Wednesday, 14 September 2022

The Royal Family Follow Her Late Majesty in Poignant Procession as the Public Prepares to Say Goodbye

We've all witnessed profoundly moving and historic events unfolding since Her late Majesty died and the outpouring from people not only all over the UK but all over the world.

I've been reminded of William Wordsworth's words: "Memories...images and precious thoughts that shall not die and cannot be destroyed." We often discuss the unique relationship so many have with the monarchy -- the indescribable, emotional connection often inexplicable even to those who feel it. If ever the bond between the Queen and the people could possibly be quantifiable, perhaps it was today, as a nation watched Her late Majesty leave Buckingham Palace forever.

It's impossible to say how difficult it's been for the family themselves. The task of grieving in the public eye, especially for the Queen's children, has undoubtedly been a burden to carry. From the King, who hasn't had an hour free in his demanding schedule, to Princess Anne, who accompanied Her Majesty on her final journeys from Scotland to Buckingham Palace. In Anne's own heartfelt words: "It has been an honour and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys. Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting."

Yesterday evening, the Queen's family cherished their last opportunity to pay their respects in moments of privacy before the official stage of moving the Queen's coffin began today. CNN reports the Royal family had dinner together last night ahead of handing the Queen over to the public today.

The gun carriage which carried the Queen's coffin arrives at Buckingham Palace.

Personnel on the Parade Ground.

At precisely 2.22 pm, King Charles III led a procession walking behind the Queen's coffin.

The forty-minute walk saw the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips, Sir Timothy Laurence, Earl Snowdon and the Duke of Gloucester pay silent respect.

Columns of Union Jacks.

The Telegraph reports: "It is designed as a 'relatively small and personal procession', in which her coffin will be carried by gun carriage and followed by members of the military, her closest personal staff and the new King’s household."

Another view.

The Queen's four children.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex walked side by side.

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Last night, Buckingham Palace confirmed the "Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Sussex would travel by car".

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Meghan and Sophie join the procession.

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Plans for Her Majesty's funeral, an operation codenamed 'London Bridge', have seen a meticulous plan underway since the monarch passed.

The coffin was borne in Procession on a Gun Carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

It was draped in the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom.

The Imperial State Crown was placed atop the coffin.

More from the Royal Collection on the Imperial State Crown:

'The Imperial State Crown is the crown worn by the monarch to leave Westminster Abbey after the coronation ceremony.  St Edward's Crown is by tradition left at the altar, mirroring its medieval precursor which was considered a sacred relic.  The Imperial State Crown is also used on other formal occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament. 

Because the State Crown is used so regularly, it has needed periodic replacement, while Charles II’s original coronation crown has survived.  This example was made for King George VI in 1937.  In addition to 2868 diamonds, it is mounted with a number of historic stones – many of which have legends associated with them.  They include St Edward's Sapphire, said to have been given by Edward the Confessor to a beggar later identified as St John the Evangelist.  The crown also includes Cullinan II, the second largest stone cut from the great Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever discovered.'

The Queen spoke to Alistair Bruce about wearing it, saying with a smile, "You can't look down to read your speech," and adding, "There are some disadvantages to crowns but otherwise they're quite important things." Afterwards, there's an unforgettable moment when HM moves it closer and rotates it around. She was having a great deal of fun and it offered an insight into Elizabeth, Lilibet, the woman. One of the resounding themes I've heard in recent days has been the Queen's enormous sense of fun in life.

Her Majesty wearing the Imperial State Crown and carrying the Orb and Sceptre at her coronation seventy years ago.

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In 1945, the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, became the first female member of the Royal family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member, joining in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, where she learned to drive and maintain vehicles. The skills she learned served her throughout her life.

Today was the first opportunity for the military in London to officially pay tribute.

Pomp and ceremony for their Queen.

The Telegraph reports:

By the time the procession started, a reverential hush had descended on Whitehall after hours of chatter about Her Majesty, writes Dominic Penna.
A few of those who could get any phone signal watched the start of events on their mobiles, while others began to film minutes in advance as they did not want to miss anything.

When the time came there was still a muted atmosphere, but this gave way to applause when the coffin and Royal party arrived.

“Three cheers for the King — hip hip, hooray!” was overheard as Charles III passed, and there was further applause outside the Palace of Westminster as events came to a close.

Mourners soon began to trickle out of the area, although movement was very slow on Birdcage Walk where there was a long wait to be let out of fenced areas.

