A unique ceremony for a unique queen: at Westminster Abbey, a temple of the British monarchs, Elizabeth II had a funeral reserved only for great personalities, attended by presidents, kings, princes, prime ministers, ambassadors and special guests from around the world.
With the pomp and solemnity required for state funerals and amid strict security, Elizabeth II was honored by hundreds of representatives of the countries with which she maintained and strengthened diplomatic relations during the seven decades in which she was head of state of the United Kingdom.
When she ascended the throne on February 6, 1952, aged just 25, Elizabeth II helped foster these ties after the country began rebuilding from World War II to defeat Nazi Germany.
Led to the abbey by King Charles III, who ascended the throne on the death of his mother, and the entire British royal family, including the Princes of Wales, William and Kate, with two of their three children – Princes George and Charlotte – and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Henry and Meghan, Elizabeth II had a parting with all the honors.
The presence of dignitaries reflected the extent and impact of Elizabeth II’s influence throughout her 70 years of reign.
The British political class was represented by Prime Minister Liz Truss and her government ministers, while all of the country’s former heads of government were present, including Labour’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as the Conservatives John Major, Theresa May, David Cameron and Boris Johnson.
At the end of the religious service for the royal funeral, outside the church, thousands of people lined up on either side of the funeral cortege to pay their last respects to the queen.
Two minutes’ silence was observed in memory of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London and across the UK.
The ceremony ended with the singing of the national anthem, ‘God Save the King’, sung in its male version after Charles III became king, in the presence of 2,000 guests, including dignitaries from all over the world.
The coffin with the remains of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was transported on a pontoon from Wellington Arch in London’s Hyde Park to Windsor Castle.
Before this final journey to Windsor Castle, the coffin, mounted on a gun carriage pulled with ropes by Royal Navy sailors, was paraded through the streets of the center of the British capital to Wellington Arch, followed by King Charles III, Prince William of Wales and other members of the royal family. More than 3,000 soldiers marched in the funeral cortege after the religious ceremony which took place at Westminster Abbey in front of hundreds of dignitaries from all over the world.
Around 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT), the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96 after more than seven decades of reign, arrived at Windsor Castle in about 35 kilometers west of London.
There, the cortege walked the nearly five kilometers of the Long Walk, the alley that leads to the royal residence where the sovereign spent most of her time.
Queen Elizabeth II was buried alongside Prince Philip in the crypt of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle