London, September 19 (EFE).- More than 500 heads of state and dignitaries from around the world attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London on Monday, who died at the age of 96 after more than seven decades in 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 was deployed.
It is the first state funeral to take place in the 21st century in the UK, which has not seen similar ceremonies since the deaths of George VI in 1952 and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.
Here’s how the day is predicted to unfold:
Closure of the Ardent Chapel of Isabella II
6:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. GMT). – The chapel of Elizabeth II closes in the Palace of Westminster, installed since Wednesday, through which hundreds of thousands of people passed to say their last farewell to the sovereign.
8:00 a.m. (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 around the world, including the Kings of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia, will be present at the ceremony.
10.35 a.m. (9.35 a.m. GMT).- The Queen’s coffin will be placed on an artillery gun carriage and will leave Westminster Hall from 10.44 a.m. (9.44 a.m. GMT). Members of the Royal Navy will procession the ceremonial gun carriage from the Houses of Parliament to nearby Westminster Abbey. The new King Carlos III and his three brothers -Ana, Andrés and Eduardo-, as well as their children, Princes Guillermo and Enrique, will walk after the mortal remains of the sovereign.
Beginning of the religious ceremony
11 a.m. (10 a.m. GMT). In front of some 2,000 guests, the religious ceremony begins in the abbey, the very place where Elizabeth II was crowned queen in 1953. The last state funeral of a British monarch to be held in the London temple dates back to 1760, after the death of George II. . Since then, funeral ceremonies had taken place 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 deliver a sermon and British Prime Minister Liz Truss will read a religious text.
11:55 a.m. (10:55 a.m. GMT). A bugle call will mark the start of a two-minute silence that will be observed across the UK. Heathrow airport will have stopped take-offs and landings a few minutes before to guarantee strict silence in the British capital.
The national anthem and a lament sung by Elizabeth II’s official piper will close the funeral service at noon.
Removal of the coffin of Elizabeth II from Westminster Abbey
12:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. GMT). The coffin will leave the funeral procession from the Abbey at Wellington Arch in the southeast corner of Hyde Park. Big Ben, the famous tower bell of the Palace of Westminster, will ring 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 with other members of the royal family, while the Queen Consort, Camilla, the Princess of Wales, Catherine, and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, will follow the motorcade.
Last trip to Windsor Castle
1:00 p.m. (12:00 GMT). At Wellington’s Arch, the sovereign’s remains will be transferred to a hearse for its final journey to Windsor Castle, around 35km west of London.
3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. GMT). The coffin arrives near the castle, where 40 monarchs have lived continuously for almost a thousand years. A procession on foot will cover the 5 kilometers of the Long March, the characteristic tree-lined avenue that leads to the royal residence.
Ceremony at Saint Georges Chapel
4:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. GMT). The remains of Isabella II enter the chapel of San Jorge of the castle, the usual place for baptisms, weddings and royal funerals. In recent years, it 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 presided over 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 final time.
The coffin will be lowered into the chapel’s royal crypt, where the remains of her husband, who died in 2021 aged 99, are also interred. Windsor’s official piper will perform an anthem 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).
Burial of Queen Elizabeth II in a private ceremony
7:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. GMT). Elizabeth II will be buried alongside Prince Philip in a private ceremony attended by members of the royal family. The marble slab of her tomb will be engraved with the words: “Elizabeth II 1926-2022”.
Edited by Nuria Santesteban