s coffin into Westminster Hall
The King and his Queen Consort led the Royal Family into Westminster Hall
Prince William stood next to his wife Kate, with Harry and Meghan, the Sussexes, behind them
Prince Harry brushes his hands across his eyes alongside his wife
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, curtseys and her husband bows as they look at the Queen’s casket
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace for her lying in state
The coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II, with her crown on top, rests in Westminster Hall
24 hours a day, for the next four days and five nights, the public will be able to view the Queen’s casket and her crown
The Queen is placed in Westminster Hall to lie in state for the nation to pay their respects
The King closes his eyes in prayer during a short service in Westminster Hall
Harry, William, Edward, Meghan and Kate bow their heads in prayer
Kate and Meghan stood close to each other, as did their feuding husbands
James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor pay their respects to the Queen
Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister Liz Truss file past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin
Camilla, Kate, Sophie and Meghan watch as the Queen’s coffin is carried into her resting place for the next four days
A sombre Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stands during the service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Prince Harry looks at the ancient roof alongside Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, as they stand in Westminster Hall after participating in the procession of the coffin
Harry and Meghan held hands as they followed William and Kate from the Hall
Catherine, Princess of Wales and Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales reassure one another as they leave after a service for the reception of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at Westminster Hall
Mike Tindall, Zara Tindall, Princess Eugenie, Jack Brooksbank, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Beatrice looked thoughtful, as did Lady Louise Windsor and her younger brother James Siscount Severn
James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor, who appeared to wipe away a tear
The Queen arrives at Westminster Hall, built almost 1,000 years ago and where previous monarchs also lay in state
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall watched by her bereft family today
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at Westminster Hall
The Archbishop of Canterbury leads prayers for the late monarch in a short service she designed
Britain’s King Charles III, Britain’s Prince William, Britain’s Princess Anne, salute the coffin. Prince Harry and Prince Andrew – no longer frontline royals, did not, bowing instead
King Charles III, the Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales, salute as the bearer party carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) and Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York watch as pallbearers from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards prepare to carry the coffin
Her coffin was carried through Palace Yard and into the ancient heart of the Palace of Westminster
Her Majesty was carried on the gun carriage that had also borne her parents when they died 50 years apart
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, adorned with a Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown and pulled by a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, arrives at the Palace of Westminste
The procession of the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth enters the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state
In the shadow of Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower – named after the Queen – Her Majesty arrives
The royals salute the cenotaph – but Harry, not in military uniform, bowed his head
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried down The Mall today
Members of the public line the Queen Victoria Memorial and the Mall as King Charles III and members of the royal family walk with Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin as it is taken in procession on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall
The procession left Her Majesty’s home at precisely 2.22pm today
The procession poignantly passed the statue of the Queen’s parents King George VI and the Queen Mother which overlooks The Mall. The Imperial State Crown, worn by the Queen on the way back to Buckingham Palace after her Coronation, glittered in the daylight as the crowds held aloft their phones to capture the scenes.
After a 38 minute journey to the cradle of British democracy, the coffin was brought into the Houses of Parliament via the Carriage Gates entrance and passed through New Palace Yard, which features at its centre a fountain to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
The King and the Queen Consort led the Royal Family into Westminster Hall – with William and Kate standing in front of Harry and Meghan during the 20 minute service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the route but there was a silent reverence as the coffin appeared. There were some muted cheers and clapping and cries of God Save the Queen as well as many tears shed as the late monarch left her London home for the final time. All viewing areas on The Mall, Whitehall and Parliament Square were full by 1pm – with people turned away.
The Queen’s coffin was draped with the Royal Standard and adorned with the glittering, priceless Imperial State Crown on a purple velvet cushion and a wreath of white flowers for the procession to the lying in state. The flowers were white roses, spray white roses, white dahlias and foliage, including pine from the gardens at Balmoral and pittosporum, lavender and rosemary from the gardens at Windsor.
The procession left the palace at 2.22pm and is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm. A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.
Princess Anne, who has remained with her mother since she died last Thursday, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward also followed the coffin on the 1.2mile journey to Westminster Hall – the ancient heart of the Houses of Parliament where up to 1million Britons hope to see the Queen lying in state there as her father and mother did in 1952 and 2002.