The Queen Consort, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Sussex and the Countess of Wessex arrive. You can see Meghan offer a hand of support to a soldier outside. 

The procession arrives at Westminster Hall.

The extended family were waiting inside.

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Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

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Mike and Zara Tindall followed by Princess Eugenie.

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A closer look at the extended family.

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Members of the family watch the coffin arrive.

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Another view.

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The Queen's children, their spouses and the Waleses and Sussexes.

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Westminster Hall is the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate. Erected in 1097 by King William II, it was then the largest hall in Europe. It holds a central place in British history and the history of the Royal family. Below, the hall photographed in the early 19th century, surmounted by its hammerbeam roof.

More from Parliament.uk:

'The Hall was built in 1097 under William II (Rufus), the son of William the Conqueror, and was completed two years later. He had conceived the project to impress his new subjects with his power and the majesty of his authority.

According to one story, when the King first inspected the Hall, one of his attendants remarked that it was much larger than needed. The King replied that the Hall was not half large enough, and that it was a mere bedchamber when compared to what he had in mind.

The great mystery about the Hall is the form of its original roof. Not until the 13th or 14th century could carpenters create roofs significantly wider than the length of the available timber, and so it was assumed that a single or double row of columns was needed to support the Hall's roof.

However, recent archaeological explorations found no evidence of these, and that the roof may have been self-supporting from the beginning'.

The ceiling photographed in 2008.

Westminster Hall is now the place where the lying-in-state of monarchs and consorts traditionally takes place.

Most recently, Her Majesty's mother, the late Queen Mother, lay in state for three days in Westminster Hall in 2002 before her funeral on 9 April 2002 at Westminster Abbey. An estimated 200,000 people paid their respects.

It has been a place filled with sad memories for the Royal family. Below, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh photographed after a funeral service for her grandmother, Queen Mary of Teck, at Westminster Hall in 1953.

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One of the few non-royals to receive the honour in the 20th century was Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. Over a million came to pay tribute to the beloved Prime Minister. Churchill was the Queen's first Prime Minister and they enjoyed an incredibly warm relationship. When Churchill passed, HM wrote a letter announcing plans to grant a State funeral -- and he is only one of three former prime ministers to receive the honour. HM felt the nation should have the opportunity to "express their sorrow".

At 5 pm, the Lying-in-State begins and members of the public will have the opportunity to file past Her late Majesty's coffin until 6.30 am on Monday -- the morning of the funeral.

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The Duke and Duchess.

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Over the next several days, it is expected hundreds of thousands of people will pay their respects at Westminster Hall.

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The Government's official website shared:

'Once inside the Palace of Westminster, people will be able to walk past the Coffin which will be raised on a catafalque and draped in the Royal Standard, with the Orb and Sceptre placed on top. It will be guarded around the clock by a vigil of units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

The BBC’s red button service will provide a live feed from Westminster Hall and ITV and Sky will be running extensive coverage. An online book of condolence is available for people to add personal messages.

The Lying-in-State opens to the public at 5pm on Wednesday, 14 September. It will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday, 19 September. The queue will close early to ensure as many visitors as possible can enter the Palace before the Lying-in-State period comes to an end, and any decision to close the queue will be communicated widely via government social media channels.'

The official arrangements also read: "Mourners from across the UK, Commonwealth and around the world are expected to join the line which will form on the Albert Embankment, run along Belvedere Road behind the London Eye, and head onto the South Bank where it will follow the River Thames past the National Theatre, Tate Modern and HMS Belfast through to Southwark Park. Once people have passed through Albert Embankment they will be directed across Lambeth Bridge, into Victoria Tower Gardens and through airport-style security before entering the Palace of Westminster where The Queen will be Lying-in-State."

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The Telegraph notes the vigil will be "mounted by officers of the Household Division, the King’s Body Guards of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, The King’s Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers and The King’s Bodyguard The Yeomen of the Guard".

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A short service lasting just twenty minutes was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by the Dean of Westminster.

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The Queen's coffin was carefully rested on a purple-covered catafalque.

The Archbishop of Canterbury also gave the first reading.

'From John 14: 1-6, he said:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'

Following the Queen's passing, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby shared a tribute focusing on the importance of faith to the monarch. "Her late Majesty taught us much, if not more, about God and grace, both in words and in the actions that reinforce them, than any other contemporary figure. We remember her not for what she had but what she gave. What a precious person … and how keenly we feel her loss. This time is being spoken of by many as a moment of uncertainty for the nation as a result of the passing of someone who felt like a near eternal point of stability. That fear relies for its strength on leaving God out of our thinking. Nothing is lost to God."

