Story Of London

England’s Queen Mother: Part 1 – The Funeral Arrangements

England’s Queen Mother: Part 1 – The Funeral Arrangements (Updated April 8th)
by Elisabeth Emmick

On Easter Saturday 2002 England’s most loved and respected member of the Royal Family, the Queen Mother, died peacefully at Windsor Royal Lodge. She had flown to Windsor by helicopter, against doctor’s orders, for the funeral of her younger daughter, the Princess Margaret, seven weeks earlier. The death of this unexpected queen who was the great support of an unwilling but hugely successful king marks the end of an era for England. This is the first in a series of articles about this remarkable woman who has seen the British monarchy come from the last years of Queen Victoria’s Court to the age of the internet.

England’s Queen Mother: Part 1 – The Funeral Arrangements

Farewell Ma’am

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep at Windsor at 15:14, Saturday March 30th, Easter Saturday. She was 101 years old. The Queen, her daughter, was at her bedside for the last hours. Her life spanned a grand epoch in England’s History. She was the living face of Britain throughout the twentieth century and especially in its darkest hours. Her funeral is set to be the greatest seen in London since her husband, George VI, was laid to rest in 1952. The funeral arrangements have been provisionally made since 1979 and will be finalised in the coming days. At the moment of writing, they are as follows:

April 8th Update:

This is a list of those who are expected to join the Congregation in Westminster Abbey tomorrow:

    • Belgium King Albert II and Grand Prince Phillip
    • Denmark Queen Margrethe II and the Prince Consort, Prince Henrik
    • Jordan King Abdullah and Queen Rania
    • Luxembourg Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte
    • Monaco Prince Albert
    • Netherlands Queen Beatrix
    • Norway King Harald and Queen Sonja
    • Spain King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia
    • Sweden King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia
    • Austria President of Upper Chamber, Uta Pueringer
    • Australia Prime Minister John Howard
    • Canada Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Mrs Aline Chretien
    • France President of Senate Christian Poncelet and Bernedette Chirac, wife of President Chirac
    • Germany Former President Richard von Weizsaecker
    • Greece Ambassador Alexandros Sandris
    • Ireland President Mrs Mary MacAleese and Dr Martin MacAleese
    • Italy President of the Senate, Professor Marcello Pera and Ambassador Luigi Amaduzzi
    • Japan Ambassador Masaki Orita and his wife
    • Luxembourg Ambassador Joseph Weyland
    • New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, High Commissioner Russell Marshall and wife
    • Norway Ambassador Tarald Osnes Brautaset and Justice Minister Odd Einar Dorum
    • Portugal Assistant to the Prime Minister, Jose Luis Arnaut
    • Russia Ambassador Grigory B Karasin
    • South Africa Zenele Mbeki wife of President Thabo Mbeki
    • Sweden Ambassador Mats Bergquist
    • United States of America Mrs Laura Bush, Ambassador William Farish, former Ambassador Anne Armstrong and husband Tobyn Armstrong
    • The Prime Minister, Tony Blaire
    • The Leader of the Opposition, Iain Duncan Smith
    • The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Charles Kennedy
    • The Cabinet, except for Claire Short who is abroad
    • Baroness Thatcher
  4. STAFF
    • The Lord Chamberlain, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres
    • Dr Nigel Southward, apothecary to the Queen Mother
    • Captain Sir Alastair Aird, private secretary
    • Members of staff from her four households

April 7th Update: The final arrangements for Tuesday’s funeral are now in place.

On Monday evening, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and Viscount Linley will stage a personal vigil at her coffin.

On Tuesday, the Queen will arrive at the Great West Door. Accompanied by a small party which will include the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, she will proceed to her seat in the Lantern at 11:18 (BST).