Queen Consort Camilla, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Sussex and the Countess of Wessex followed by car. Zara and Mike Tindall. Princess Beatrice, her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank are also taking part. But Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson did not receive an invite because of their divorce.
The occasion is heavy with historical significance, with brothers Prince William and Prince Harry setting aside their ongoing feud to support their father by marching with him behind the coffin. For William and Harry it will bring back painful memories of when they, aged 15 and 12, walked behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana in 1997.
The Queen’s coffin was borne on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery – poignantly used for the coffins of the late Queen’s mother and father.
Known as the George Gun Carriage, it carried King George VI from Sandringham Church to Wolferton Station after his death in 1952 and was used in the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002.
2.22pm: The gun carriage bearing the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth II departs Buckingham Palace, transferring the coffin to The Palace of Westminster
The King stares at his mother’s coffin as they begin their doleful final march together
King Charles and his heir the Prince of Wales, who followed his father on yet another emotional day for the royals
The Royal Family follow Her Majesty the Queen from Buckingham Palace as she is handed to the nation
Funeral marches played as the Queen was borne on a carriage that also carried her father in 1952 and her mother in 2002
Harry and William stood side-by-side amid the ongoing feud between the siblings and hopes they may reconcile
(left to right) The Duke of Wales, The Duke of Sussex, King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex walk behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard
The Queen Consort Camilla and the Princess of Wales travelled in the first limousine behind the coffin
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, travelled to Westminster with Sophie, Countess of Wessex
The extraordinary scene as the procession leaves Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s home for most of her 96-year life
There were huge crowds again to see the Queen on her final journey before her coffin is handed to the nation
The Queen’s coffin was adorned with the glittering, priceless Imperial State Crown on a purple velvet cushion
The Queen’s funeral cortege makes its way along The Mall from Buckingham Palace during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II followed by her bereft family
The Life Guards march before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is taken to the Palace Of Westminster
Britain’s King Charles marches during a procession where the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state
Britain’s King Charles and Britain’s William, Prince of Wales march during the procession
The brothers have become estranged but have appeared in public twice together in the past week since the Queen’s death
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walks behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, adorned with a Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown and pulled by a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery,
King Charles marched with his sister the Princess Royal, who has stayed with their mother’s coffin since she died
King Charles, Princess Anne, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex walked together
Britain’s Queen Camilla and Catherine, Princess of Wales are pictured during the procession
The Queen enters Whitehall on the 1.2mile journey to Parliament to lie in state
Prince William, Prince of Wales, King Charles III, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk behind the coffin
The Queen’s children including the King and her grandchildren, including William, Harry and Peter Phillips make the mournful journey to Westminster Hall
This man was heartbroken as he watched the moving scenes as the late Queen’s coffin was transported from Buckingham Palace for the last time
One mourner sobs as she watched Queen Elizabeth leaving Buckingham Palace for the final time from Hyde Park
There were tears in the crowds as the nation said goodbye to its longest-reigning monarch
The Queen’s funeral cortege makes its way along The Mall from Buckingham Palace
The Queen was carried on a carriage in a tradition adopted by Queen Victoria when she died
Huge crowds turned out to witness history with viewing areas full before the procession began
The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace in her coffin – with her crown on top – followed her family this afternoon
The royals moved in time to the imposing funeral marches, in step with one another and the troops.
William stared straight ahead as he processed directly behind his father the King, in keeping with his place as the new heir to the throne.
Charles, in his Field Marshal uniform, held onto the end of his Field Marshal Baton, which was presented to him by his mother when he became Field Marshal in 2012.
Solemn members of the Royal Family gathered this lunchtime to prepare to accompany the Queen for her poignant final journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will lie in state for the next five nights.
The crowd burst into applause and cheers as King Charles III passed the Victoria Memorial in his state Rolls Royce as he was taken into the residence, followed later by Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and Queen Consort Camilla.
Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the route as they do so. The Queen’s other children Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne will also form part of the procession through London.
Her Majesty spent her final night in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace before she will be conveyed on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall – where she will lie in state until 6.30am next Monday, the day of her funeral.
