Queen Elizabeth left Buckingham Palace for the final time on Wednesday afternoon (14.09.22) as her coffin was transported to Westminster Hall.
King Charles and his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, walked behind the queen’s coffin as the procession travelled along The Mall and towards Westminster.
The king and his sons were joined by the queen’s other children, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne, while Queen Consort Camilla, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Sussex and Countess of Wessex all made the journey by car.
The coffin was carried by a gun carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Ceremonial guns were fired once a minute and Big Ben tolled at 60-second intervals throughout the journey towards Westminster Hall.
The coffin was draped in the Royal Standard, with the Imperial State Crown sat on a velvet cushion. A wreath of flowers, which included white roses, spray white roses, and white dahlias, as well as foliage from Balmoral and Windsor, was also placed on the coffin.
The queen’s gun carriage moved across Horse Guards Parade before it made its way down Whitehall.
Thousands of members of the public lined the route, and spontaneous applause broke out as the procession passed The Cenotaph, the national war memorial in central London where the queen used to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday.
The sight of the coffin near Westminster Hall prompted more applause from the public, and it was carried into the hall by eight men from the Grenadier Guards.
The choir of Westminster Abbey and the choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal sang as the queen’s coffin entered the building, before Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said a prayer and recited a passage from the Gospel of John.
Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, said further prayers – including the Lord’s Prayer – and the choir then began to sing a classical motet by Edward Bairstow.
Archbishop Welby closed the short service by offering a blessing and a sword was then tapped on the ground, marking the start of the vigil.
Members of the public – many of whom have queued for hours – are now being invited to file past the late monarch and pay their respects to the queen.