Members of the Royal family file past the coffin.

The Queen's grandchildren Louise and James take a moment.

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Curtsies from the ladies in the Royal family.

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A deep curtsy from Meghan.

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It's a very painful time for the family. 

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The Queen's coffin lying in state.

The public will spent the next several days saying goodbye.

The Royal family depart.

Harry and Meghan.

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Another look as the royals depart.

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As we've said, it's a very taxing time for the family, completing public events whilst grieving.

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In particular, I imagine the King and Queen Consort are absolutely exhausted.

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Whilst this isn't the time to discuss fashion, Meghan paid a special nod to the Queen by wearing a pair of earrings the late monarch gifted her.

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Her Majesty gifted Meghan the elegant pearl and diamond pair in 2018, when she travelled overnight on the Royal Train with the monarch for a day of engagements. 

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The Duke and Duchess before they make their way back to Frogmore Cottage.

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Tomorrow is Harry's birthday. I imagine it will be a quiet private day for the couple.

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The King’s Troop fired processional minute guns from Hyde Park, counting each minute of the procession with the troop’s world-class precision.

The entire procession and scenes leading up to it through the early afternoon.

Below, the crowds waiting to see the Queen.

Following the arrival of the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall, the Westminster Abbey bells are ringing fully muffled – something which only happens following the death of the monarch.

It promises to be a very emotional several days as Her late Majesty lies in state.

26 comments:

  1. Kate was very hard trying not to cry during the ceremony. It was so touching to see it as she usually is so composed and serene.

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    1. Exactly, Anon 21:02. Kate always manages to keep it together and to smile -- but she's not able to do that with the Queen's passing. The Queen's granddaughters looked so sad, too -- like they have been crying a lot. It's hard for them all.

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  2. This was a spectacular post! So much information and history; thank you!

    What I was struck by is the absolute sorrow of everyone. Often people will smile and make brief contact with one another; they all seemed too sad to even do that in the vehicles. Every family member likely has a lengthy list of what is now missing in their life -- when my aunt died, I often thought "Oh, I can't wait to tell Monnie about this, only to realize that I no longer could do that." I'm sure they will all feel that now.

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  3. Meghan has played her part so perfectly I am so proud of her, and I am sure Harry is too. Her deep curtsey shows she has been practising! LRB

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  4. Your coverage brought me to tears, good ones. 'bless.

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  5. the princess of wales was holding of tears was touching she manages too compose herself the duke and duchess of Sussex curtsied was a sign of love and respect for her fantastic job charlotte on coverage

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  6. Sheryl from BC Canada15 September 2022 at 03:06

    My heart goes out to the whole family, having to grieve in public like this. The media pouncing on every single glance, movement, gesture....and twisting what is a sad solemn occasion into something they can get nasty sound bites in. Already they are trying to shame them for holding hands. Zara and Mike Tindel also held hands...no flack on them. I just wish everyone would just take a deep breath and let them mourn. All of them. Rest in Peace Your Majesty. Ma'am.

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    1. Philly here. (I can't get the "Comment as" to recognize my url.) Agreed, Sheryl from BC Canada. However, there is a great deal of love and support for H&M. When checking the numbers (likes or followers) I've noted that the pathological haters making up the most astonishing fictions and obsessive projections don't always have numbers as high as I might have expected. Also, I fastidiously make sure that I don't fall into clickbait from the vitriolic sources by accident.

      I have not clicked on anything from the Daily Fail or the racist and misogynistic twats (I'd like to use the appropriate British expletive here, but will resist and attempt to "go high") who only spew vitriol long before H&M left for North America. The double standards (your Zara Mike example is but one) are ridiculous. Thankfully, people are pointing out the conjecture, hypocrisy, racism and ongoing tone deafness of the firm on various platforms.

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  7. I watched it live on french television, it was a poignant moment. The curtsy is a nice mark of respect, I am sure that the Queen and Meghan had a good relationship. I was also struck by the children's choir at Westminster, they sang marvelously well.

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  8. It crossed my mind that this is a first for Meghan. She does not come from a large connected family, & thus has not had the unique & poignant experience of going through the Marrying, Living & Dying that one does within a large family. I know I count it as one of my own biggest blessings that I have one such family.

