Royal procession heads to Westminster Hall as Queen lies in state

Less than 24 hours ago, the Queen’s coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace, where it was greeted by members of the Royal Family. It was placed in the Bow Room of the Palace overnight, where the family were allowed a short private time for grief.

Today saw the Queen make her final journey as a procession to Westminster Hall took place, leaving at exactly 2:22pm borne on a gun carriage.

More than 320 members of Armed Forces personnel helped move The Queen’s coffin in procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for the lying-in-state of The Queen. Sailors, soldiers and aviators from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force took part in the procession alongside members of the Royal Family as the country continues its mourning for The Queen.
(Defence Imagery/Sgt Donald C Todd RLC Photographer)

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Behind the coffin was King Charles III, Princess Anne, The Duke of York, and The Earl of Wessex in the front row, with The Prince of Wales, Duke of Sussex and Peter Phillips in the row behind. They were all in uniform, except Andrew and Harry due to their non-working Royal status, and Peter, who have never served in the military.

Bringing up the rear was The Earl of Snowdon (the Queen’s nephew, also not in uniform), her cousin The Duke of Gloucester and Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Anne’s husband and former equerry to the Monarch.

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The Queen Consort, The Princess of Wales, The Duchess of Sussex and The Countess of Wessex arrived at Westminster Hall by car and awaited their spouses.

The procession traveled along Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard before reaching its final destination.

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A bearer party from The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards lifted the coffin on to a gun carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which carried the coffin in procession to The Palace of Westminster. This was the same carriage used for the Queen Mother and George VI’s funerals.

As the procession went past the Cenotaph, members of the Royal Family saluted. 

The Imperial State Crown and the Royal Standard were placed on the Queen’s coffin. The wreath of flowers on the coffin consisted of white roses, spray white roses, white dahlias and a selection of foliage from Balmoral and Windsor.

The Queen’s coffin was brought into Westminster Hall via the Carriage Gates entrance and it passed through New Palace Yard. The crowd outside parliament applauded once the procession had passed through the gates into the Palace of Westminster.

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In a display of unity, Prince William and Prince Harry stood side by side, in what will bring back many memories for the two brothers who walked behind their mother’s coffin in 1997. The pair undertook a walkabout at Windsor last week, joined by their wives, to thank people for their good wishes following the Queen’s death.

From left to right: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales turn on to Horse Guards Parade as they follow behind the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales during the funeral procession to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service in 1997.

Royal fans will remember the two brothers were separated at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral by their cousin Peter Phillips amid of a rift between them. 

The Princess of Wales paid tribute to the late Monarch by wearing the Queen’s diamond and pearl leaf brooch, seen once previously in Belgium.

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Upon arriving at Westminster, a short 20-minute service was held for members of the Royal Family.

They bowed and curtsied before leaving. Other officials who attended included the House of Commons and House of Lords, and members of the UK’s devolved parliaments.

The Queen is now lying in state in Westminster Hall, where members of the public will be able to pay their respects until Monday morning, the day of the funeral.

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