What to know about Queen Elizabeth II's funeral later today

·8-min read
Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski - Getty Images

It's been over a week since members of the Royal Family rushed to Balmoral to be at the Queen's side following reports of her declining health. News followed later that Queen Elizabeth II had sadly passed away at the age of 96. And today - Monday 19 September - King Charles III and members of Her Majesty's family, a number of world leaders and dignitaries, plus many people across the UK and globe will gather to pay their final respects at her funeral.

It has been a time of change as many people in the UK have mourned the loss of the late Queen, with thousands of people lining the streets for hours to see the monarch lying in state at Westminster Hall. Tributes have flooded in over recent days from royals and celebrity friends alike, while fans have looked back on the monarch's remarkable life, remembering her loving relationship with Prince Philip and the legacy she has left behind. Others have also looked to the future, with questions about what will happen to the line of succession now that Her Majesty has passed away and which royals will receive new titles.

And alongside all of the vigils, processions, royal outings and official engagements, preparations have been underway for the momentous occasion of Her Majesty's funeral.

Here's everything we know so far about how to follow Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, including how and where to watch the service.

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral: Date and time

When will Queen Elizabeth II's funeral take place?

Shortly after Her Majesty's death, the Royal Family confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II's funeral will take place on Monday 19 September.

According to Operation Unicorn, the funeral was expected to happen on D-Day+10 (10 days on from Her Majesty's passing), however, due to the announcement of the Queen's death coming late in the day – 6:31pm on 8 September – plans were shifted by one day to allow time for the complex arrangements.

What time will the Queen's funeral start?

Details of the funeral were released in a statement shared on social media and via the Royal Family's official website, it read: "[The funeral] of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 1100hrs BST."

This means that the Queen's funeral will commence at 11am.

Is the Queen lying-in-state before the funeral?

Ahead of the funeral, Her Majesty lay-in-state at Westminster Hall for four days so that the public could pay their respects, with thousands of mourners queuing to attend. The Hall was closed on the day of the funeral at 6am.

According to the statement: "On the morning of Monday 19th September, the lying-in-state will end and the Coffin will be taken in Procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey."

Photo credit: Yui Mok - Getty Images
Photo credit: Yui Mok - Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral: What to expect

Will the Queen's funeral be a bank holiday?

During one of his first public appearances as King Charles III, the new monarch confirmed that the date of Her Majesty's funeral will be a bank holiday in the UK.

Will Queen Elizabeth II have a state funeral?

State funerals are typically reserved for monarchs, however, other people can be granted a state funeral with the monarch's approval and a parliamentary vote. As the former head of state, Queen Elizabeth II will receive a state funeral – something which Her Majesty's late husband, Prince Philip, was offered but turned down.

State funerals include a gun carriage (used to transport the coffin between locations and drawn by sailors from the Royal Navy rather than horses) and a 21-gun salute. Big Ben will chime at 9am and as Her Majesty's coffin arrives at Westminister Abbey at 11am, the country will fall silent.

There have only been a handful of state funerals in recent years, and Queen Elizabeth II's will mark the tenth in British history. The last state funeral in Britain was held for Winston Churchill in 1965.

Where will Queen Elizabeth II be buried?

Following a period of lying-in-state, Queen Elizabeth II's funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey. Afterwards, there will be a procession – complete with a full military parade – as Her Majesty's coffin travels down The Mall towards Hyde Park Corner. At this point, a hearse will travel by road to Windsor Castle where Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest.

"Following the State Funeral, the Coffin will travel in Procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch," the Royal Family's statement added. "From Wellington Arch, the Coffin will travel to Windsor and once there, the State Hearse will travel in Procession to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle via the Long Walk. A Committal Service will then take place in St George's Chapel."

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

Her Majesty will be buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor, alongside her mother and father and the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret. Prince Philip’s coffin will be moved to the chapel so that he may join his wife of seven decades.

Who will attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral?

As well as heads of state, prime ministers, presidents and key figures from across the world, all members of the Royal Family are expected to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral. This will include all four of her children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as Prince William and Prince Harry. It is also thought that the Prince of Wales' two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will now be in attendance.

A strict, all-black dress code will be adhered to by all members of the Royal Family.

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral: A timeline of the day

  • 8am - The doors of Westminster Abbey open for the funeral's 2000 guests

  • 11am - Her Majesty's funeral begins

  • 11:55am - Her Majesty's funeral ends with a two-minute silence

  • 1pm - The funeral procession makes its way along The Mall after which the Queen is transported by hearse to Windsor

  • 3:10pm - The hearse travels along Long Walk where mourners can pay their respect

  • 4pm - A committal service at St George's Chapel takes place

Queen Elizabeth II's funeral: How to watch

Can members of the public go to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral?

Members of the public are not invited to attend the funeral service at Westminster Abbey – only members of the Royal Family and key global figures are invited to the service itself.

However, as well as attending Her Majesty's lying-in-state, you are welcome to pay your respects during the funeral procession along The Mall where space will be made for well-wishers and royal fans.

Will Queen Elizabeth II's funeral be televised?

Yes, Her Majesty's funeral will be televised and it has also been reported that big screens will be put up across the country so that members of the public can watch the funeral together.

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

If you plan to watch from home, you can watch the funeral live on BBC One and BBC News. Other major news channels, such as ITV and Sky News, will be airing the service and proceedings live. It is expected that other networks around the world will broadcast the event as well – so if you're watching from outside of the UK, it's best to check the scheduling of your local channel.

Watching the Queen's funeral on BBC

BBC One's TV schedule for Monday will kick off at 6am with BBC Breakfast and then the Queen's funeral coverage starting at 8am. Coverage will continue until BBC News at 5pm, followed by an evening of dedicated programming including The One Show: Our Queen Remembered.

Watching the Queen's funeral on ITV

ITV's coverage on Monday will start with Good Morning Britain at 6am which will preview the funeral. ITV will then air the state funeral live and uninterrupted on its main channel and simultaneously on all of its digital channels.

In the evening, ITV has scheduled a documentary film chronicling the events of the past ten days from Her Majesty The Queen’s death to the state funeral.

Watching the Queen's funeral on Sky News

Sky News' funeral coverage will begin at 5am with Kamali Melbourne as the Queen's lying-in-state draws to a close. At 7am, Kay Burley will take over live from Westminster Abbey. At 9am Anna Botting and Dermot Murnaghan take viewers through the funeral procession and service from Westminster Abbey.

At 2pm, Dermot Murnaghan reports live from Windsor Castle as the funeral procession concludes and later in the evening, at 7pm Mark Austin will report live from Buckingham Palace ahead of a round-up of the day's events at 9pm.

Can you watch the Queen's funeral online?

BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub will be broadcasting the funeral. You will also be able to keep up with the day's events on social media – Twitter often showcases major live events on its Explore page, and there may be live content on Instagram directly from well-wishers on the scene.

Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.

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