As a new era dawns in Britain, arrangements for a final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II are underway. Her son, King Charles III, has asked for a period of Royal Mourning to be observed from Friday, Sept. 9, until seven days after the Queen’s funeral, according to a Buckingham Palace statement.
The date of the funeral will be confirmed “in due course,” the statement added. Here’s what you can expect to happen in the coming days.
Here are some of the answers to common questions:
How will the Queen’s coffin return to London?
The coffin will first leave Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish rural retreat, for the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The property is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It will then likely travel in procession to Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral where the Queen will lie in rest before being moved down to London.
We don’t yet know exactly how the coffin will travel south; routes are available by both rail and air.
How can the public pay their respects?
Historical precedent suggests that once in London, the Queen will likely lie in state at Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster. Past monarchs’ coffins have rested on a raised platform — or catafalque — in the middle of the hall, guarded around the clock by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, Foot Guards or the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
The coffin is likely to remain there for several days and it’s at this point that members of the public will be able to file past the platform and view the monarch’s coffin. Thousands are expected to queue, with some potentially sleeping out overnight in a bid to pay their respects.
What might the Queen’s funeral look like?
As monarch, Queen Elizabeth will automatically be granted a publicly funded state funeral. It will take place at Westminster Abbey sometime in the next two weeks, though the exact day will be confirmed in due course.
The abbey was founded in 960 AD by Benedictine monks, and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in London. It has often been the setting for royal milestone moments like coronations, weddings and funerals throughout the years.
We’re still a few days away from a guest list, but heads of state and dignitaries from around the world will likely make their way to the British capital to celebrate the Queen’s life and 70-year service to the nation. Other familiar faces will be some of the Queen’s 15 former prime ministers and senior lawmakers.