Queen’s funeral: Elizabeth II laid to rest alongside husband, royal family announces – latest updates – The Guardian

Key events

Sir Keir Starmer has said the Queen’s funeral marked “the passing of an era” as he planned to open Labour’s conference with a tribute to the late monarch and the national anthem.

The Labour leader was among the 2,000 mourners gathered in Westminster Abbey for the service on Monday.

He wrote on Twitter: “Today marks the passing of an era.
“The dignity, courage, spirit, selflessness and good humour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II showed throughout her reign will always be with us.

“We are lucky to call ourselves Elizabethans.”

Sir Keir is set to open his party’s four-day conference in Liverpool on 25 September with a tribute to the long-reigning monarch.

Party delegates will also sing the national anthem at the start of the gathering, for the first time in recent history.

However, a Labour source dismissed reports that drinks receptions will be toned down at this year’s conference in a sign of respect to the late Queen.

The Liberal Democrats cancelled their conference because it fell within the period of national mourning, but the Conservatives are going ahead with theirs in Birmingham from 2 October.

Caroline Davies

Caroline Davies

After the majestical funeral pomp and military spectacle, unsurpassed in the nation’s living memory and watched across the world, the final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II would belong only to her family.

Night had fallen as she was laid to rest next to the Duke of Edinburgh in the George VI Memorial Chapel, Windsor, in private and away from cameras.

With only her family present, it was a wholly intimate ceremony, one for a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother who also was a Queen.

The contrast with the earlier grandeur of Britain’s official goodbye, with its pipers, buglers, and muffled bells; its kings, queens, prime ministers and presidents in the gothic splendour of Westminster Abbey, could not have been more marked.

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Queen is buried alongside late husband Duke of Edinburgh

The Queen has been buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle, an announcement on the royal family’s official website said.

“The Queen was buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh, at The King George VI Memorial Chapel,” the statement said.

The Queen’s corgis, Sandy and Muick, were among the many in Windsor paying their respects as her coffin made its way to St George’s Chapel.

The royal corgis await the state funeral cortege at Windsor Castle.
The royal corgis await the state funeral cortege at Windsor Castle. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Members of staff, with corgi dogs, await the arrival of the coffin at Windsor Castle.
Members of staff, with corgi dogs, await the arrival of the coffin at Windsor Castle. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/Reuters
Members of the Royal Household walking two of the royal Corgis outside Windsor Castle.
Members of the Royal Household walking two of the royal Corgis outside Windsor Castle. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Reuters

Veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby led the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s committal at Windsor Castle, in an echo of his father, Richard Dimbleby, from 70 years ago.

It was a move that earned the BBC great praise on Twitter.

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The Dean of Windsor, the right reverend David Connor, will lead the service before the burial of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in the crypt of the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

He also led the committal service at St George’s Chapel on Monday afternoon.

The Queen’s coffin will be interred with the Grenadier Guards’ Queen’s company camp colour – a smaller version of the royal standard of the regiment – which the King placed on her coffin at the end of the committal service.

The Grenadier Guards are the most senior of the foot guards regiments and the Queen was their colonel-in-chief.

Only one royal standard of the regiment is presented during a monarch’s reign and it served as the Queen’s company colour throughout her time as Queen.

A small crowd has formed outside Windsor Castle’s Henry VIII Gate ahead of the private burial of the Queen attended by her family.

The town has largely emptied since the end of the procession down Long Walk, leaving a sleepy, solemn atmosphere.

Dozens of people are still taking photos by the castle as the sunset lights up the walls and glowing clouds beyond.

Some are trying to get a glimpse through the gates into the castle courtyard beyond while others are on the street having a drink, PA Media reports.

Queen’s burial service to begin shortly

A private burial service will begin shortly at St George’s Chapel where the Queen will be laid to rest.

Her coffin has been lying in the royal vault at the church, at Windsor Castle, since the committal service this afternoon.

Members of the Royal family will return to the chapel for the intimate event, where she will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel. It will begin at 7.30pm. The memorial chapel is a small annex at the church.