More than one million people are expected to queue in Central London for up to 35 hours to walk past her coffin – but experts believe only 400,000 will make it inside meaning 600,000 people will be left disappointed.
Mourners have also been joining the queue to attend the lying in state, opening at 5pm tonight. Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’.
The queuing infrastructure for the Queen’s lying in state is 10 miles in length, it is understood. This includes 6.9 miles from Victoria Tower Gardens to Southwark Park, with a further three miles inside Southwark Park.
The Queen arrived at the palace last night to tears and cheers from the crowds who stood in the rain to welcome her home after her death at Balmoral last Thursday. The route from RAF Northolt to the palace was packed.
There was a wave of lights as many raised their mobile phones in the air to film the hearse as it passed. As the hearse drove through the gates, Charles could be seen bowing his head with Harry and Meghan stood behind.
The coffin arrives at the Houses of Parliament where the coffin was carried into Westminster Hall
The Queen passes the Cenotaph and Downing Street in the poignant journey
This afternoon, tens of thousands of people lined the streets ahead of the Queen’s coffin leaving Buckingham Palace. Large Union flags were positioned above the crowds, who were packed in behind temporary barriers.
Uniformed police officers stood in front of those who had lined up to catch a glimpse of the procession from the palace down The Mall.
Today King Charles and senior royals on foot will be followed by senior staff from both the Queen’s and King’s Households, then by close personal staff.
The procession will walk in silence without music, while guards of honour from all three services will be formed along the route.
The King’s Life Guard will give a royal salute as the coffin passes through Horse Guards Arch. Outside Buckingham Palace the King’s Guard will welcome the coffin.
Meanwhile, throughout the procession, minute guns will be fired at Hyde Park by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery and Big Ben will toll.
At 3pm, the coffin will arrive at the North Door of Westminster Hall, before being carried to the catafalque inside by a bearer party from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Well-wishers will begin filing past the coffin from 5pm to mark the start of four-and-half days of the Queen lying in state.
A round-the-clock vigil will be mounted under the catafalque by officers of the Household Division, the King’s Body Guards of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, the King’s Body Guard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers and the King’s Body Guard the Yeomen of the Guard.
It will remain open 24 hours a day until at 6.30am on Monday.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets to pay their respects to the Queen. The queue is expected to stretch for five miles, taking up to 30 hours to reach the front.
Once people have passed through Albert Embankment, they will be directed across Lambeth Bridge, into Victoria Tower Gardens
Extra welfare facilities, including toilets and water fountains, have been placed sporadically along the route.
The presence of Charles, William and Harry in the procession today will see the father and sons united in their grief for a mother and grandmother.
William and Harry put on a united front with their wives during a mammoth walkabout on Saturday.
The brothers have a well-documented troubled relationship but the death of their grandmother saw them unexpectedly come together when they viewed floral tributes left to the late Queen at Windsor Castle.
William, Kate, Harry and Meghan arrived in the same vehicle and greeted well-wishers for around 40 minutes before William hopped into the driver’s seat of the Audi with his wife in the passenger seat, and his brother and sister-in-law in the back.
In his televised address to the nation on Friday evening, the King talked of his love for Harry and Meghan, saying: ‘I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.’
Then in Harry’s tribute to his grandmother he said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign as King.
