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Emotional mourners wipe tears from their eyes as Queen’s coffin passes by in moment of history: Crowd of tens of thousands falls silent as they watch Her Majesty making final journey from Buckingham Palace
- Sobbing members of the public watched as Her Majesty began her final journey from Buckingham Palace
- The Queen was moved to the Palace of Westminster this afternoon where she will lie in state until Monday
- Charles, William and Harry followed coffin on foot as it made its journey in front of thousands of mourners
- The late monarch’s funeral will be next Monday, September 19, with leaders from across the world attending
- Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing
Tears filled the eyes of the tens of thousands of public mourners as the Queen’s coffin made her final journey from Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
A solemn and respectful silence greeted the emotionally powerful sight of Her Majesty’s body being taken to Westminster Hall.
After a life of dignity and service, the coffin being pulled by horse past her loyal subjects marked what would be the last time some would see her.
At exactly 2.22pm King Charles III led his family on foot towards the ancient building at the heart of the Palace of Westminster where his mother’s coffin will sit.
The occasion was expected to be heavy with historical significance, and saw brothers Prince William and Prince Harry set aside their ongoing feud to support their father by marching with him behind the coffin.
Elaena Shipp, 24, from North London, said: ‘I wanted to see a slice of history and this was a pretty momentous occasion.
‘It is something many of us have never seen, the preparation for a state funeral for a serving monarch. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
‘There are thousands of people waiting but as soon as the coffin with the Royal family walking behind it approached there was quite a hushed, solemn atmosphere.
‘I was expecting it to be louder, with more people shouting from the crowd, especially considering the huge volume of people. It’s quite a fitting mood really, I think people are really feeling the gravity of the situation.’
Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers lined the route as they did so. The Queen’s other children Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne also formed part of the procession through London.
Tears for the Queen: wellwishers sobbed as Her Majesty’s coffin passed them on her way to Westminster Hall this afternoon
Emotion was etched onto the faces of mourners overcome by the sight of the monarch’s coffin on its final palace journey
The Queen was moved to the Palace of Westminster this afternoon where she will lie in state until Monday’s funeral
Crowds were awaiting the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall
Queen Victoria Memorial and The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace before procession for the Lying-in State of the Queen
There was a hushed and respectful silence moments before the Queen’s coffin began its journey to Westminster Hall
People gather on the day the procession of the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state
Crowds gathered along the Mall ahead of the coffin of late Queen Elizabeth II departing in procession to Westminster Hall
Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence walked behind the coffin, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.
Sarah Copley, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, who said: ‘I felt it important to experience the atmosphere and pay my respects to the Queen.
‘ I can’t quite believe it’s happened. We came down to London for the Jubilee celebrations
in June and it’s a shame we’re back so soon for much sombre reasons.
‘But as sad it is, it’s good to remember her life and just how much change happened while she was on the throne.
‘I don’t think we’ll see another young monarch again who has devoted nearly their whole life to the service of the country.’
Mourners gather to watch the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II at the Hyde Park screening site today
The coffin is taken in procession on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall
Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III
Camilla, Kate, Meghan and Sophie, Countess of Wessex went by car after the procession left the palace at 2.22pm and was expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm.
Zara and Mike Tindall, Beatrice’s husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank were also taking part. But Andrews’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson did not receive an invite because of their divorce.
Her Majesty spent her final night in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace before she is conveyed on a gun carriage to Westminster Hall – where she will lie in state until 6.30am on Monday, the day of her funeral.
More than one million people are expected to queue in Central London for up to 35 hours to walk past her casket – but experts believe only 400,000 will make it inside meaning 600,000 people will be left disappointed.
The procession will leave the palace at 2.22pm and is expected to arrive at Westminster Hall at 3pm. A service lasting around 20 minutes will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.
Mourners have also been joining the queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state from 5pm tonight. Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’.
The queuing infrastructure for the Queen’s lying in state is 10 miles in length, it is understood. This includes 6.9 miles from Victoria Tower Gardens to Southwark Park, with a further three miles inside Southwark Park.
A round-the-clock vigil will be mounted under the catafalque by officers of the Household Division, the King’s Body Guards of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, the King’s Body Guard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers and the King’s Body Guard the Yeomen of the Guard.
It will remain open 24 hours a day until at 6.30am on Monday.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets to pay their respects to the Queen. The queue is expected to stretch for five miles, taking up to 30 hours to reach the front.
Once people have passed through Albert Embankment, they will be directed across Lambeth Bridge, into Victoria Tower Gardens
Extra welfare facilities, including toilets and water fountains, have been placed sporadically along the route.