    However, I remember when my eldest son-in-law first started experiences with us, it was so foreign to him, since he did not have that in his own life experience to date. It changed him & I wonder how this will change Meghan. For you can not go through something as big as this & not feel different on the other end. It changes the lense from which you view the world & others. It also changes the relationships within families.

    So it will be interesting to see how all this effects her moving forward, you realize you are part of something bigger than yourself, in being part of such a large historic family......

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    1. Very well stated Anon 19:19, and a very astute observation.

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    2. Dear Anonymous,

      I can remember Meghan saying in an Interview that she learned a lot of church songs and prayers —more than requested -to make her new family proud. The Queen made a comment about Meghan adapting very well and fast to life in the Royal Family. The story of Meghan failing the Royal Family is a made up story by Murdoch Media. I do not really understand your comment in the context of this Blog?

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    3. When did TQ make that comment? Thank you.

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    4. But of course Meghan has already had the experience of losing someone and even twice. She often evokes and was the case in her blog TiG the separation with her maternal grandfather and the death of her paternal grandmother.

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  9. I understand if Charlotte does not approve this for publication, but I believe Meghan's Givenchy coat is the same one she wore February 1, 2019.

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  10. I want to give Meghan a pat on the back. In just 4 years, she met Harry, meet the RF, had a huge wedding, went on tours, left with Harry, found a new home, figured out various ways of makin money, had two babies and lost a third, and consoled Harry after PP died. Now there is a HUGE loss and Harry will no doubt need lots of understanding. It's not easy when your spouse has a significant loss. (Plus having to grieve herself and having to act perfectly during events not seen for 70 years, while all of the rest of the RF is also devastated.)

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  11. I think all the Royal ladies have been so elegant this week. Delighted to see Meghan in the car with Sophie. Although I don’t know if they are friends I think Sophie is very empathetic and will be helpful to Meghan.



    I do hope Sophie becomes Duchess of Edinburgh in the near future, she does great work.

    As a teacher I feel bad that Lady Louise is presumably missing her first week at St. Andrews, I imagine she may not have an easy time settling in.

    - celticgirl

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  12. Press in my country has been disgusting towards the Duchess, suggesting the Royal Family is thinking of ways to keep Meghan away from the funeral, I didn’t read it ral because I don’t want to give them the clicks. But when I see these things I understand even more why they left. Yes maybe it could have been handled differently but I get it.

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  13. From Canada
    Meghan has shown great courage throughout all of this, especially during the walkabout when some very immature and rude people refused to shake her hand. She is a beautiful women who has shown dignity and poise! I just hope that the two brothers and their wives work on healing their relationship.

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  14. I'm going to take a leap and say that the olive branches given to Harry are because Charles enjoyed seeing the family during the Jubilee and truly misses Harry. It would be so relatively simple to include H&M in some activities in support of Charles while allowing them to live in peace in the US, which would also help with their income needs. Meghan's podcasts are not about revenge on the monarchy -- they are about what ALL women experience. I truly think H&M are no threat to the hierarchy or the popularity of other members.

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    1. Including them in some activities means being half in half out and a nightmare for security. The British would have to pay for their security all the time. They’re either in or out. And Meghan has made comments about the monarchy and not positive ones, not only in Oprah but also in her most recent interview in The Cut.

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    2. Making negative comments is just reporting facts or uncovering something that should not occur. In America, we love to say our country is the greatest and has the best history. But when you look at facts and occurrences, you find the opposite. This is not meant to be political but rather to say that when people point out things, that is an opportunity to change, to be better. Diana's actions laid the groundwork for a more caring display by royals. Thus, Harry, Kate, and William spoke up for mental health concerns. I have seen W&K more relaxed in their appearances since H&M's very relaxed behavior.

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  15. Dear Charlotte, thank you so much for reposting that wonderful picture of the Queen with Meghan in 2018. I love everything about that picture and the event it chronicles. And thanks for pointing out that Meghan wore the earrings the Queen gifted her. Meghan’s curtsy is impressive. I agree with an earlier comment that Meghan more than did her homework prior to marrying into the RF. Harry and Meghan are regal and dignified, everywhere they go.
    Renee

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    1. Thanks you Renée for your good comment.
      I agree.

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  16. I'm wondering if Meghan will wear (if they're available to her on this trip) the pearl necklace given to her by the Queen with those earrings. And what does the RF do during the mourning period? Is it set in stone or just an individual choice?

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)