Nation pauses for Queen Elizabeth II’s final farewell

World’s media ready for a long day

At The Mall

Media area by Buckingham Palace
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An arc of white tents sweep round the neat gardens in front of Buckingham Palace.

Inside presenters from the world’s biggest media organisations are dressed head to toe in black.

Under bright spotlights, they interview guests and talk into cameras. It’s the start of a long day.

Claire Heald

Troops march past
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At 08:00 the doors to the abbey opened, and people are starting to walk in.

As far as the eye can see here – down into Parliament Square and up Victoria Street – normal life has been suspended.


There’s no Monday rush-hour traffic of course – just coaches moving people, trucks lifting crowd barriers and buses shifting police and security staff teams to different posts.

But also gone is some of the street furniture – London will put on its best face today – no traffic lights or wide street security barriers will bring this procession to a halt.

There’s sand down in front of the abbey – the State Gun Carriage will grind to a halt here just before the service at 11:00 BST.

Sniffer dogs have been busy working the area around the west and north entrances – where some of the 2,000 guests have arrived.

Thousands of members of the armed forces will line the procession route and take part between here, Wellington Arch and on to Windsor. And some of their number are passing now

Sniffer dog breaks free of its handler outside Westminster Abbey

Posted at 12:3012:30
How can I watch the funeral?
Millions of people in the UK and around the world are expected to watch the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey later today.

There are many ways you can follow it:

The BBC will be providing full coverage of the state funeral across TV, radio, iPlayer, BBC Sounds, and the BBC News website
For radio audiences, a special programme presented by Martha Kearney will be simulcast on BBC Sounds, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Scotland between 09:00 and 13:30 and 14:30 and 17:00
The service will broadcast on other BBC radio stations, including local stations, over the course of the day
About 125 cinemas around the country will screen the funeral
Cathedrals and theatres are also among the venues where people can view the event
Big screens will be set up in locations across the UK, including Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, Hyde Park in London, Sheffield’s Cathedral Square, Belfast’s City Hall and Castle Square in Caernarfon
A BBC special programme will be broadcast live to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide via BBC World News and bbc.com
Networks such as PBS, CNN and Fox in the US and ABC in Australia will also be broadcasting the day’s events

Political editor

Outside Westminster Abbey, reporters from around the world beetle around with medallions of accreditations dangling around their necks. ID for this and that, security everywhere.

The scale and global interest in this is unprecedented; around 500 world leaders and dignitaries will be here later. It is the largest single event the UK has hosted in decades, possibly ever.

And while planning has been under way for years, it is still all happening with ten days notice.

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Posted at 12:1312:13
Train disruption for mourners getting in and out of London
Anjana Gadgil

at Paddington Station

Trains at a standstill here at London Paddington with all GWR services delayed or cancelled due to a power outage.

There are faulty electrical lines between Slough and Paddington, which is one of the main overland stations needed for travel between the Queen’s funeral at Westminster and later processions to the Committal Service at Windsor.

Further delays are being caused because the lines between Reading and Newbury are closed due to a person being hit by a train.

The Elizabeth Line is also suspended with passengers advised to use the Piccadilly line where possible instead.

Disruption is expected until 10am.

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‘We wanted to say goodbye’

Helena Wilkinson

In Windsor

Maureen, Debbie and Macey
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People camped overnight in sleeping bags along the historic Long Walk here in Windsor.

Later today, they will see the state hearse slowly make its way past them before it enters the grounds of Windsor Castle for a committal service.

Maureen Smith, 70, came at about 22:00 last night with her daughter Debbie Costello, 42 and granddaughter Macey.

Maureen says she managed to get a couple of hours sleep and Macey slept “like a log”.

They came because Macey wanted say goodbye and bring flowers. Asked what she liked about the Queen, Macey says: “She was nice.”

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Posted at 11:5911:59
In pictures: Spectators gather ahead of funeral
People have been gathering in London and Windsor to watch the Queen’s funeral procession later today.

Many camped out overnight to secure a spot in viewing areas along the route.

People look at a phone as they await the procession, on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, on The Mall in London on 19 September 2022
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People queue to buy hot drinks before they find a position to watch the State Funeral Procession of Queen Elizabeth II in London on 19 September 2022
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People queue to buy hot drinks on a chilly morningImage caption: People queue to buy hot drinks on a chilly morning
Police patrol Whitehall ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, on 19 September 2022
EPACopyright: EPA
Police patrol Whitehall ahead of the funeralImage caption: Police patrol Whitehall ahead of the funeral
Members of the public set up chairs next to barriers on the procession route along the Long Walk in Windsor, Berkshire, ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, on 18 September 2022
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Some members of the public set themselves up next to barriers on the procession route in WindsorImage caption: Some members of the public set themselves up next to barriers on the procession route in Windsor
People camp along the fence outside Windsor Castle a day before the funeral procession, following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, in Windsor on 18 September 2022
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Others camped outside the castle – where the Queen’s coffin will be taken this afternoon – to secure a good spotImage caption: Others camped outside the castle – where the Queen’s coffin will be taken this afternoon – to secure a good spot
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Nick Eardley

At Westminster Hall

Over the past four and a half days, Westminster Hall has been a steady stream of silent tribute.

