Queen Elizabeth II was honored with a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, which also served as the backdrop for several important milestones from her reign as queen of England.
The late sovereign was laid to rest on Monday, September 19, with a ceremonial procession and service at Westminster Abbey in London. The proceedings began as the Royal Navy brought the queen’s casket from the Palace of Westminster to the Abbey on the State Gun Carriage. The royal family — including King Charles III, the queen’s younger children and members of the new king’s household — followed behind Her Majesty’s coffin before the service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
As the royals and visiting dignitaries — as well as residents of the community recognized for their extraordinary volunteer efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic — mourned Elizabeth’s death on Monday, its setting holds important significance to the late regent. Westminster Abbey was also the site of the queen’s June 1953 coronation when she was 27 years old.
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“It’s sort of the beginnings of one’s life as a sovereign,” Elizabeth said in The Coronation documentary for the BBC, which aired in January 2018. “I’ve seen one coronation [my father George VI’s in 1937], and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable.”
She quipped at the time: “There are some disadvantages to crowns [like its weight] but otherwise they’re quite important.”
Westminster Abbey also served as the setting for another monumental occasion in her life: Her wedding to Prince Philip. Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh — who died in April 2021 at the age of 99 — held their royal nuptials at the London church in November 1947.
The Gothic-style church was first built in the 13th century, and has since been the site of many late British monarchs’ burials through the years. Much like Elizabeth and Philip, several other members of the royal family have even held their own weddings in the cathedral. Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson — who split in 1992 — tied the knot at Westminster Abbey, nearly 25 years before Andrew’s nephew Prince William married Princess Kate there.
Following the queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey, the royals will travel in a hearse to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, for a committal service. The Windsor service was also the site of weddings for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, both in 2018. The royals later attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in its chapel last year.
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While Philip — who served as the prince consort throughout his wife’s reign — did not have a state funeral due to the coronavirus pandemic, his four children — Charles, 73, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — attended alongside Elizabeth and the couple’s eight grandchildren.
“For me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth and the world,” the queen previously opened up about losing her husband during her 2021 Christmas address. “His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible. That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him. But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.”source: usmagazine.com