The last time Charles and his two sons were all seen together in public was at the service of thanksgiving for the Queen in St Paul’s Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
But on that occasion, Harry and Meghan were seated some distance from Charles and William on the other side of the aisle in the second row, behind the Wessex family and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
King Charles III waves to the crowds as he is driven along The Mall to Buckingham Palace this morning
Queen Consort Camilla is seen arriving at Buckingham Palace this afternoon ahead of the procession for the Queen
The Victoria Memorial and The Mall ahead of the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II this afternoon
The Queen Consort arrived at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon, dressed in black and wearing a hat
The Life Guard dismounted detachment of the Household Cavalry and the Dismounted detachment of the Blues and Royals are seen entering the gates of Buckingham Palace ahead of the procession for Queen Elizabeth II this afternoon
Princess Eugenie leaves Clarence House on the way to Buckingham Palace for today’s procession to Westminster Hall
Crowds gather along The Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace today
Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi arrive at Buckingham Palace this afternoon
The Household Cavalry head along the Mall ahead of the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin to Westminster today
Coldstream Guards outside Buckingham Palace in London today ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin
Her Majesty will be conveyed on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London this afternoon
Members of the Coldstream Guards leave Wellington Barracks in London today ahead of the ceremonial procession
Police officers gather outside Buckingham Palace from where the coffin of the late Queen will depart this afternoon
The Life Guard dismounted detachment of the Household Cavalry are seen entering the gates of Buckingham Palace today
Mounted police and guards line up outside Buckingham Palace from where the coffin of the late Queen will depart today
A general view along The Mall in London today as Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin will be taken in procession
Mourners gather to watch a TV broadcast of the procession at a screening site in Hyde Park this afternoon
Union flags are seen lining The Mall today as Metropolitan Police officers are seen gathering ahead of the procession
Life Guards and Blues and Royals units of the Household Cavalry and Household Division Foot Guards at Buckingham Palace
King Charles III is driven to Buckingham Palace in London with a police escort this morning
King Charles III leaves Clarence House in London today ahead of the ceremonial procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin
Mounted police pass Admiralty Arch ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II today
Crowds gather along The Mall ahead of the ceremonial procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II this afternoon
Crowds and security on Horse Guards Parade on the day the coffin of the Queen is transported from Buckingham Palace
People gather along Whitehall ahead of the procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II this afternoon
Yeomen Warders arrive on St Margaret’s Street today ahead of the procession for the lying in state this afternoon
Police officers take up positions as street workers clear away rubbish along The Mall ahead of the procession today
London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks to police officers as he is seen walking through Westminster this afternoon
King Charles III leaves Clarence House in London today ahead of the ceremonial procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin
King Charles III waves to the crowds as he arrives at Buckingham Palace in London this morning
King Charles III waves to the crowds as he is driven along The Mall to Buckingham Palace this morning
King Charles III is driven from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace in London this morning
King Charles arrives at Buckingham Palace in London today as Britain continues to mourn Queen Elizabeth II
King Charles III waves to the crowds as he is driven along The Mall to Buckingham Palace this morning
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby meeting members of the public in the queue on the South Bank near to Lambeth Bridge today, as they wait to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral
The Jubilee service at St Paul’s was Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance alongside the Windsors since they stepped down as senior royals in 2020 amid the Megxit storm.
Music will act as ‘golden thread of history’ during Queen’s procession
Music will act as a ‘golden thread of history, heritage and tradition’ during the procession for the Queen’s state funeral, a former military music director has said.
On Monday, the Queen’s coffin will be taken from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey with senior members of the family expected to follow behind.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones, former senior director of music for the Household Division, told the PA news agency that music will play an important role in proceedings.
During a 40-year career serving as a military musician and then director of music, Lt Col Jones was responsible for planning, co-ordinating and delivering the music for major state ceremonial events such as the funeral of the Queen Mother, the Queen’s birthday parade, and the Armistice Cenotaph Parade.
He said funeral marches by classical composers Beethoven, Chopin and Mendelssohn will be played on Monday, as they were during the funeral procession for Queen Victoria in 1901.
‘Everything that we do in state ceremonial is born out of a golden thread of history, heritage and tradition,’ he said.
‘We are not making anything up. This has come through the past and so, if we go back to Queen Victoria’s funeral and the music that was played and performed there, that was Beethoven’s March, Chopin’s March – they were played repeatedly.
‘And then we move forward to the three kings, with King George VI, and of course here we are today.’
Lt Col Jones said the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, the Queen’s first prime minister, had also featured music by those composers, adding: ‘And those are the marches that are going to be played this year for Her Majesty’s state procession through London.
‘There’s no change. There’s no reason to change. It has worked perfectly well in the past.’
Lt Col Jones described music as a ‘powerful tool’ that ‘unites people and sets the scene for true reflection’.
‘Funeral marches in particular have a real knack of being able to do that, so I think you’ll find it all extremely poignant,’ he said.
He suggested the funeral service inside Westminster Abbey could reflect the Queen’s personal taste in music, which was said to include musicals such as Oklahoma! and show tunes such as Cheek To Cheek performed by Fred Astaire.