From members of the public to foreign leaders, huge numbers have made their way through the historic hall, pausing in front of the monarch’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard and topped by the Imperial State Crown.

We stood at the back of the hall as the final visitors streamed through just before 06:30 this morning.

Some paused briefly to bow their heads. Others shed a tear. One man, wearing full army fatigues, saluted the coffin.

The last person to walk through the hall was Black Rod – the senior official from the House of Lords. She stopped, bowed briefly, before bringing the lying-in-state to an official end.

Westminster Hall is now closed to the public – with the Queen’s coffin remaining here for a few hours before being moved across the road to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral later this morning.

Kyre (right), Beveley (centre) and Fred (left)
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Kyre got no sleep as he spent the night on the Mall with mum Beveley and granddad FredImage caption: Kyre got no sleep as he spent the night on the Mall with mum Beveley and granddad Fred
It’s early but there’s a sense of purpose in the air.

Huddles of security in high-vis jackets are gathered in Green Park, steering the public to viewing areas along the procession route.

Some stop to leave flowers beneath the trees, others press on determined to get the best spot possible.

That’s not a worry for the Rowlassons. Kyre, 23, his mum Beveley, 41, and granddad Fred, 72, left home in Birmingham yesterday to secure a front-row spot.

The three spent an uncomfortable night in their sleeping bags on the ground. Much sleep? “Not a wink,” says Kyre.

For Fred, it’s a day to show respect for the Queen. “She was a lovely person,” he says.

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Watch: Last mourners walk past Queen’s coffin
Video content

Video caption: Black Rod Sarah Clarke was the last person to file past the coffinBlack Rod Sarah Clarke was the last person to file past the coffin
This was the moment the final mourners allowed into Westminster Hall paid their respects to the Queen.

After the last members of the public who had queued through the night walked through the hall, members of parliamentary staff followed them, with Black Rod Sarah Clarke the last to walk past the coffin.

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Posted at 11:1011:10
I’ll miss her terribly, says Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau arrives at 10 Downing Street in London for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss on 18 September 2022
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about his relationship with the late Queen.

He first met her more than 40 years ago, when his father, Pierre, was the Canadian leader.

“I’ll miss her terribly, I’m still absorbing. Just coming to London and not be able to see her is something that catches me off guard a little bit.

“The relationship that I’ve been able to deepen with her over the past seven years has been extraordinary, being able to keep her appraised of what’s going on in Canada, but also just have real, deep, thoughtful conversations about global affairs, whether it’s the situation in Ukraine, whether it’s challenges around the global south, climate change, her thoughtfulness, her perspective in the sweep of history was always extraordinarily valuable.”

When asked whether Canada would still be a realm – with the UK monarch as head of state – through his children’s lifetime, he says:

“Yes I do, I think there is an extraordinary stability in our system of democracy. We have an extraordinary governor general who embodies the best of Canadians and we have a Crown that is overseeing, sometimes from a comfortable distance, what is happening.

Quote Message: There is a nice balance to the system we have that is going to continue to serve Canadians extremely well.” from Justin Trudeau Canadian Prime Minister
There is a nice balance to the system we have that is going to continue to serve Canadians extremely well.”

Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister
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BREAKING
Lying-in-state ends ahead of funeral
Westminster Hall just after the final people to pay respects filed past the coffin
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The Queen’s lying-in-state in Westminster Hall has now ended.

Hundreds of thousands of people who have travelled to London from across the UK and the world have been able to pay their respects since Wednesday night and throughout the weekend.

The Queen’s four children mounted a vigil for her on Friday evening, and her grandchildren did the same on Saturday.

Guards have kept watch for six hours a shift, switching in and out of roles at 20-minute intervals. But now the doors to the hall are closed, as the final preparations for this morning’s state funeral take place.

Posted at 10:5910:59
Abbey lit as dawn breaks in central London

Claire Heald

At Westminster Abbey

Western end of Westminster Abbey
BBCCopyright: BBC
As dawn breaks here at Westminster Abbey, the Portland stone of the western end is gently lit against a cloudy grey sky.

It’s quiet. Final preparations are taking place for the funeral procession, in just over four hours, when the Queen’s coffin will come here from Westminster Hall, across Parliament Square.

News crews are beginning their broadcasts from outside the abbey, where every monarch since William the Conqueror has been crowned. It’s still a wait until the dignitaries, people in public life, royals and friends of the Queen begin to arrive, after 08:00 BST.

Police officers and security staff are the only people moving about on the streets. The Modern Martyrs – statues of Christians who died for their beliefs and who sit in stone above the Great West Door – are watching over them.

Posted at 10:5310:53
Queen’s lying-in-state to close
The Queen’s lying-in-state is due to close in the next 10 minutes.

Since it opened last Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of people have gone to pay their respects to the late monarch – with many standing for more than 10 hours in a queue that stretched across central London.

The organisers announced just after 22:40 BST last night that the queue had been closed to new joiners, leaving some people disappointed at being turned away.

