20 Sep 2022

World watches historic state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

4:25 am on 20 September 2022

Shortly before 10pm NZ time, King Charles III led a sombre procession behind his Queen Elizabeth II's coffin which was taken on a gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the abbey for the funeral where an estimated 2000 guests were gathered.

The coffin arrived in Windsor, where the Queen will be buried alongside her husband after after an historic state funeral in London attended by world leaders, royalty and delegations from countries across the globe.

A second, private funeral service will be conducted at Windsor Castle about 6.30am.

The official lying-in-state period ended earlier this evening after four days in which hundreds of thousands of people queued to file past the casket of Britain's longest-reigning monarch at Westminster Hall.

Look back at how the night went with RNZ's blog:

From New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro will be accompanied by the Māori King, Kiingi Tūheitia, former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, Victoria Cross for New Zealand recipient, Bill (Willie) Apiata and former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Sir Don McKinnon.

Tens of millions in Britain and abroad are expected to watch the funeral of the monarch, something which has never been televised before. It will end with the Last Post trumpet salute before the church and the nation falls silent for two minutes.

Britain also held a minute of silence across the nation yesterday to mark her death.

Afterwards, the coffin will be brought through central London, with the monarch and the royal family following again on foot during the 2.4 km procession.

From there, it will be placed on a hearse to be driven to Windsor Castle, west of London, for a service at St. George's Chapel, where it will be lowered into the royal vault.

Later, in a private family service, she will be buried alongside her husband of more than seven decades Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, where her parents and sister, Princess Margaret, also rest.

- Reuters / BBC / RNZ

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