The Queen died on the 8th September, 2022 at the age of 96 years. Her life represented a reign of 70 years, celebrated in June this year at her Platinum Jubilee. The plan for the Queen Elizabeth 11’s funeral was called London Bridge
Operation Unicorn was employed first because the Queen died in Balmoral, always referred to as her happy place. As the Queen became gravely ill members of the royal family rushed to Balmoral, her dearly loved summer home in Scotland
The Queen was involved in designing the ceremonies for her funeral, the plans were said to be made a long time ago, decades ago. Many elements were different for Her Majesty’s funeral, things that she herself wanted to happen, along with flowers collected from several royal gardens to rest on top of her coffin
She was first transported by road from Balmoral and then by rail link to Edinburgh.
The Queen was then transported by airplane to Buckingham Palace and then to Westminster Hall to allow time for everyone to pay their respects to a much-loved Sovereign. A Queen who impacted people from all walks of life.
Thousands of members of the armed forces were represented. The coffin was carried by the gun carriage of the Royal Navy, the same one that carried her father to his funeral.
On the day of the funeral the first procession was from Westminster Hall, crossing Parliament Square to the Abbey accompanied by a Pipe Band, armed forces personnel, the Royal Family and dignitaries.
The second procession after the funeral service was much longer, accompanied by thousands of armed forces personnel and civilians, several military bands. Again, walking behind were the royal family and households to the Wellington Arch, where the coffin was taken by hearse to Windsor.
The final step was led by the State Hearse towards St George’s Chapel in Buckingham Palace.
During the mourning period before the funeral service, King Charles 111 greeted queuing mourners. Shaking hands and pausing to let people express their sorrow their love for the Queen. Prince William followed after him doing the same, their intention clear, to let people know that their love and devotion to the Queen was so appreciated. They both listened to people and gave reassuring gestures of patting their arms and clasping hands.
Demonstrating a Royal family united in grief and duty for Queen, Prince William, Princess Catherine and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Duchess of Sussex also walked out of the Palace together to greet and thank people for their show of love. They shook hands and talked with so many who had made the pilgrimage to honour the Queen. They often stopped and listened and talked to people and took flowers and gifts to lay by the gates, where already there were hundreds of flower tributes, cards and notes.
2,000,000 people turned out to show their love and respect as millions of viewers were glued to their T.V’s to watch every moment.
All members of the Royal Family have been involved in all the Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth 11’s life. Dressed beautifully and dignified they participated in all events in respect of their relationship and love for their Queen, their Mum, Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
During the 10 days of mourning that led to her funeral, Vigils were kept around her coffin, by Her Majesty’s children and then by her grandchildren, as mourners passed by the coffin to bow and say goodbye.
Main State funeral took place at Westminster Abbey on the 19th September 2022. We remember for her Majesty, this was also a place of joy, her wedding and her coronation service took place here. Some 2,000 people attended the funeral service. People attending represented the tapestry of Queen Elizabeth 11’s service and life. All people from a every fabric of the community gathered to celebrate her life and say Goodbye.
Her coffin was again placed on the gun carriage to go from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service
On the way to the funeral, the streets were crowded. The Queen’s pony Emma and her groom were represented as were two of her Corgis Sandy and Muick.
The navy sailors were in front and behind the gun carriage, with linked arms to guide the reins of the carriage, each sailor with such determination on their faces, precision in their movements, participating in transporting their sovereign Queen Elizabeth 11. All military service personnel were dressed in their respective grand dress uniforms, such a magnificent sight. The bagpipes played; members of the royal family walked the slow walk behind, the loud single bell sounding over the bag pipes 96 times for every year of the Queen’s life. Eight young soldiers formerly shouldered the very heavy lead lined oak coffin, into the chapel. The Royal insignia, her Crown, the sceptre, and the Orb representing her reign. Previously the wreath had been white flowers, for the funeral they were bright beautiful colours; both lots of flowers had been picked from Palace gardens. Myrtle was amongst the flowers, which had been grown from a sprig out of her wedding bouquet.
The lone Piper was the same man who played to wake her every morning.
Beautiful little Princess Charlotte, cried as the coffin was carried in. Her Mother reached down to comfort her. Many others who were trying to remain stoic said they almost broke down, as they saw the sadness on Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s faces, as they walked behind their Gan Gan’s coffin, they watched as Charlotte motioned for George to bow when the coffin passed.
King Charles wiped back tears as he sang in the chapel, he looked grief stricken through the service. The weight of it all had come crashing down.
The Queens Coffin was lowered in Windsor Castle in an intimate ceremony in St George’s chapel. King Charles 111 placed the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the head of the coffin, the Lord Chamberlain broke in two his wand of Office.
As the coffin was about to be lowered, the Dean of Windsor, Right Reverend David Connor read the final Scripture
Ending with ..’ Even so is the Lord merciful unto those who fear him, for he knoweth where of we are made. He remembereth that we are but dust, The days of man are but as grass, for he flourisheth as flowers of the field. For as soon as the wind goeth over it, it is gone. And the place thereof, shall know it now more, but the merciful goodness of the Lord endureth for ever and ever upon those that fear Him and his righteousness upon children’s children. Go Forth upon thy journey from this world oh Christian soul, in the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee, in name of the Jesus Christ who suffered for thee, in the name of the Holy Spirit who strengtheneth thee, in communion with the blessed saints and aided by the angels and arch angels, and all the armies of the Heavenly host. May thy portion this day be in peace and thy dwelling in the Heavenly Jerusalem.’ Amen.
As the Queen was lowered into the vault where Prince Philip is resting, the Lone Piper played in the hallways and faded off into the distance.
To the Family the Archbishop of Canterbury commended them –
‘Go Forth with courage’ followed by the National Anthem ‘God save the King’ as Charles cried.