Lt Col Jones said: ‘That’s a matter between church and monarch, to decide the service and service content, and I know there has been quite a little bit of rumblings in the media about Her Majesty’s top 10 favourite tunes and will any of those feature in the service.
‘I never had any responsibility for that because, as I said, it’s between church and the monarchy to decide the content and structure of the funeral service.’
The former music director, who now works as a band trainer, lecturer and performer, also said that, for those involved in the parade, this is ‘probably the greatest honour and privilege that they will ever have in their musical career within the armed forces’.
He added: ‘And so it’s not an onerous duty at all – it’s a privilege and a pleasure.
‘They will be doing everything they can to perform to the highest level possible on Monday when the eyes of the world are watching them.
‘Trust me, not only are they going to be getting the music right – there will be an extra shine on the buttons, a bit more extra polish on the shoes, a bit of an extra press of the trousers, to make sure they’re immaculate, not only in performance but also in the visual look.
‘It’s a big, big day for them and they will be doing everything they can to make it be the best it can possibly be.’
In April 2021, Harry and William joined their father when they walked behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin at his funeral.
The brothers were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips but he dropped back half a pace at one point so the siblings appeared closer together.
After the funeral service, William and Harry could be seen chatting as they walked back up the hill from the chapel to the castle.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones, former senior director of music for the Household Division, said music will act as a ‘golden thread of history, heritage and tradition’ during the procession for the Queen’s state funeral on Monday.
He said: ‘We are not making anything up. This has come through the past and so if we go back to Queen Victoria’s funeral and the music that was played and performed there, that was Beethoven’s March, Chopin’s March – they were played repeatedly. And then we move forward to the three kings, with King George VI, and of course here we are today.’
Lt Col Jones said the funeral of Winston Churchill, the Queen’s first prime minister, had also featured music by those composers, adding: ‘And those are the marches that are going to be played this year for Her Majesty’s state procession through London.
‘There’s no change. There’s no reason to change. It has worked perfectly well in the past.’
David Howard, who travelled to Buckingham Palace from Surrey with his wife Sue, likened the Queen to a swan – ‘always graceful on the surface, even if there were all sorts of thoughts and concerns underneath’.
Mr Howard, 59, said: ‘The thing that gets me about her is that she didn’t say anything to be popular, unlike politicians, and so when she did say things, there was a streak of authenticity and honesty, as well as through her actions and the way she lived.
‘I think she read the mood music very well after Diana’s death and realised things had to change.
‘They became far more approachable and modernised, institutionally.’
He added: ‘She was like that classic swan – graceful on the surface, even there were all sorts of thoughts or concerns underneath.’
Stella Single, from Coventry, said she could ‘feel the difference’ in tone from other royal events as the thousands-strong crowd outside Buckingham Palace remained ‘sombre’.
‘It’s very quiet, whereas usually it’s quite loud,’ she said. ‘I can really feel the difference in the sound. My mum was a monarchist as well and I feel like I’ve lost a bit of her as well. I can’t stop crying.’
William Single, 19, said he got up at 5am to travel from Coventry in order to secure a spot outside Buckingham Palace to pay tribute to the Queen.
‘I’m here because she served for 70 years and worked every day of her life, and I just want to say thank you,’ he said.
There will be more than 1,000 volunteers, stewards, marshals and police officers on hand at any one time as people queue for the Queen’s lying in state, it is understood.
There will be 779 professional stewards per shift, assisted by 100 civil service volunteer marshals, 40 adult scouts, and 30 members of the first aid nursing yeomanry, as well as Metropolitan Police officers.
There is further queue support from 10 members of the Red Cross, 30 multifaith pastors – co-ordinated by Lambeth Palace – and six Samaritans per shift.
There will also be two British Sign Language interpreters in the accessible queue.
Overall, there are 140 Red Cross volunteers from every nation in the UK, 120 from the Scouts, 170 from the Salvation Army, 180 from the Samaritans, 600 from St John Ambulance, and then the wider deployment of military personnel helping with the overall ceremonial events.
There are more than 500 Portaloos along the route.
There will be an element of self-policing when it comes to people keeping their places in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state, it is understood.
