Queen Elizabeth II, who died Sept. 8 at age 96, was honored Sept. 19 in a majestic state funeral steeped in history and pageantry. Attended by the royal family, world leaders, citizens noted for special works and an estimated 2,000 guests, the Westminster Abbey ceremony paid homage, in word and song, to the late queen’s lifetime of devotion to family and country.
In his eulogy, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, recalled the queen’s memorable address to the nation during the COVID pandemic. In it she rousingly said, “We will meet again.” Welby ended his words, reflecting on that moment: “Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: We will meet again.”
The Royal Standard
Queen Elizabeth II oversaw every aspect of the elaborate state funeral, planning years ahead. Here, the coffin, draped in the Royal Standard, is loaded onto the state gun carriage outside of Westminster Hall.
The Queen’s four children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, follow the coffin as it is carried to Westminster Abbey.
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Front row to history
The royal family, led by King Charles and his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort, pay tribute to the queen.
Reunited in peace
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, solemnly enter the state funeral. Harry issued a public statement on the passing of his beloved grandmother. “Thank you for your sound advice,” he wrote. “Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
Friend and mentor
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, joins the state service. The ex-wife of Prince Andrew, better known as “Fergie,” has said that the queen was a great mentor. “To me, she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me in remaining close to me even after my divorce,” she wrote on Twitter. “I will miss her more than words can express.”
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah, depart Westminster Abbey. On Saturday night, Eugenie and Beatrice and the queen’s six other grandchildren stood silent vigil around their grandmother’s coffin in Westminster Hall.