Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19

Operation London Bridge and the Scottish contingency plan, Operation Unicorn, pretty much spell out a rigorous ten-day mourning and commemoration process for Queen Elizabeth II. I was looking through our previous coverage of Operation London Bridge and doing the math, and I truly thought that QEII’s state funeral would be on Saturday, September 17th. I forgot the cardinal rule of the UK: business can never be conducted on weekends. So QEII’s state funeral will be held on Monday, September 19th. Here are the detailed plans, including when her body is moved from Balmoral to Edinburgh, then to Buckingham Palace and then to Westminster Hall, then to the Abbey.

Funeral arrangements for Queen Elizabeth have been unveiled. On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced that the late monarch will be honored with a state funeral on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey in Central London. It will be the first time a monarch’s funeral has been held at Westminster Abbey since the 18th century. The funeral will be followed by a committal at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor— where the Queen’s parents, sister Princess Margaret and beloved husband Prince Philip are laid to rest.

The Queen’s coffin is currently lying at rest in the Ballroom at Balmoral Castle, where family members and royal household staff have been paying their respects and quietly remembering the late Queen.

On Sunday, a group of loyal gamekeepers — “people who have known Her Majesty, it’s a personal connection,” a royal spokesperson says — will carry her coffin from the Ballroom out of the castle, to start its journey south to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.

The drive, in a hearse, is estimated to take around six hours, royal officials said on Saturday. Once in Edinburgh, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Holyroodhouse — where it’s set to arrive at about 4:00 p.m. local time, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshall announced.

On Monday, it will be taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse at 2.35 p.m. in procession to St Giles’s Cathedral. The Queen’s coffin will lie at rest at St. Giles’s Cathedral until Tuesday, Sept. 13, when it will be flown to London, arriving at 8: 00 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 2:22 p.m. the Queen’s coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for lying-in-state, which will end on the morning of the state funeral.

On the morning of the funeral, the coffin will begin its journey to Westminster Abbey — in a procession from the Palace of Westminster beginning at 10.44 am local time.

The Queen’s funeral will follow a week of ceremonial activities that will see King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla tour the United Kingdom.

[From People]

Yes, King Charles III has to spend the next week on a tour of the UK. It’s like a Grief Tour, but it’s also about the new sovereign greeting his new subjects. I kind of feel like the grief tour should wait until after the funeral, but whatever, obviously I’m not in charge of anything, and these are the plans. As for how involved it is with the moving of the body and lying in state, it’s all very somber. I would imagine all of it will be done with a lot of dignity and gothic pomp. That’s something the Brits do well – state funerals, dignified grief on display. The vibe is so different from Princess Diana’s funeral.

Should I officially retire the stabbing-the-cake photos? They’re some of my favorites of her. This is how I’ll remember her – a woman who stabbed cakes and had beef with a Scottish pony.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Buckingham Palace, Instar.

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74 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19”

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  1. Eurydice says:

    No, don’t retire the stabby cake. Elizabeth had a quirky side – it’s like she’s stabbing all the pomp and formality.

  2. ML says:

    Please do NOT retire the “stabbing the cake” picture. It shows QE doing her job, and this is how she did her job well past retirement age. This picture shows that perfectly.

  3. Giddy says:

    The rumor is that TQ specifically wrote in her instructions that any and all U.S. Presidents were welcome except Trump! He is not invited to her funeral.!

    • Julia K says:

      Her will hasn’t been read yet? Or are there funeral instructions that haven’t been made public? Would like to read where you saw this as I also am not a Trump fan.

      • Jaded says:

        Her will be kept private for an embargoed period of time, as is Philip’s (I believe it’s for 99 years).

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Giddy: I don’t believe that story. She went out her way to be friendly to Trump even calling him for 4th of July and putting on a State visit.

      • EPLFan says:

        I would believe she doesn’t want him there. The visits and calls to Trump seeming friendly were held at peak Brexit negotiations in an attempt to get Trump to sign off on a trade deal with the USA to make up for the loss in income from the EU. That’s how the political papers reported on it at the time.

    • Giddy says:

      Sorry guys, I should have checked this further. Of course now I can’t find the article, but I admit that I was ready to believe this! I should have known that even in death TQ would not break protocol like that. Apologies!

    • aquarius64 says:

      Biden is going to the funeral. The US president set up a delegation for who goes with him and former presidents are invited. Bringing Trump to the funeral would bring the US into further disrepute given his scandals. Now that the FBI found classified nuclear capabilities of a foreign country at Mar a Lago. How embarrassing it would it be if the secrets are from the UK?

      • Truthiness says:

        If Trump is allowed on Air Force One, he’ll just try and take more things. Nobody being investigated for espionage should be allowed anywhere near it.