At that precise moment, a military procession bearing the coffin will leave Westminster Hall. It will be led by massed pipes and drums from 13 regiments. The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal will lead the royal party. At the west gate the gun carriage will halt. The coffin, draped in the Queen Mother’s personal standard and bearing her crown, will then be carried in procession to the Lantern to rest on the catafalque prepared for the service.The Order of service will be as follows:

  1. The tenor bell of Westminster Abbey will be tolled every minute for 101 minutes, one toll for every year of Her Majesty’s life.
  2. Music before the service
    Bach: Fantasia and fugue in G minor
    Bach: Piece d’Orgue
    Bach: Passacaglia in C minor
    Bach: Liebster Jesu wir sind hier
    Henry Walford Davies: Solemn Melody
  3. At 11:30 (BST) the cortege enters the Great West door. The Abey and chapel royal choirs sing The Sentences.
  4. The bidding, by Dr Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster.
  5. The First Lesson, read by Dr David Hope, Archbishop of York.
  6. Psalm 121.
  7. The Second Lesson, read by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster.
  8. The First Hymn.
  9. The Sermon, by Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury.
  10. The Anthem sung by the joint choirs.
  11. The Prayers.
  12. The Second Hymn.
  13. A reading from Pilgrim’s Progress, by the reverend Anthony Burnham, Moderator of the Free Churches Council.
  14. The commendation.
  15. The Blessing.
  16. The Last Post and Reveille.
  17. The Garter King of Arms proclaims the Styles and Titles of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
  18. The National Anthem.
  19. The cortege leaves the Abbey to the Prelude and Fugue in E flat by Bach.
  20. The bells of the abbey church will be rung half-muffled to a peal which will comprise 5, 101 changes.A small cortege of motor cars, led by Prince Charles, will accompany the coffin to St George’s Chapel Windsor. A private committal service, attended by the prince and other family members will then take place. This will be followed by the internment of the Queen Mother’s remains and the ashes of Princess Margaret.April 6th Update: More details of Tuesdays’s funeral were announced by Buckingham Palace today.The tenor bell of the Abbey of Westminster will toll every minute for one hundred and one minutes before the ceremony begins – a toll for every year of the Queen Mother’s life.Her coffin will be carried throug the Great West door of the Abbey and placed on a cataflaque in the Quire.Leading members of the Church of England, the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland will play a role in the ceremony.The order of service will begin with the reading of a poem by an unknown author. It will finish with the Blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury followed by the Last Post and Reveille.Buckingham Palace have confirmed that Camilla Parker-Bowles will attend the service “as a friend of the deceased”.April 4th Update: In the soft purple-grey light that preceded dawn this morning, more than 1,600 soldiers gathered at St James’s Palace in London. They were there to rehearse the procession, which will take the Queen Mother’s coffin to Westminster Hall at 11:30 BST (10:30 GMT) on tomorrow, Friday, April 5th. At the centre of this eerie rehearsal was a horse-drawn gun carriage carrying a coffin draped in a Union Jack flag, and with a mock crown resting on top. At the stroke of 06:00 BST the procession was ordered to march and the carriage, pulled by four black horses, made its way past St James’s Palace. It was accompanied by a silent Army band. The dawn of a beautiful, clear Spring day was breaking as the procession moved down the Mall, around Horse Guards’ Parade and along Whitehall to Westminster Hall. The Metropolitan Police were on hand to rehearse part of their role in re-directing traffic around the processional route.Yesterday the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, confirmed that the Queen Mother’s four grandsons will mount a vigil around her coffin as it lies in state. He said he and his brothers, Princes Charles and Edward, along with their cousin Viscount Linley wanted to pay their respects by standing silently around their grandmother’s coffin when it was placed at Westminster. The Queen Mother is known to have been close to her grandsons and Prince Andrew yesterday said that “We each had an individual and unique relationship with our grandmother “.Buckingham Palace has said that there will be a slight departure from State Funeral Protocol when, on Tuesday, Her Majesty’s coffin is carried by sailors rather than drawn by horses, from Westminster Hall to the service in Westminster Abbey.There will, however, be a more significant break with tradition tomorrow. It has been announced that the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will join her brothers and other male members of the royal family, to walk behind her grandmother’s coffin in the procession from St James’s Palace to Westminster Hall. Traditionally, female relatives have awaited the arrival of the coffin at the church for the service. It is highly likely that Princess Anne had sked her grandmother for her approval when the details for her funeral were being planned in recent years. Fourteen senior members of the Royal Family will walk behind the