State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The hearse carrying the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is escorted along the Long Walk towards Windsor castle in the funeral procession, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in Windsor, Britain, September 19, 2022 REUTERS/Paul Childs

WINDSOR, England (Reuters) -Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrived at Windsor Castle, her final resting place, on Monday after a day of matchless pageantry that drew world leaders to her funeral and hundreds of thousands of well-wishers wanting to say farewell to a revered monarch. By Michael Holden, Kate Holton and Alistair Smout.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The hearse travels along the Long Walk as it makes its way to Windsor Castle, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in Windsor, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Lee Smith/Pool
State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Suzssex arrive at the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, held at Westminster Abbey, London.Picture date: Monday September 19, 2022. James Manning/Pool via REUTERS

People lined the route her hearse took from London, throwing flowers, cheering and clapping as it passed from the city to England’s countryside that she so loved through her life.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The hears transporting the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth drives along Albert Road on the day of her state funeral and burial, in Windsor, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Molly Darlington/Pool

Thousands more had crammed into the capital to witness the procession and funeral, in a fitting tribute to Britain’s longest-serving monarch who won global respect during 70 years on the throne.

Inside the majestic Westminster Abbey where the funeral was held, some 500 presidents prime ministers, foreign royal family members and dignitaries, including South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Joe Biden of the United States, were among the 2,000 congregation at the Queen’s State Funeral.


State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
Britain’s Prince Andrew with royal corgis as they await the cortege on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, at Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool

Music that played at the queen’s wedding in 1947 and her coronation six years later again rang out. The coffin entered to lines of scripture set to a score used at every state funeral since the early 18th century.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told those present that the grief felt by so many across Britain and the wider world reflected the late monarch’s “abundant life and loving service”.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The hears transporting the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth drives along Albert Road on the day of her state funeral and burial, in Windsor, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Molly Darlington/Pool

“Her late majesty famously declared on a 21st birthday broadcast (from Cape Town) that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth,” he said.

“Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love that we have seen.”

After the funeral, her flag-draped casket was pulled by sailors through London’s streets on a gun carriage in one of the largest military processions seen in Britain involving thousands of members of the armed forces dressed in ceremonial finery.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
Britain’s King Charles, Britain’s Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips attend the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, at Parliament Square in London, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/Pool

They walked in step to funeral music from marching bands, while in the background the city’s famous Big Ben tolled each minute. King Charles and other senior royals followed on foot.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
Britain’s King Charles attends the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

The casket was taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and transferred to a hearse to travel to Windsor, where more big crowds waited patiently. There the queen was to be laid to rest alongside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.

Among the crowds who came from around Britain and beyond, people climbed lampposts and stood on barriers and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.

Some wore smart black suits and dresses. Others were dressed in hoodies, leggings and tracksuits. A woman with dyed green hair stood next to a man in morning suit as they waited for the London procession to begin.

Millions more watched on television at home on a public holiday declared for the occasion, the first time the funeral of a British monarch has been televised.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: The Queen’s funeral cortege borne on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy travels along The Mall on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. Chip Somodevilla/Pool via REUTERS

Ben Vega, 47, a nurse from the Philippines standing at the back of the crowd on a stool, said he was a royalist.

“I love pageantry. I love how the British do this,” he said. “I’m from the Philippines, we don’t have this, we don’t have royal families. It’s a sad day for me. I’ve been here 20 years. I saw the queen as my second mum, England as my second home.”

‘INVINCIBLE’

Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in the Scottish highlands.

Her health had been in decline, and for months the monarch who had carried out hundreds of official engagements well into her 90s had withdrawn from public life.

However, in line with her sense of duty she was photographed just two days before she died, looking frail but smiling and holding a walking stick as she appointed Liz Truss as her 15th and final prime minister.

Queen Elizabeth welcomes Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government, at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, Britain September 6, 2022. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS

Such was her longevity and her inextricable link with Britain that even her own family found her passing a shock.

“We all thought she was invincible,” Prince William told well-wishers.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
Britain’s Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Britain’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend with Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales and Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales, the State Funeral Service for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, at Westminster Abbey in London on September 19, 2022. – Leaders from around the world will attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The country’s longest-serving monarch, who died aged 96 after 70 years on the throne, will be honoured with a state funeral on Monday morning at Westminster Abbey. BEN STANSALL/Pool via REUTERS

The 40th sovereign in a line that traces its lineage back to 1066, Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 and became Britain’s first post-imperial monarch.

She oversaw her nation trying to carve out a new place in the world, and she was instrumental in the emergence of the Commonwealth of Nations, now a grouping comprising 56 countries.

When she succeeded her father George VI, Winston Churchill was her first prime minister and Josef Stalin led the Soviet Union. She met major figures from politics to entertainment and sport including Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Pele and Roger Federer.

Despite being reputedly 5ft 3ins (1.6m) tall, she dominated rooms with her presence and became a towering global figure, praised in death from Paris and Washington to Moscow and Beijing. National mourning was observed in Brazil, Jordan and Cuba, countries with which she had little direct link.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top is carried into Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. Tristan Fewings/Pool via REUTERS

“People of loving service are rare in any walk of life,” Welby said during the funeral. “Leaders of loving service are still rarer. But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten.”

The tenor bell of the Abbey – the site of coronations, weddings and burials of English and then British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years – tolled 96 times.

Among the hymns chosen for the service were “The Lord’s my Shepherd”, sung at the wedding of the queen and her husband Prince Philip in the Abbey in 1947. In the royal group following the casket into the Abbey was the queen’s great-grandson and future king, Prince George, aged nine.

State funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey. 19 September 2022. Jack Hill/Pool via REUTERS

In addition to dignitaries, the congregation included those awarded Britain’s highest military and civilian medals for gallantry, representatives from charities supported by the queen and those who made “extraordinary contributions” to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Towards the end of the service, the church and much of the nation fell silent for two minutes. Trumpets rang out before the congregation sang “God Save the King”. Outside, crowds joined in and broke into applause when the anthem was over.

The queen’s piper brought the service to an end with a lament that faded to silence.

Afterwards, the coffin made its way through central London, past the queen’s Buckingham Palace home to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, with the monarch and the royal family following on foot during the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) procession.

From there, it was placed on a hearse to Windsor Castle, west of London, for a service at St. George’s Chapel. This will conclude with the crown, orb and sceptre – symbols of the monarch’s power and governance – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.

State Funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth
The coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is seen here entering St George VI Chapel at Windsor Castle. The UK Armed Forces have played a part in the procession for Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral and committal service today, in London and Windsor. Marking the end to 10 days of proceedings, service personnel representing a variety of regiments, ships and air stations that held a special relationship with Her Majesty The Queen took part in the funeral processions in London and Windsor. Around 4,000 regular and reserve soldiers, sailors, marines and aviators, as well as musicians from Armed Forces bands, took part in the proceedings today.   This included over 3,000 military personnel in central London, with 1,650 personnel forming part of the procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey and procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.   In Windsor, over 1,000 military personnel were involved in ceremonial activity, including 410 taking part in the procession from Albert Road, Windsor, to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.   The proceedings in London saw the Bearer Party, formed of personnel from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, transfer Her Majesty The Queen’s Coffin from Westminster Hall to the State Gun Carriage, which was pulled by 142 Naval Ratings to Westminster Abbey. PO Phot Dave Jenkins/Pool via REUTERS

The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, will break his ‘Wand of Office’, signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and place it on the casket.

It will then be lowered into the royal vault.

Later in the evening, in a private family service, the coffin of Elizabeth and her husband of more than seven decades, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will be buried together at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where her parents and sister, Princess Margaret, also rest.

“We’re so happy you’re back with Grandpa. Goodbye dear grannie, it has been the honour of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we’re so very proud of you,” grandchildren Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden and Kate Holton in London and Alistair Smout in Windsor; additional reporting by by William James, Kylie MacLellan, Estelle Shirbon, Andrew MacAskill, Paul Sandle, Muvija M, Sachin Ravikumar, Farouq Suleiman, Angus MacSwan, Richa Naidu, Peter Hobson, Julia Payne, Natalie Grover, Lindsay Dunsmuir, Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mike Collett-White and Janet Lawrence)