Queen Elizabeth II will begin her final journey today, when her coffin will emerge from Balmoral Castle to be carried by six gamekeepers on her Scottish estate.
Buckingham Palace has announced that Her Majesty’s state funeral will take place on Monday 19 September at 11am (10pm NZT) – but there will be many stops along the way, as the public has the opportunity to pay tribute to “a defining man of our time”.
The late queen has so far been lying in an oak coffin in Balmoral Castle’s ballroom, covered in royal standards and garlands, and estate staff were able to say goodbye privately after her death on Thursday.
A senior palace official described it as “a scene of tranquility and solemnity”.
From Balmoral, the coffin will travel to Edinburgh, London and finally Windsor, where Queen Elizabeth II will be buried in a small family crypt next to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Buckingham Palace on Saturday announced details of the route the coffin will take and where the public can attend, with full details of the funeral itself expected later this week.
Field Marshal The Earl of the Duke of Norfolk, who traditionally presided over the royal funeral arrangements, said: “Together with many colleagues from the Royal Family, the Armed Forces, the police and other Church and State institutions, we will carry out our duties with the heaviest of hearts.
“But also with the firmest determination to secure a farewell to one of the defining figures of our time – a monarch whom we have truly had the privilege of being the head of state in our country and domain.”
Speaking of the King’s broadcast on Friday, in which His Majesty said of his mother “we owe her our most heartfelt debt”, the earl-marshal added: “I think we can, in a way, by executing her last Come pay the debt and wish a funeral for Her Majesty.”
Sunday, September 11
At 10am (9pm NZT), six gamekeepers from Balmoral estate will take Her Majesty’s coffin from the castle ballroom through a small dining room to the entrance, where it will be placed on a hearse , a slow 6 hour drive to Edinburgh.
This will be the first time the public will see the late Queen’s coffin.
Accompanied by the Earl of Dalhousie and the minister of the Church of Classy, the hearse will travel through Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth to the Scottish capital, Holyrood Palace, the official royal residence of Scotland, which will be placed on the throne of the Royal Scottish The room that the Legion found to host the party.
It will be there overnight to enable Holyroodhouse staff to pay their last respects.
Monday, September 12
The King and Queen will travel from London to Edinburgh for a procession that will take the coffin from Holyrood Palace to St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile.
The hearse will depart at 2.35pm (1.35am NZT on Tuesday 13th) and will be flanked by a military carrying party, while the king and other members of the royal family follow on foot. The Queen and other members of the royal family will follow in a car.
When the coffin arrives at the Cathedral at 2.55pm (Tuesday 13 January 1.55am NZ time), Holyrood will be picked up by an honor guard of the Royal Archers Company in front of the Duke of Hamilton and the Guardians of Brandon Palace House, put the Scottish crown on it.
The Reverend Callum MacLeod, Minister of St Giles, will officiate at the ceremony. According to a palace official, the congregation “will be drawn from all areas of Scottish society”.
After the ceremony, the coffin will rest in the cathedral for 24 hours for the people of Scotland to pay their respects. There will be an ongoing vigil by the Royal Archers Company.The king and royals will hold their own vigil at 7.20pm (6.20am NZT, Tuesday 13th)
Tuesday, September 13
The coffin will be transported by hearse from St Giles’ Cathedral to Edinburgh Airport at 5pm (Wednesday 14 September, 4am NZT), where the coffin is placed on the RAF plane by the ticket-holders discovered by the RAF .
The Princess Royal will fly to London with her mother’s coffin, leaving at 6pm (Wednesday 14 September, 5am NZST) and 6.55pm (Wednesday 14 September, NZST) 5am) landed at RAF Northolt, west London. Also on the flight was Professor David Ferguson, President of the Scottish Chapel Royal.
Upon arrival in Northolt, the coffin will be placed in the national hearse and the Royal Air Force honor guard will pay tribute to the Royal.
The hearse will head to Buckingham Palace, where an honor guard spotted by the King’s Guard will pick you up at the entrance. The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guard of the Queen’s Company found a bearer who would bring the coffin to the bow room and place it on a stand in the center of the room.
The king and queen and other members of the royal family will witness this arrival. The Chancellor of the Chapel Royal, Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, will offer prayers and the King’s priest will take turns watching over the coffin throughout the night.
Wednesday, September 14
The royal crown and wreath of flowers will be placed on the casket, and prayers will be offered by the Chancellor of the Royal Chapel in the presence of the king and other members of the royal family.
At 2.22pm (Thursday 15 September 1.22am NZT), the coffin will be placed on the gun mounts of the King’s Troop Household Cavalry Artillery for a procession to the Palace of Westminster.
The king and the rest of the royal family will walk behind the casket, and guns will be fired in Hyde Park and Big Ben on an otherwise silent journey – ending at 3pm (2am NZT on Thursday 15 September), the coffin Taken into Westminster Hall.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service assisted by the Dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle. Members of the royal family who did not walk behind the coffin will also be present.
Inside Westminster Hall, coffins will be placed on tombstones. After the service, the royal family will travel back to Buckingham Palace by car.
As the bedridden state begins, officials from the Ministry of the Interior will maintain a vigil of the guard.
The lying state will continue for another four days, during which the public will be able to pay their respects to them through the coffin.
Thursday 15th September to Sunday 18th September
The late Queen will lie in Westminster Hall, which is expected to be open 23 hours a day to accommodate the large numbers of people expected to travel to central London.
The government will announce full details of how the public will attend later this week.
Monday, September 19
Public access to the state will end at 6.30am (5.30pm NZT) on Monday 19 September, when preparations for the state funeral will officially begin.
Full details of the state funeral plans have not been released, but the coffin is expected to be transported from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, where hundreds of world leaders and foreign royals will be in attendance.
The funeral will end at 12.15pm (11.15pm NZT) when the coffin will be transported from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and placed in a hearse , then take the road to Windsor.
The hearse will arrive at Windsor Castle via The Long Walk and will be taken into St George’s Chapel for a televised service attended by the royal family.
Once the delivery service is over, close family members will move to the tiny King George VI Memorial Chapel for a private burial.
According to Queen Elizabeth II’s last wishes, she will be buried with the Duke of Edinburgh – whose coffin will be removed from the royal vault at St George’s Chapel, where it has been since his funeral last year.