coffin: Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Phillip, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, Princess Anne, Viscount Linley, The Duke of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Peter Phillips, Daniel Chatto and Commander Timothy Laurence.There have already been a series of 40-gun salutes across the country at noon on Easter Sunday. Her coffin was moved to the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park on Easter Sunday morning. It will lie there for three days so that members of the Royal Family can pay their private tributes. Sixteen books of condolence were laid out for members of the public to record personal messages at St James’s Palace in London. Other books of condolence are now available at Holyrood House Palace in Edinburgh, Balmoral Castle, Windsor Castle, Sandringham House in Norfolk, Hillsborough castle in Northern Ireland, and Glamis Castle estate in Angus. E-mail condolences can be posted on a tribute page at the Royal Family’s internet site .On Tuesday it will be taken to London without public ceremony. According to tradition, it should lie in the Chapel Royal at St James’ Palace but that is being renovated and it is likely that it will lie instead in the Queen’s Chapel near her London Home, Clarence House. Perhaps this is more fitting as many people across the world will remember her annual appearances there on her birthday. The Chapel will not be open to the public. The coffin will lie for three days of private mourning by her family and staff.On Friday, the Queen Mother’s coffin is to be taken in procession from the Queen’s Chapel to the ancient Westminster Hall in the palace of Westminster. It is expected to be the largest procession seen in London for many years. The coffin will be draped in her personal standard and will bear her crown and a simple wreath of flowers. The coffin will be borne on a gun carriage of the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery and drawn by four black horses. The male members of the Royal Family will walk in the procession as the Queen and her female relatives wait in Westminster Hall. As the procession sets off there will be a 40-gun salute in Green Park, which is close to Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.The route will pass the statue of King George VI in The Mall, through Horse Guards Parade and down Whitehall passing the Cenotaph (the memorial to those who died in the two World Wars through which she lived). When it reaches Westminster Hall, the coffin will be received by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons. It will then be placed high on a purple-draped catafalque on the exact spot where her husband George VI lay in state in 1952. It will be surrounded by candles and guarded twenty-four hours a day by a contingent of Gentlemen at Arms and Yeomen of the Guard. When the hall is opened to the public in the late afternoon, huge numbers of people are expected to file past the coffin. When George VI lay in state in 1952, the queue extended to three miles. The hall will be open from 2pm to 6pm on Friday and from 8am to 6pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.On Tuesday April 9th the coffin will solemnly be taken the short distance to Westminster Abbey. A royal ceremonial funeral will be held at 11.30am in the Abbey before a congregation of 2,000. This will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster. The Archbishop of Canterbury will preach the sermon and give the blessing. The entire Royal Family will be there as well of heads of state from across the world. The whole service will be shown to the crowds outside on Giant television screens and beamed live across the world. At the end of the service the coffin will be carried through the Great West Door as regimental pipers play a lament.The Queen Mother’s remains will then be taken in a solemn procession by motor car to Windsor. The Prince of Wales will lead the mourners and the cortege will pass around Trafalgar Square and on the motorway to Windsor. When it reaches Windsor, the Sebastopol Bell will toll. This bell was captured from the Russians in the Crimean War and is used only when there is a royal death. The Queen Mother will then be laid to rest in the vault in the King George VI Memorial Chapel beside her husband. At the same time, the ashes of Princess Margaret will be interred with her parents. Monday April 8th is likely to be declared a Day of National Mourning.This is the first in a series of articles on the Queen Mother which will appear on this site over the coming days and weeks. The funeral arrangements given above are based on the outline contained in the official contingency plans and are subject to modification at short notice as circumstances dictate. This page will be updated to take account of any last-minute changes. Future articles in this series will contain an eye-witness account of the funeral next week and details of the Queen Mother’s Life and contribution to the British Monarchy. If you would like to be notified of the latest articles in the series as soon as they appear please feel free to subscribe for regular free updates here .You can either jump to specific articles in the series or scroll through them sequentially using the following sets of links:Her Ancestral TreeHer Celtic AncestryHer Bruce AncestryThe Grand Ceremonial ProcessionThe Lying in StatePrevious ArticleFirst ArticleNext Article