Those waiting in line will be given a coloured and numbered wristband, specific to each person, allowing them to leave for a reasonable amount of time.
Elizabeth II made her final journey home to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday after her coffin travelled across the country from Balmoral. Charles and the Royal Family can be seen through a glass window waiting to meet the coffin
William and Harry will walk behind the Queen’s coffin tomorrow, similar to the funeral of their mother Princess Diana when they were children in 1997
Thousands crowded the streets as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrived in the Royal Hearse at Buckingham Palace
The Queen will be moved to the Palace of Westminster where she will lie in state. Pictured: Pallbearers from the Queen’s Colour Squadron (63 Squadron RAF Regiment) carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to the Royal Hearse having removed it from the C-17 at RAF Northolt
William and Harry reunited in mourning for their grandmother this week and met well-wishers outside Windsor Castle
The brothers were joined by wives Catherine and Meghan as the ‘Fab Four’ greeted the public on Saturday September 10
The two brothers, along with their wives, visited grieving fans outside of Windsor Castle on Saturday
People sit under umbrellas and wear raincoats this morning as they queue along the Albert Embankment in London
The state hearse carries the Queen’s coffin through the gates of the palace as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause
The Queen’s coffin arriving at Buckingham Palace as thousands of mourners applauded the late monarch
The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at Buckingham Palace
The state hearse carried the Queen’s coffin into Buckingham Palace, where it will be received by the whole Royal Family
The Queen’s coffin arrived at RAF Northolt in west London
The Queen’s Colour Squadron carrying Her Majesty the Queen’s coffin off the plane at RAF Northolt
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry travelled to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to join the entire Royal Family – including King Charles III, the Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales – as they received the Queen’s coffin
The ceremony at Parliament dates back centuries but was never been seen publicly until Monday
Charles said he was moved by the tributes to his mother – who he said ‘set an example of selfless duty’ that he said he would faithfully follow
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla stand for the national anthem at the ceremony in Westminster Hall
It is thought people will know those around them in the line and be supportive when others need to step out.
What happens after today?
– September 15:
Lying in state continues and a rehearsal is likely to take place for the state funeral procession.
– September 16:
The King and Queen Consort are expected to travel to Wales while lying in state continues.
– September 17-18:
The lying in state continues and heads of state will begin to arrive for the funeral.
Members of the public Me are invited to observe a one-minute silence at 8pm on Sunday to remember the Queen.
– September 19:
There will be a national bank holiday to allow as many people as possible to watch the Queen’s funeral.
Lying in state will continue until 6.30am.
The coffin will be taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral.
Senior members of the family are expected to follow behind – just like they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The military will line the streets and also join the procession.
Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in the abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000.
The service will be televised, and a national two minutes’ silence is expected to be held.
After the service, the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then travel to Windsor.
Once there, the hearse will travel in procession to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, after which a televised committal service will take place in St George’s Chapel.
Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.
The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.
It is not guaranteed that everyone who makes the queue will get to see the Queen’s lying in state.
To help avoid disappointment, entry to the back of the line may be closed early, to ensure as near as possible that those already waiting are able to file past the late monarch’s coffin in Westminster Hall to pay their respects.
It is too early to estimate when this moment might come, but the total number of people in the queue will be monitored towards the end of the lying in state period, which must be completed by 6.30am on Monday September 19, the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Entry to the line will also be paused for a time if the queuing infrastructure cannot take any more people.
Kush Sonigra, who lives in the London area, is spending his 24th birthday in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state and hopes to make it back home in time for dinner with his family this evening.
After those waiting behind him in the queue sang Happy Birthday, he said: ‘Well, fortunately, from work I get the day off for my birthday, so I thought I’d get involved and see what the hype is about, get involved with the event.’
He added: ‘There’s a family dinner table so I’m hoping, depending on how late I finish here, I might be able to make it for that. Otherwise, we will postpone that to the weekend.’
He said his mother ‘is a little bit upset that I’m missing the family dinner, but I think she’ll understand’.
Former member of the Balmoral Guard Duncan Rasor, who met the Queen while serving in Scotland, wore his military medals and Glengarry headdress as he queued for the lying in state in London.