Biblical symbolism, a tribute to George VI or clever planning? Experts suggest reasons behind Queen’s coffin being moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall at precisely 2.22pm today
When the King and his sons walk behind the Queen’s coffin today, they will leave Buckingham Palace at exactly 2.22pm.
The royal family will accompany their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects after queueing for what could be as much as 40 hours.
The exact reason for the timing has not been disclosed by the Palace, but there is speculation that it may have a biblical significance or be a tribute to the Queen’s father King George VI.
After his death in 1952, bells tolled 56 times at Windsor – one for each year of his life – from 1.27pm until 2.22pm.
However, royal biographer Robert Lacey told MailOnline that the simple reason of ensuring the procession arrives at Westminster Hall at 3pm is likely to be behind the timing.
He said: ‘It will have been carefully paced out. It is not plucked out of the air.
‘And I am presuming that allowance will be made for the number of people who will walk behind.’
It is set to take the procession exactly 38 minutes to reach Westminster Hall, where a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury will be held for 20 minutes before the Queen lies in state for four days.
A member of the military cleans a Gun Carriage of The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery as they make their final preparations for the passage of the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall
Among some Christians, the number 222 has a special significance in representing unity and love and the personal relationship with God.
The Queen was herself a devout believer and was Supreme Governor of the Church of England as monarch.
Jesus Christ is also believed to have died on the Cross at 3pm, meaning the time of 2.22pm could have been chosen to ensure the procession arrives at Westminster Hall at that time.
It comes after members of the Household Division rehearsed taking the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall overnight.
The 512-strong cortege, dressed in their ceremonial attire, were illuminated by the city’s street lights as they rehearsed for the transfer.
The early-morning rehearsal saw the horse-drawn carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery being led along the route.
A black coffin was placed on the gun carriage and, at around 4am, the procession was ordered to march and the carriage, pulled by seven black horses, made its way through the city. Police officers on horseback were also included in the rehearsal.
Many of central London’s streets were sealed off for the massive operation.
The route will take the coffin through the Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Horse Guards and Horse Guards Arch, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.
The royal family will accompany their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects after queueing for what could be as much as 40 hours
Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will also walk behind the procession, as well as the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Snowdon.
The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex will travel by car.
Thousands of mourners have already joined the queue to attend the Queen’s lying in state which begins at 5pm, continuing until 6.30am on Monday September 19, the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Government guidance says the queue is expected to be very long, with people standing for ‘many hours, possibly overnight’ and with very little opportunity to sit down.
There were emotional scenes on Tuesday evening when the late Queen was brought back to London by plane and taken to Buckingham Palace for the final time.
As the hearse carrying the coffin began its journey from Northolt in north-west London, people stood silently by the road with some recording the historic moment on their camera phones.
The Queen’s grandchildren were among members of the royal family paying their respects to the late monarch by witnessing her coffin’s arrival at the palace.
On Wednesday, the presence of Charles, William and Harry in the procession will see the father and sons united in their grief for a mother and grandmother.
William and Harry put on a united front with their wives during a mammoth walkabout on Saturday.
The brothers have a well-documented troubled relationship but the death of their grandmother saw them unexpectedly come together when they viewed floral tributes left to the late Queen at Windsor Castle.
William, Kate, Harry and Meghan arrived in the same vehicle and greeted well-wishers for around 40 minutes before William hopped into the driver’s seat of the Audi with his wife in the passenger seat, and his brother and sister-in-law in the back.
In his televised address to the nation on Friday evening, the King talked of his love for Harry and Meghan, saying: ‘I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.’
Then in Harry’s tribute to his grandmother he said he wanted to honour his father at the start of his reign as King.
The exact reason for the 2.22pm departure has not been disclosed by the Palace, but there is speculation that it may have a biblical significance or be a tribute to the Queen’s father King George VI. Above: Crowds gather on The Mall ahead of the procession today
The last time Charles and his two sons were all seen together in public was at the service of thanksgiving for the Queen in St Paul’s Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
But on that occasion, Harry and Meghan were seated some distance from Charles and William on the other side of the aisle in the second row, behind the Wessex family and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
The Jubilee service at St Paul’s was Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance alongside the Windsors since they stepped down as senior royals in 2020 amid the Megxit storm.
In April 2021, Harry and William joined their father when they walked behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin at his funeral.
The brothers were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips but he dropped back half a pace at one point so the siblings appeared closer together.
After the funeral service, William and Harry could be seen chatting as they walked back up the hill from the chapel to the castle.
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