We watched it live on BBC1. It was full-on so we took a break every so often and watched something else! It was emotionally draining but essential viewing!
The queue (to end all queues!) was closed a little after 10.40pm on Sunday. Queuing time was reported to have been over 12 hours at some points – and no-one complained (The Brits are the leaders in process of queuing, after all!). Early estimates suggest that over 400,000 will have visited to pay their respects.
“I declare before you all that my whole life,
be it long or short,
shall be devoted to your service”
And so, this solemn event began…
10.44am: The Queen’s coffin leaves Westminster Hall and the Procession begins towards Westminster Abbey.
11.00am: The Funeral Service was at 11am and was the most watched TV programme in history – some 5 billion people saw it/heard it on TV, Radio and online. Channel 5 and Channel 5 did not cover the event.
Over 140 Naval Ratings were involved in transporting the coffin.
All the while, Big Ben tolled every minute for ninety-six minutes, one for every year of Her Majesty’s life.
It was attended by 500+ Leaders and Heads of State from all over the world, totalling 2000 guests. Protocol dictated that Commonwealth leaders had priority over World leaders, so Joe Biden was not in the front seats! Interesting!
11.55am: The Last Post was played.
12.15pm: The Queen’s coffin left for Wellington Arch led by Royal Canadian Mounted Police and representatives from the NHS. The coffin passed Buckingham Palace processing up Constitution Hill towards Wellington Arch.
1.15pm: Arrival at Wellington Arch.
1.40pm: The Queen’s coffin was transferred to the Royal Hearse and the National Anthem was played.
Past Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall through Kensington. Next, past the Natural History Museum to Cromwell Road and over the Hammersmith Flyover through Chiswick and Brentford. From there, onwards to Staines-upon-Thames, Runnymede to Old Windsor arriving at Shaw Farm Gate at just after 3pm.
3.10pm: The Procession: The Long Walk to St George’s Chapel, with so many members of the public turning out to show their respect – 100,000, according to the Telegraph. The Queen’s pony (Emma) and two of her corgis (Muick and Sandy) were also there to say their goodbyes.
3.40pm: HM King Charles III and the Royal Family joined the Procession once the coffin arrived at the quadrangle.
4.00pm: The Committal Service, St George’s Chapel commenced…
…including some never-before-seen moments including the removal of the Sceptre, Orb and Imperial State Crown from the coffin and placed on the Altar, plus the laying of the Queen’s Flag by the King and the ‘breaking’ of the Lord Chamberlain’s cane.
5.00pm: And as the Queen’s coffin descended into the Vault, the committal ended with the Queen’s Piper playing the lament, walking away from the camera and out of the Chapel. So powerful!
That was the end for the public side of things. As expected, we were emotionally drained, but it was something we needed to watch. An intimate Service, just for the family, was to follow later this evening.
EDIT: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 – Overnight viewing figures confirmed that 28 million people watched the event on TV in the UK.
Goodbye your Majesty, you were a constant in our lives, and we’ll never see the likes of you again.
“God Save the King!”
© Graphics and some photographs courtesy of the Telegraph, Matt and BBC News. No copyright infringement intended
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