Others joined the queue anyway in the hope of being able to get into Westminster Hall without a wristband, only to be turned away by police at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens next to Lambeth Bridge.

People passing through Westminster Hall at about 6:15 BST
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Pictures from the last few minutes show some of the last members of the public able to file past the Queen’s coffinImage caption: Pictures from the last few minutes show some of the last members of the public able to file past the Queen’s coffin

What will happen today?
The Queen’s coffin, draped in the Royal Standard, in Westminster Hall
ReutersCopyright: Reuters
There are multiple components to the Queen’s funeral, which will unfold throughout the day in both London and Windsor. Here’s what we’re expecting:

6:30 BST – The window for the public to see Elizabeth II lying in state comes to an end, as the doors to Westminster Hall are closed
8:00 – Doors of Westminster Abbey open for the 2,000 guests expected – from world leaders to charity workers and the Japanese emperor
10:44 – The day’s first procession will set off, with King Charles and other senior royals walking behind the Queen’s coffin as it’s pulled by sailors on the State Gun Carriage from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey
11:00 – The state funeral service begins
11:55 – The Last Post bugle sounds, followed by a national two minutes’ silence
12:00 – Service ends, and at 12:15 a second, larger procession brings her coffin to Wellington Arch
13:00 – Her coffin is transferred to the state hearse and driven to Windsor along a route expected to be lined by crowds
15:00 – The day’s third procession begins, through the grounds of Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel
16:00 – Committal service takes place at St George’s Chapel
19:30 – Royal Family returns to the chapel for a private burial service that will see Elizabeth II interred alongside her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh

London’s biggest-ever policing operation

Daniel Sandford

Home Affairs Correspondent

The security operation to protect the funeral will involve more police officers being deployed in London than ever before.

“As a single event this is larger than the 2012 Olympics, it is larger than the Platinum Jubilee weekend,” said Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy.

More than 10,000 police officers and staff will be dedicated to the funeral. Every force in the UK has contributed, including the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

This is a security operation that has been decades in the planning, but that does not reduce the stakes involved.

Hundreds of heads of state, heads of government and senior royals will need to travel through London to an 800-year-old church, with no permanent security perimeter. Once again the new King and his heir will walk behind the coffin through the streets of Westminster, which will be largely closed to traffic.

An unknown number of people will gather along the ceremonial route, and in Hyde Park where the funeral can be watched on large screens.

The operation to keep them safe will be led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, who will be based in the Metropolitan Police’s Special Operations Room just across the river from Westminster Abbey.
Posted at 10:0210:02
Prince George and Princess Charlotte to attend
Prince George and Princess Charlotte
Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images
Prince George, 9, and his sister, Princess Charlotte, 7, will be among the 2,000 guests attending the Queen’s funeral.

The two children will take part in a procession with the Royal Family, following their great grandmother’s coffin as it enters Westminster Abbey – the 13th Century church where the state funeral will be held.

George and Charlotte will walk behind their parents William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales. Following them will be their uncle and aunt Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will be leading the procession.

George and Charlotte’s younger brother Louis, 4, is not expected to attend.

Posted at 9:459:45
Canada to hold its own commemoration on Monday

Lyse Doucet

Chief International Correspondent

A college orchestra rehearses next to a mounted picture of the Queen
BBCCopyright: BBC
The stirring strains of Amazing Grace filled the magnificent Christ Church Cathedral on a rainy Ottawa Sunday.

Young musicians in the Appleby College string ensemble rehearsed their chosen hymn for the National Commemoration in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. Canada will be one of the only Commonwealth realms to hold their own ceremony on the same day as the state funeral.

“She visited this cathedral twice during her reign and we remember her with great fondness and great love,” reflected The Very Reverend Elizabeth Bretzlaff, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, who will officiate at the service. “She inspired us, and especially women, with her leadership.”

“She dedicated her entire life to unwavering duty,“ remarked 17-year-old violinist Sterling Wu. “I hope that I’m learning from her.”

The commemoration, which will be attended by former Canadian prime ministers and governor generals, as well as indigenous leaders and other leading Canadians, will be preceded by a memorial parade through the streets of the capital. A flypast and a 96-gun salute will also mark Canada’s official tribute to a Queen who visited here more than any other country.

And despite the early hour, many Canadians say they’ll be getting up before dawn to watch the funeral live.

Posted at 9:219:21
Australians prepare to bid farewell

Shaimaa Khalil

Reporting from Sydney

sydney bridge
ReutersCopyright: Reuters
I’m looking at the Sydney Harbour Bridge where the flags are flying at half-mast.

It was here that Queen Elizabeth made her historic first visit in 1954. In total she toured 16 times.

Most major channels will broadcast the funeral live with special coverage starting hours before.

In Melbourne it will be shown on the big screen in Federation Square in the city centre.

A shop on Queensland’s Gold Coast which sells British products, A Bit of Britain, has invited customers to watch the funeral there where “Tea and bickies will be available for free”.

“If we can’t be there, we can be here together,” their Facebook post said.

A national day of mourning will be observed on Thursday here – a one-off public holiday with a minute’s silence at 11:00 local time.

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