Crowds swell in London and Windsor as world prepares to say goodbye to the Queen at her funeral

Crowds swell in London and Windsor as world prepares to say goodbye to the Queen at her funeral

Tens of thousands of people are gathering at sites across London and Windsor to say their final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Mourners have flocked to the capital and other royal sites across the UK on the national bank holiday, which was created especially to allow as many people as possible to take part in the day.

Upwards of a million people are expected to gather in central London and around the royal palaces for the historic occasion.

All public viewing areas for the funeral procession in the capital were full by just after 9am.

All public viewing areas for procession already full – live updates

Trees provide a handy back rest for those hoping to catch 40 winks near The Mall before the procession and funeral begins

Along The Mall, thousands of people have already lined the route along the barriers ahead of the procession, with some intrepid mourners even camping out in tents and sleeping bags in a bid to get a good spot.

Transport and travel issues on some trains into London on Monday morning mean thousands of mourners could miss the funeral due to rail disruption which has left them waiting for hours on stationary trains.

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Police officers stand guard on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022.   REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/Pool
People sit on grass at Hyde Park, on the day of state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022 REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

The funeral service – which will also be shown on large screens around the UK and in several cinemas – is set to draw billions of TV viewers across the globe. It is likely to become the world’s most watched broadcast of all time.

The funeral marks the climax of what is being regarded as the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen, surpassing the operation for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Olympics, which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.

The funeral itself will be attended by more than 2,000 people, including royalty, world leaders, politicians and members of the royal household.

Poignantly the Queen was both married and crowned in Westminster Abbey. It is the first time a monarch’s funeral has been held there since 1760.

The abbey opened its door to the congregation for people to take their seats for the service at 8am.

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Queen’s funeral route in 3D

Proceedings will begin at around 10.52am, when the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin will arrive at the West Gate of the abbey after departing Westminster Hall.

The funeral begins at 11am and ends at 11.55am when the Last Post will sound followed by a national two-minute silence.

The procession will then head to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, before the journey to Windsor.

A private committal service will then take place at St George’s Chapel, conducted by the Dean of Windsor, and attended by the King and members of the Royal Family.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am

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