Elizabeth II is the 11th former monarch to be buried in the chapel in Windsor Castle. She will be buried alongside her father King George VI, the Queen Mother and her sister Margaret.

Her late husband, Prince Philip, will have his coffin moved to join her, after his death and burial last year.

The Queen commissioned the chapel in 1962, and it was completed in 1969. Her father’s remains were moved there from the royal vault in the March of the same year.

The George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where Elizabeth II will be buried later on Monday.
The George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where Elizabeth II will be buried later on Monday. Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA

‘She was class’: mourners in London pay respects to Queen – video

Despite the size of the crowd in Belfast, silence pervaded.

Some dressed in suits and black ties, others in T-shirts and jeans. Veterans wore polished medals while tourists perched on the edge of sturdy suitcases.

Some sat on blankets, others stood throughout. A young boy made room beside him on his fold-out chair for his Paddington Bear teddy.

The gathering on the lawns outside the city’s City Hall was diverse, but its purpose was unifying – to pay respects to the late Queen.

Wearing a platinum jubilee T-shirt, and sitting on a stool draped in a Union flag, Simon Freedman struggled to hold back tears as the big screen showed members of the royal family singing the Lord Is My Shepherd.

For the 51-year-old from Coleraine, the Queen’s funeral held added poignancy. He had travelled down to Belfast in part to pay tribute to the memory of his own mother, Olive Sarah Freedman, who was a big royal fan and died in 2020 from Covid-19 at the age of 79.

“The fact we couldn’t have a service because of the lockdown in 2020, today kind of did that as well for me,” he told PA Media.

“My mother’s favourite hymn was the Lord Is My Shepherd, so it was quite fitting.

“I knew when that hymn came on, I’d shed a tear.”

Nine-year-old Tom Murray, from east Belfast, was the young boy with the Paddington teddy.

“She was a great monarch and the longest reigning monarch,” he said.

“She helped a lot of charities as well, so she was a really, really good monarch.

“The funeral was very sad, the King looked like he was crying.”

One view from across the Irish channel, as one writer for the Irish Times says it was a “culture shock” watching Britain grieve.

“In Ireland we take our funerals much as we take our tea: brisk, chatty and with a minimum of fuss. So there is a degree of culture shock watching Britain grieve for its queen.

“That’s especially true of the coverage of the funeral, which, on BBC One and Sky News, unfolds with a solemnity so hushed that every so often you find yourself wondering if you’ve muted the sound by accident. But, no, it’s just the UK muting itself as it says farewell to Queen Elizabeth.”

Irish broadcaster RTÉ covered the funeral, but not the procession, tuning back in to daytime soaps.

Writer Ed Power adds: “The funeral of Britain’s longest-serving monarch is a historic event, but it’s not the kind of history to stir the blood or have us on the edge of our seats. This is meditative and austere — hypersober slow TV.

“After the coffin’s procession through London on the state gun carriage, the final leg of the queen’s journey to Windsor Castle is by hearse. As the pace picks up, so does the coverage. The BBC doesn’t quite let its hair down, but Kirsty Young is allowed to break the solemnity and strike up a note of vague chattiness.”

He ends by reflecting that “on days such as this the gulf between the countries feels wider and deeper than usual”.

Daniel Boffey

Daniel Boffey

Prince William and Prince Harry as they walked behind the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy.
Prince William and Prince Harry as they walked behind the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AP

There was no eye contact or acknowledgment between Prince William and Prince Harry as they walked behind the Queen’s coffin. Nor indeed, it appeared, as the two princes were joined by their wives, Kate and Meghan, in Westminster Abbey.

Harry, wearing a morning suit on to which his medals were pinned rather than military uniform, the traditional dress permitted of working members of the royal family at ceremonial events, kept his gaze focused ahead during the procession from Westminster Hall to the abbey and later at Windsor Castle.

Walking behind King Charles III, the Princess Royal, Prince Edward and the Duke of York, who had also stood out in a morning suit, the brothers were at least side by side, rather than being buffered by their cousin, Peter Phillips, as had been the case at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh last April.

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