Queen Elizabeth II funeral live updates: Funeral begins with hymns, readings; Royal family attends

The U.K. and much of the world are mourning Queen Elizabeth II, who will be celebrated at a funeral at Westminster Abbey Monday and later laid to rest beneath St George’s Chapel with her husband of 73 years, her sister Margaret and her parents.

The queen’s coffin entered Westminster Abbey around 11 a.m. local time Monday. King Charles III, the royal family and dignitaries from around the world arrived shortly before ahead of the funeral.

The state funeral is expected to be the biggest gathering of world leaders in years, draw millions of people to the streets of London, and billions more to their TVs and computer screens. The funeral and events surrounding it were designed to help unite the royal family and divided subjects while helping ensure the monarchy survives another century.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is placed on a gun carriage during her funeral service in Westminster Abbey in central London Monday Sept. 19, 2022.

London’s mayor’s office said up to two million people could line the streets as members of the royal family and hundreds of foreign dignitaries and heads of state descend on Westminster Abbey for a ceremony expected to be full of all the pomp and splendor the monarchy can offer.

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More than 10,000 police officers were on patrol in London with reinforcements supplied from all of Britain’s 43 police forces, authorities said.

State funeral at Westminster Abbey begins

The choir of St. George’s Chapel sang as the queen’s coffin procession, including King Charles, Prince William, Princess Kate, Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince George, Prince Charlotte, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward followed the coffin into the abbey. 

David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, opened the service before attendees joined together to sing The Hymn, “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended.” Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth secretary-general, read from Corinthians 15:20-26.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte and Prince George arrive for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19, 2022 in London.

Music, hymns at the queen’s funeral

The choir of Westminster Abbey began the funeral service in song, later joining with the choir of the Chapel Royal for a rendition of “Like as the Heart.” The funeral’s attendees sang “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended.”

What is the crown on the queen’s coffin?

The majestic Imperial State Crown sits atop the queen’s flag-draped coffin as the queen was moved to Westminster Abbey, along with her scepter and orb.

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