Thank you, Ma’am: The Queen’s Funeral

Today, the funeral of Her Majesty Elizabeth II took place in Westminster Abbey.

HM The Queen had a close personal relationship with service personnel throughout her reign and they were heavily involved in her state funeral today. Over the past week, the UK Armed Forces, have paid their respects to mark her passing. In total, 5,949 members of the UK Armed Forces have been deployed on ceremonial duties since the death of the Queen, across the three services.

In total, around 4,000 military personnel were on parade today, including Commonwealth personnel. In London alone, 3,000 members of the Armed Forces were involved the ceremonies.

Beginning the day of mourning, a bearer party from The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards lifted the coffin from the catafalque in Westminster Hall. Before the coffin was lifted onto the gun carriage, the gun carriage crew removed their caps and lowered their heads.

The UK Armed Forces have played a part in the procession for Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral and committal service today, in London and Windsor.

At 1044, The Queen’s coffin was borne in procession on the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy, drawn by 142 ratings and six officers of the Royal Navy. Former equerries to The Queen escorted the coffin as pall bearers.

Around 4,000 regular and reserve soldiers, sailors, marines and aviators, as well as musicians from Armed Forces bands, took part in the proceedings today.

The funeral procession travelled to the sound of 200 musicians of The Massed Pipes and Drums from Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Royal Air Force. They were led by drum majors of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, 1st Battalion Irish Guards and The Royal Regiment of Scotland; all units in which the Queen was Colonel-in-Chief.

They travelled from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, on a route lined by personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Arrival of the Royal Family

The King’s Life Guard, mounted by The Blues and Royals of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, turned out mounted in Front Yard, Horse Guards, and gave a royal salute to The King and members of the royal family as they travelled to Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.

Pictured are members of the The Household Cavalry Regiment, The Blues and Royals.

A tri-service guard of honour was mounted in Parliament Square on the pavement facing the gates of New Palace Yard, accompanied by The Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood.

When the bearer party raised the coffin on its shoulders, all officers in the procession gave a salute.

The Bearer Party formed of personnel from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards move the coffin of Her Majesty The Queen from Westminser Abbey to the State Gun Carriage.

The Dean of Westminster and the pall bearers preceded the bearer party carrying the coffin. The King, members of the Royal Family and the Household of The King followed.

The funeral service began at 1100, lasting an hour. In a deeply moving moment, the Last Post was sounded from the Lady Chapel by four State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry to mark the end of the service.

The Last Post is a cavalry trumpet call, traditionally sounded at military funerals and ceremonies, often to symbolise that a soldier has gone to their final rest.

A national two-minute silence was observed throughout the United Kingdom, followed by the national anthem.

Pictured are members of the Royal Marine Band at the Tilt Yard, Horse Guards.

At 1215, the coffin was taken in procession to Wellington Arch on the state gun carriage of the Royal Navy. Minute guns were fired during the procession by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park. The first round was fired as soon as the gun carriage wheels started to turn outside Westminster Abbey, and the last as the wheels stopped at Wellington Arch.

In a display of military precision, four teams from 251 Signal Squadron, 10th Signal Regiment, ensured the guns synchronised with the chimes of Big Ben. This was achieved through a mixture of secure telecommunications, and flag signals.

Army Signallers Ensure Funeral Runs Like Clockwork.

41 half companies from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force lined the route, including personnel from the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards.

This procession was formed in seven groups, each supported by a band. Following this was a vast array of mounted and dismounted UK Armed Forces personnel, including current and former service chiefs, senior military representatives to each service, and representatives of units with special relationship to The Queen.

The State Crown, Orb and Sceptre atop the coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In a truly international display, regiments and units from the Armed Forces of certain Commonwealth nations took part, including defence staff from Jamaica, New Zealand, and Canada.

The bands provided continuous solemn music throughout the duration of the procession, beginning once it had reached 100 yards of Westminster Hall.

Members of the Royal Marine Band on the Mall.

The coffin arrived at Wellington Arch, as the Royal Navy Piping Party, comprising ratings from HMNB Portsmouth, HMNB Devonport, HMS Raleigh and HMS Iron Duke piped The Still.

Piping The Still is used in the Royal Navy to call to attention, as a mark of respect, or to order silence.

At this point the bearer party raised the coffin from the gun carriage to a waiting hearse, beginning the final procession to Windsor.

The Bearer Party, formed of personnel from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, transfer the coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from The State Gun Carriage to the Royal hearse.
Image of the proceedings in London saw the Bearer Party, formed of personnel from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, transfer Her Majesty The Queen’s Coffin from Westminster Hall to the State Gun Carriage, which was pulled by 142 Naval Ratings to Westminster Abbey.

To read more about the UK Armed Forces’ involvement in commemorating the life of The Queen, head to:



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Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence

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