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State Funeral Remembers Queen’s Life Of Service

The Queen’s life-long sense of duty has been remembered in her state funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

The Dean of Westminster, who led the service, expressed gratitude to a congregation of 2,000 people including world leaders and royalty.

King Charles III led a sombre procession behind his mother’s coffin from Westminster Hall to the abbey.

The Queen’s coffin is now being taken to Wellington Arch, at London’s Hyde Park Corner, to the toll of Big Ben.

As the service came towards its end the Last Post was played – by the same musicians who performed it at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – before the nation came to a standstill for two minutes’ silence.

The King stood silently as the national anthem was sung at the end of the funeral.

A handwritten message from him was placed on his mother’s coffin. It read: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.”

The Dean, the Very Rev David Hoyle, began the service by speaking of the Queen’s “unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth”.

“With admiration we recall her life-long sense of duty and dedication to her people,” he said.

Prime Minister Liz Truss read to the mourners from John 14 and the congregation sang The Lord’s My Shepherd – a hymn sung at the wedding of the Queen to the late Duke of Edinburgh.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, gave the sermon and quoted the singer Dame Vera Lynn – saying “we will meet again”.

The phrase was used by the Queen in a rare address to the nation at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

The archbishop said: “The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.”

The Queen’s coffin was conveyed – in the first of three processions throughout the day – from Westminster Hall where she had been lying in state since Wednesday.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex walked side-by-side behind their father, the King. The King walked alongside his siblings, the Queen’s children.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte – Prince William’s eldest two children – entered the abbey behind the procession.

The procession to the abbey saw the State Gun Carriage carry the coffin, drawn by 142 sailors, while the sound of pipes and drum rang out.

US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among the world leaders at the funeral.

Some 2,000 mourners bid farewell to the Queen at the state funeral, including 500 dignitaries – with presidents, prime ministers and foreign royalty among the guests.

Members of many European royal families were present, along with six former British prime ministers.

About 200 people who were recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours also received invitations.

Attended by a smaller congregation of about 800 guests, the committal service will be conducted by Dean of Windsor David Conner, with a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

At a private family service later, the Queen will be buried alongside her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the King George VI memorial chapel, located inside St George’s Chapel.


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