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State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II of England: all you need to know about the day

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The state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the first in the UK since that of Winston Churchill in 1965, follows a meticulously prepared procedure. Each step is set like clockwork. Here is the program (Belgian time):

  • 7:30 a.m. : the exhibition of the coffin ends at Westminster Hall, which closes to the public, for its transfer to the nearby Westminster Abbey.
  • 9 hours : Doors open at Westminster Abbey.
  • 11:35 a.m. : the coffin is carried from the catafalque, the imposing platform where it rested, to the gun carriage which will wait outside the north door of Westminster Hall.
  • 11:44 am : The Royal Navy gun carriage sets out for a short procession to Westminster Abbey, hauled by 142 sailors.
  • 11:52 : The coffin arrives at the west door of Westminster Abbey, followed on foot by the Queen’s eldest son and heir apparent, King Charles III and the other members of the Royal Family. The coffin is carried from the gun carriage inside the building.
  • 12 hours : State funeral begins, conducted by Dean of Westminster David Hoyle. The sermon is delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church of which the British sovereign is the formal head.
  • Around 12:55 p.m. : the bugle sounds, followed by two minutes of silence across the UK.
  • Around 1 p.m. : the ceremony ends with the national anthem and a musical lament.
  • 1:15 p.m. : The coffin is pulled from the gun carriage towards Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, near Buckingham Palace, followed by the Royal Family and a procession, to the sound of Big Ben and cannon shots.
  • Around 2 p.m. : the coffin arrives at Wellington Arch, then placed in the royal hearse to take the direction of Windsor.
  • 4:06 p.m. : the hearse arrives at Windsor and enters “the Long Walk”, an impressive rectilinear path of more than 4 kilometers which leads to Windsor Castle.
  • Around 4:40 p.m. : The King and senior members of the Royal Family join the procession on foot from the Quadrangle, the Great Court of Windsor Castle, before the procession stops at the Chapel at 4.53pm.
  • 17 hours : the funeral ceremony begins at the chapel of Saint-Georges in the presence of members of the royal family and the 15 Prime Ministers of the kingdoms who exercised with the British sovereign as Head of State. About 45 minutes later, the coffin descends into the royal crypt.
  • 8:30 p.m. : the private burial ceremony is held at the King George VI Memorial at St. George’s Chapel. The Queen rests alongside her husband Prince Philip.

A special edition devoted to funeral coverage will take place on TV, on La Une, as well as on Auvio from 10:30 a.m.