The 48-year-old served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and said: ‘I spent four months up in Balmoral valley and so I did get to meet the Queen and spend some time with her.
‘So, from a personal perspective, I wanted to come and pay my respects for everything that she’s done.’
He described spending time with the royal family as an ‘extraordinary privilege’ and added: ‘Even though they are on holiday up in Balmoral, they are still working, and it just never stops.
‘I think that is something which is starting to become more apparent to people is quite how hard Her Majesty has worked for her entire life.’
He served in the regiment between 1997 and 2002 and wore a Northern Ireland medal and a Kosovo medal.
Asked why he decided to wear his medals and Glengarry headdress, he said: ‘She was our Colonel-in-Chief so, having been part of the regiment, I could have come down without it, but I retired 20 years ago so I’m not a serving soldier, but it is a rare opportunity to put on a headdress and wear medals again and just be proud, I guess.’
Jacqueline Nemorin, Suzanne Howell, and Patricia King did not know each other before they joined the queue to attend the lying in state at the same time, at 6pm last night. They are 44th, 45th and 46th in line.
Ms Nemorin said the wait overnight was ‘really terrible’ due to the weather conditions, which she described as ‘raining cats and dogs’.
She added that she managed ‘a little cat nap’ at some point in the night, but her two new friends ‘didn’t sleep at all’.
They have been told that they will be allowed to cross Lambeth Bridge to do security checks at around 3.30pm, before being let into Westminster Hall to see the Queen’s coffin.
Ms Howell said a man who lives in a block of flats on the other side of the river had brought over camping chairs, a blanket and food for the trio.
Ms Howell said: ‘We were told that there would be like a million or millions of people expected and that it could be a 30-hour wait.
‘So that’s why I was saying I was so surprised when we arrived last night and we’re in the 40s (in the queue). I thought this can’t be the queue, I must be in the wrong place.’
She added: ‘We haven’t slept at all, but I don’t feel tired.
‘We’re glad we did it, we’ve got no regrets.’
Chris Bond, from Truro, had attended the lying in state of the Queen Mother in 2002, and expected to have less of a wait to see Queen Elizabeth, after joining the queue at 7am on the other side of the Thames to the Palace of Westminster.
Mr Bond, wearing a black tie and jacket, said that in 2002, ‘I saw the procession pass by at Horse Guards Parade, and then by the time I made my way down, I actually started to queue right down by the Millennium Wheel and then took me six hours to progress from there.’
‘It was six o’clock when I walked into Westminster.’
He added: ‘Obviously, it’s quite difficult queuing all day long, but when you walk through those doors into Westminster Hall, that marvellous, historic building, there was a great sense of hush and one was told you take as much time as you like, and it’s just amazing.’
In preparation for the wait this time, Mr Bond had brought crisps, nuts and energy bars and bottles of water, and he said he was ‘well-equipped’ for the duration.
He said: ‘We know the Queen was a good age and she served the country a long time, but we hoped this day would never come.
‘But it has come, and I think undoubtedly she has been our most outstanding monarch.’
Retired teacher Mike Galbraith, 68, from Arkansas, said the Queen was one of the last ‘truly great people’.
Speaking outside Windsor Castle today, Mr Galbraith said he had been scheduled to spend two days on a layover in the UK while travelling to Romania to visit his wife’s family when he learned of the Queen’s death.
‘We’re lucky to be here, this is historic,’ he said.
‘She has been Queen all my life,’ he said. ‘She was a great person. In the US we don’t have a queen so she’s the closest thing we have got.’
He added: ‘The Queen was, to me, one of the last of the truly great people.’
Steven Welsh, 68, from Lancashire, said he will not head into London to see the Queen’s coffin procession because it will be ‘congested’.
Speaking outside Windsor Castle today, he said: ‘It’ll be congested won’t it? We will probably just hang around Windsor and watch it on the telly.’
He added: ‘I think to go there, there will be so many people there. I won’t be missing the funeral, I think a lot of people will just watch it on the telly.’
However, he said he had come to Windsor from his home in the North West to be ‘part of it’.
‘We’ve come down today to be part of it,’ he said.
‘We’ve been watching it on telly, but it feels more personal when you come down.’