A final farewell. The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II was a who’s who of world leaders who came to pay their respects on Monday, September 19, to the monarch who led Great Britain and the Commonwealth for 70 years. The service was held at Westminster Abbey, where her majesty was remembered for her remarkable devotion to her country and its citizens. The queen died on September 8 at her beloved summer home, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, at the age of 96.

The royal family was led by King Charles III, who became the sovereign upon his mother’s death, and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla. His eldest son, Prince William, and his wife, Princess Kate (née Middleton), followed as the Duke of Cambridge is now first in line of succession to the throne. They were joined by the queen’s other children, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and  Prince Edward to mourn their beloved mother.

It was a “Day of National Mourning,” with two minutes of silence observed at midday throughout Great Britain in remembrance of the woman who led the nation for what was the majority of many people’s lifetimes.

The one-hour service will be followed by a large ceremonial carriage procession through London carrying the queen’s coffin to Hyde Park, where mourners can line the streets to say a final farewell to the beloved monarch. Queen Elizabeth’s coffin will then be transferred to a state hearse for her final ride to Windsor Castle.

Once she arrives there via a procession through Windsor, the queen will be buried in a service a Windsor Castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel. Her coffin will be lowered into the royal vault alongside her parents, King George VI and wife, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret.

The queen will also be reunited with her beloved late husband, Prince Philip, who died on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99. The couple had been married for 73 years and Elizabeth had referred to Philip as her “strength and stay” and her rock through her rule. The monarch’s health began to take a turn for the worse in the 17 months after his death, and the photo of her sitting distant and alone in the front pew at his funeral due to COVID-19 restrictions will forever remain an iconic symbol of her love and commitment.

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Tyler Cowan