The second Elizabethan era of British history came to an end with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s longest-serving queen, at the age of 96, who passed away peacefully on the 8th of September 2022. Two days after fulfilling her final public constitutional duty by appointing the 15th prime minister of her 70-year reign, the monarch, for whom abdication was never an option, passed away quietly at Balmoral. Charles now reigns as king, and the Duchess of Cornwall is the Queen Consort.
Yesterday, a formal funeral and military parade were held as part of the nation’s final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. King Charles III and the Royal Family were joined by world leaders and foreign aristocracy in the Westminster Abbey congregation. As the casket was transported to Windsor, where she was laid to rest, hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets. The Dean of Westminster praised the Queen’s “lifelong sense of responsibility” during the funeral. She was praised for her “unwavering dedication to a noble calling for so many years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth,” according to the Very Rev. David Hoyle.
People who had waited in line to pay their final respects to the Queen as she lay in state in Westminster Hall began the day. Then, in a scene unseen in ages, her coffin was carried in a mournful procession to Westminster Abbey on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy, drawn by 142 sailors. Princess Anne, Princes Andrew, and Edward, as well as King Charles III, accompanied him on his stroll. Following their father, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex strolled past members of the military from all branches of service. Foreign royalty, statesmen, and world leaders stood as her coffin was taken up the aisle and placed on a catafalque, draped in the royal standard, with the Imperial State Crown, orb, and sceptre on top as the funeral procession entered the abbey.
The Queen’s personal history is intertwined with that of Westminster Abbey because it was the site of both her wedding and coronation. The Lord Is My Shepherd, a song that was performed during her wedding, was played at her death. The Last Post was played by the same musicians who played it during the Duke of Edinburgh’s burial at Windsor last year as the abbey service neared its conclusion, and then the country halted for two minutes of silence. A handwritten letter from the King was one of the special touches at the memorial service. At his request, a wreath of flowers cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Highgrove House, and Clarence House was placed on top of the coffin. It said: “In devoted and loving memory. Charles R.”
Millions of people across the nation and the world watched the event on television. For those who weren’t invited, large screens were erected in UK cities, and the event was broadcast in certain theatres, bars, and other places. Numerous people were moved to tears as they lined the streets and congregated in parks throughout the city to listen to the event. It was the largest ceremonial occasion since World War Two and the first state funeral since Sir Winston Churchill’s in 1965.
The Queen’s coffin was transported by gun carriage to Wellington Arch following the funeral before making its final stop at Windsor Castle for a committal service. Thousands of mourners lined up along the road to say their own personal goodbyes. The procession travelled via Horse Guards Parade, where the Queen had presided over countless Trooping the Colour ceremonies, and down the Mall, where it was met with clapping and shouts. Staff members gathered outside Buckingham Palace to bid their final goodbyes as the Queen’s casket passed by for the last time.
According to a statement on the Royal Family’s official website, the Queen was put to rest next to the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday night at a private family service at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, which is housed inside St. George’s Chapel. The casket of Prince Philip, who passed away 17 months earlier, was buried in the Royal Vault at St. George’s and was waiting to be transferred to the memorial chapel when the Queen passed away. The vault also contains the remains of the Queen’s parents and sister, Princess Margaret. The event was not televised, in contrast to the remainder of the day. It would be “completely private, considering that it is a highly personal family occasion,” a top palace official had previously stated.
We at Law Lane Solicitors would like to send our sincere sympathies to the Queen’s family, friends, and the “Family of Nations,” who will all miss the tremendous commitment to duty, care, and compassion of this extraordinary woman and singular monarch. The Queen has offered a crucial stability and solace during many decades of world change, conflict, and growth. Her Majesty will be sorely missed as the second Elizabethan age comes to an end because we will never know her like again. Thank you, Ma’am.
Tahir Shahab Khan
Managing Director of Law Lane Solicitors