with numerous streets closed to the public in the center of the British capital and a visible police presence on almost any street corner, London launched the operation for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
More than 500 heads of state and dignitaries from around the world will attend the state funeral in London on Monday for Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96 after more than seven decades as sovereign of the United Kingdom.
This is the largest event with foreign leaders that the British Foreign Office has coordinated in modern times, for which A security device comparable to that of the London Olympics in 2012 has been deployed.
It is the first state funeral to be held in the 21st century in the United Kingdom, which has not experienced similar ceremonies since the death of George VI, in 1952, and that of the prime minister Winston Churchill, in 1965.
This is how the day is planned to unfold:
– 6:30 local time (5:30 GMT).- The burning chapel of Elizabeth II closes in the Palace of Westminster, installed since Wednesday, through which hundreds of thousands of people have passed to say their last goodbye to the sovereign.
– 8:00 (7:00 GMT).– The doors of Westminster Abbey open for the arrival of those attending the funeral service, which will begin three hours later. Leaders such as the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and heads of monarchies from around the world, including the kings of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia, will be present at the ceremony.
– 10.35 (9.35 GMT).– The queen’s coffin will be deposited on an artillery gun carriage and will leave Westminster Hall from 10.44 (9.44 GMT). Members of the Royal Navy will transport the ceremonial cannon carriage in procession from the House of Parliament to nearby Westminster Abbey. The new King Carlos III and his three brothers -Ana, Andrés and Eduardo-, as well as his children, Princes Guillermo and Enrique, will walk after the mortal remains of the sovereign.
– 11.00 (10.00 GMT). Before some 2,000 guests, the religious ceremony begins in the abbey, the same place where Elizabeth II was crowned queen in 1953. The last state funeral for a British monarch that was held in the London temple was in 1760, after the death of Jorge II. Since then, funeral ceremonies had been held in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Dean of Westminster David Hoyle will officiate at the funeral, while Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will give a sermon and British Prime Minister Liz Truss will read a religious text.
– 11.55 (10.55 GMT). A bugle call will mark the beginning of a two-minute silence that will be observed across the UK. Heathrow airport will have stopped takeoffs and landings minutes before to guarantee a rigorous silence in the British capital.
The national anthem and a piece of lament performed by the official piper of Elizabeth II will end the funeral service at noon.
– 12.15 (11.15 GMT). The coffin will leave the funeral procession from the abbey to Wellington Arch, in the south-east corner of Hyde Park. Big Ben, the famous bell in the tower of the Palace of Westminster, will chime at minute intervals during the procession.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will lead the march, which will also include members of the armed forces of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, representatives of the British police and the public health service (NHS).
Charles III will walk along with other members of the royal family, while the queen consort, Camilla, the Princess of Wales, Kate, and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, will follow the procession by car.
– 13.00 (12.00 GMT). At the Wellington Arch, the sovereign’s remains will be transferred to a hearse for their final journey to Windsor Castle, some 35km west of London.
– 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. GMT). The coffin arrives in the vicinity of the castle, where 40 monarchs have lived uninterruptedly for almost a thousand years. A procession on foot will travel the 5 kilometers of the Long Walk, the characteristic tree-lined avenue that leads to the royal residence.
– 4:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. GMT). The remains of Isabel II enter the chapel of San Jorge in the castle, the usual place for baptisms, weddings and royal funerals. In recent years, she has hosted the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan, as well as the funeral of Prince Philip, the queen’s husband.
Some 800 guests will attend a ceremony officiated by the Dean of Windsor, David Coney. The Imperial State Crown, royal orb and scepter will be removed from the coffin, separating Elizabeth II from the symbols of her reign for the last time.
The coffin will descend into the royal crypt of the chapel, where the remains of her husband, who died in 2021 at the age of 99, are also buried. The official piper of Windsor will interpret a hymn personally chosen by Elizabeth II and the ceremony will conclude with the intonation of “God Save the King”, at around 4:45 p.m. (15:45 GMT).
– 19:30 (18:30 GMT). Elizabeth II will be buried next to Prince Philip in a private ceremony attended by members of the royal family. The marble slab of her grave will be engraved with the words: “Elizabeth II 1926-2022 ″.
Some 2,300 police officers will guard the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on her last trip from Westminster Abbey, where her state funeral will be held, to Windsor Castle, where she will be buried in St. George’s Chapel.
According to the London Metropolitan Police, more than 3,000 police officers from various parts of the United Kingdom will be part of the team made up of 10,000 officers in charge of ensuring the security of tomorrow’s service, which will be attended by more than 2,000 guests, including some 500 dignitaries and members of monarchies from around the world.
It will be, according to the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Stuart Cundy, the “final and most complex phase” of the enormous police operation that has surrounded all the preparations since the death of Elizabeth II.
Hundreds of foreign leaders and monarchs are invited to London on Monday for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, which will be one of the biggest diplomatic gatherings in decades.
The invited and the rejected
Westminster Abbey has capacity for some 2,000 people and some 500 heads of state, accompanied by their spouses, are expected among them, according to the BBC and Sky News.
In a gesture with political considerations, a handful of countries such as Russia, Afghanistan or Venezuela did not receive an invitation but more or less distant relatives of the late monarch will be present, such as the emeritus king of Spain Juan Carlos, British politicians and other public figures.
Numerous monarchs from Europe and other parts of the world confirmed their presence: King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain will attend the ceremony, as well as Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in 2014 and currently lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates, and his wife Sofia.
The emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan They will make their first trip abroad since their accession to the throne in 2019, breaking with the Japanese tradition by which the monarch rarely attends funerals.
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix, King Philippe of the Belgians, King Harald V of Norway and Prince Albert II of Monaco will also be in attendance.
There will also be Margaret of Denmark, a distant cousin of Elizabeth II and currently the only queen on a European throne.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, was also invited, despite international outrage over the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Turkey. However, a scheduled meeting on Sunday between him and British Prime Minister Liz Truss was canceled shortly beforehand, raising suspicions that he may have decided not to travel to London.
the american president Joe Biden and his wife Jill head the diplomatic guest list. Unlike other leaders who have been asked to get to the abbey by bus, Biden was given permission to use his armored presidential limousine.
The presidents of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, are also expected.
French President Emmanuel Macron will attend to show the “unbreakable” bond with the United Kingdom and pay tribute to an “eternal queen”.
China announced that it will send its vice president, Wang Qishan, at the invitation of the British government.
Despite post-Brexit tensions, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will be in London.
Among the other leaders expected on Monday are the presidents Sergio Mattarella (Italy), Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany), Isaac Herzog (Israel) or Yoon Suk-yeol (South Korea).
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin will also be present, in a symbolic gesture to pay tribute to the queen after her state visit in 2011 defused decades of tension.
Many guests come from countries where Elizabeth II reigned, despite the republican ambitions of some of them. ANDIn total, 56 representatives from Commonwealth countries will be at the abbey.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as Australian Anthony Albanese and New Zealander Jacinda Ardern, are due to attend.
Among the rest of the nations of the Commonwealth, which especially groups former British colonies, the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama stand out.
Russia and Belarus are part of the small group of countries excluded of the funeral after the invasion of Ukraine, something that Russian President Vladimir Putin considered “blasphemous” and “immoral”.
Also on that list is Burma, a former British colony run by the military after a coup in 2021.
Other countries ruled out are Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela. London does not recognize Nicolás Maduro as president, but the opposition Juan Guaidó. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was also excluded. The Central American country only received an invitation at the ambassadorial level, as did North Korea and Iran.
In the other Latin American countries, Mexico chose to send its foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, and Cuba its vice president, Salvador Valdés Mesa.
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