As thousands of people continue to line up in London for a chance to have a last glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coffin during her Lying-in-State at Westminster Palace, the government announced that the entry will be paused for six hours as the queue at Southwark Park has reached capacity. The queue reportedly hit a length of five miles.
"Southwark Park has reached capacity. Entry will be paused for at least 6 hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please do not attempt to join the queue until it re-opens," the Royal Family tweeted.
The Queen’s coffin, borne on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, arrived in procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster on September 14.
Draped with the Royal Standard on which lie the Instruments of State, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre, Her Majesty's Coffin will remain Lying-in-State at the Westminster Hall, under vigil, until the funeral.
The Royal Family, in a statement, said Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey, followed by a Committal Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on September 19. She breathed her last on September 9. She was 96. She will be buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh.
"The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday, 19th September at 1100hrs BST. A Committal Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, will take place later the same day at 1600hrs..."
"Elements of the State Funeral Service and the associated ceremonial arrangements will pay tribute to The Queen’s extraordinary reign, and Her Majesty’s remarkable life of service as Head of State, Nation and Commonwealth."
Until the funeral, a continuous Vigil of Her Majesty’s Coffin is being kept by The King's Body Guards at the Palace of Westminster. Each Watch lasts for six hours, with individuals within those Watches keeping Vigil for 20 minutes, according to the statement.
The Royal Family stated that the State Funeral Service will be attended by Heads of State and Overseas Government Representatives, including Foreign Royal Families, Governors General and Realm Prime Ministers. Other representatives of the Realms and the Commonwealth, the Orders of Chivalry including recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross, Government, Parliament, devolved Parliaments and Assemblies, the Church, and Her Majesty’s Patronages will form the congregation, along with other public representatives.
Almost 200 people who were recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year will also join the congregation, including those who made extraordinary contributions to the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and have volunteered in their local communities, it said.
The Royal Family also informed that the State Funeral Service will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster. During the Service, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth will read Lessons.
The Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Free Churches Moderator will say Prayers. The Sermon will be given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will also give the Commendation. The Dean of Westminster will then pronounce the Blessing.
Towards the end of the Service, at approximately 1155hrs, Last Post will sound followed by Two Minute’s Silence to be observed in the Abbey, and throughout the United Kingdom. The National Anthem will bring the State Funeral Service to a close at approximately 12 noon.
After the Service, Her Majesty’s Coffin will be borne through the Abbey, returning to the State Gun Carriage for the Procession to Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, arriving at 1300hrs. The King and Members of the Royal Family will again follow The Queen’s Coffin in Procession.
The Procession will include detachments from the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth. Minute Guns will be fired in Hyde Park by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and Big Ben will toll throughout the duration of the Procession.
At Wellington Arch, the Coffin will be transferred to the State Hearse to travel to Windsor. As the State Hearse departs Wellington Arch, the Parade will give a Royal Salute and the National Anthem will be played. His Majesty The King and Members of the Royal Family will then depart for Windsor.
When the Coffin reaches Windsor, the State Hearse will slow to join a Procession to be formed up on Albert Road to travel via the Long Walk to St George’s Chapel, Windsor for the Committal Service. Members of the Royal Family will join the Procession in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle. Minute Guns will be fired on the East Lawn, Windsor Castle by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and Sebastopol Bell and the Curfew Tower Bell will be tolled.
The Procession will halt at the bottom of the West Steps of St. George's Chapel where a Guard of Honour, found by the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will be mounted. The Queen’s Coffin will be borne in Procession into the Chapel.
The Committal Service will begin at 1600hrs, and alongside His Majesty The King and Members of the Royal Family, the congregation will be made up of past and present members of The Queen’s Household, including from the private estates. Also in attendance will be Governors General and Realm Prime Ministers.
The Service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park. The Choir of St George’s Chapel will sing during the Service.
Prior to the final Hymn, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre will be removed from Her Majesty The Queen’s Coffin, and placed on the Altar. At the end of the final Hymn, The King will place The Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on Her Majesty’s Coffin. At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain will "break" his Wand of Office and place it on the Coffin.
As The Queen’s Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor will say a Psalm and the Commendation before Garter King of Arms pronounces Her Majesty’s styles and titles.
The Sovereign’s Piper will play a Lament and The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the Blessing. The National Anthem will be sung at the conclusion of the Service.
A Private Burial will take place in The King George VI Memorial Chapel later that evening, conducted by the Dean of Windsor.
Meanwhile, deeply moved by the global response and affection shown for The Queen as people join them in mourning the loss of Her Majesty, the King and the Royal Family send their "sincere gratitude for the messages of condolence received from around the world".