LONDON – A state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will be held at 11am on Monday, September 19, at Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday. The Queen, who died on Thursday at Balmoral Castle, her summer retreat in the Scottish Highlands, now lies in the castle’s ballroom, her oak coffin decorated to royal standards of Scotland, officials said at a news conference about the funeral arrangements.
On Sunday, six custodians from the property will load Elizabeth’s coffin from the dining room at Balmoral into a hearse, which will carry it on a six-hour, detour to Edinburgh, via Aberdeen. An honor guard will receive it at Holyroodhouse Palace, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland.
The next day, the queen’s coffin will be moved on the Royal Mile, a major route through Edinburgh’s Old Town, to St. Giles, where there will be ceremonies and prayers. King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be part of that procession, with some members of the royal family following behind the coffin and others in vehicles.
The Queen will lie still in Edinburgh until Tuesday afternoon, when her coffin will be taken to a Royal Air Force jet, which will transport it to Northolt Air Force Base in west London. It will be loaded into a state hearse and driven to Buckingham Palace, arriving at 8pm, when it will be placed on a truss in the ballroom.
At 2:22 p.m. Wednesday, the queen’s coffin, now adorned with a royal crown and a wreath, will be delivered by gun carriage in a quiet procession from Buckingham Palace, through Central shopping mall and through the Guards Parade, making the way to Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster.
Following the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the queen will lie down at Westminster Hall for four days until the morning of the funeral, when her coffin will again be moved to nearby Westminster Abbey.
Buckingham Palace declined to estimate how many people might have passed through her coffin during that period, although based on other funerals for members of the royal family the number could be in the tens, even even hundreds of thousands.