  4. Nancy says:

    Noooo keep those photos!! They are the best!

    • Blithe says:

      Please keep the stabbing-the-cake photos! Those, along with the Queen taking a sword to a cake, are among my favorites. The Queen clearly had a mirthful sense of humor along with a steadfast sense of duty. These pictures capture all of that quite nicely. (Or at least allow me to project that).

      Similarly, her beef with the pony video is, for me, right up there with the clips of Harry thanking the horses after Archie’s birth. I’m hoping that you’ll keep all of these bits in your regular rotation of greatest hits.

  5. SAS says:

    Australia has a one-off “memorial” public holiday on the 22nd (Thursday here). I was sure that must have been her funeral date because otherwise… why? Give us the 19th for a long weekend!!! (Victorians, I don’t want to hear it). Bugger!

    ETA: Keep the pics! She was so proud of stabbing that cake.

    • OzJennifer says:

      Victorian here…saying nothing… 🙂

      (For all others, Victoria already has a public holiday on Friday 23rd, so we get a 4-day weekend. Yay!)

    • BeanieBean says:

      So, was it somebody from Victoria who made the decision that the 22nd would be the national holiday for TQ’s funeral? Sneaky so-and-so, if that’s the case! 😉

  6. ML says:

    As to the British pomp and circumstance: I live in Holland, a European country with a monarchy. They had to explain the over the top reaction to the queen’s death in this country. For instance, the distance between the British queen/ king is far greater than that of the Dutch to their monarch. They had to explain that Brits like having less social equality and that the British monarchy needs to be above its people so that they can sell the idea of a fairy tale. This is also why QE was a so-called “blank slate” so that you could imagine her to be whatever you want, which she wielded as a political asset. The Dutch news organizations have seriously lessened the British content in the past few days—probably people are tiring of it. The death of a queen who did not retire and give her job to her son is not a positive mark in her favor here.

    • SarahCS says:

      Can I come and stay for a couple of weeks please? I stayed offline yesterday but there’s no escape, any website you visit, billboards, pictures in shop windows. Enough.

      It’s also been announced that her funeral will be a bank holiday at a time when businesses can least afford to lose any revenue. I’m so tired of all this.

      • ML says:

        Hang in there @Sarah CS! Here in Europe we’re still dealing with inflation, farmer revolts, war/ refugees/ immigration, food prices, fuel prices… You are absolutely welcome to come here, but maybe the escapist news is a respite?
        I know what you mean about it being all encompassing. I read The Guardian and I was very surprised on how much coverage they’ve been giving the royals since QE’s death.

    • EBS says:

      Never mind, I missed a crucial “not” in that sentence. Agree that monarchs should retire when they get past a certain age, I.e. 90.

    • Lucy says:

      I do feel like maybe the public grief is also a culmination of the last few years. COVID, and all it’s deaths, and the weird political stuff around it, plus brexit and everything, this is like a release valve for public feelings. I just thought I’d that, because in the States, the people I know who died of Covid, especially after vaccines were available, they’re kind of shoved away and not talked of. It’s not healthy.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      ML, I’d like to say you’re wrong (Brits not liking social equality) but after so many years here in the UK, I fully agree with you and this deference gets on my nerves… I wasn’t born in the UK and I don’t get it why people like to be treated as peasants, it’s ridiculous.

      • ML says:

        @AlpineWitch, I feel embarrassed for not wording the British not having as much social equality better. I was thinking about it in relation to Dutch social equality and I don’t feel that I explained that well. The Dutch generally have less distance and more say to people in higher positions than the British. If you as a boss wants to do something, for instance, you need to explain yourself. In Dutch society, you also aren’t supposed to stand out (tall poppy syndrome). Bizarrely, this is slightly reflected in the relationship between the Netherlands and its monarchy. The princesses attend/ed state schools (no Eton or Lambrooks!) and they often bike/d there. When the King and his family didn’t follow Corona rules during the pandemic, they were called out and had to apologize. When members of the royal family die, of course there is a bit of a production, but it in no way resembles what has happened with QE. To many Dutch people, who have a positive view of QE, it doesn’t make sense to make this much of a big deal and they had to explain the British way of thinking.

  7. Claudia says:

    I just read the pony article – so funny! Feisty Cruachan cracks me up – “go away”

  8. Realistically says:

    Can I ask if they will be doing all this pompousness for King Charles III should he (God forbid)pass away soon? Has anyone been paying attention to his health in pictures lately? He doesn’t look like he will live much longer himself by the looks of his face.

    • Jaded says:

      He has rosacea. He’s not going to pass away anytime soon.

    • Chaine says:

      He looks very elderly and shaky to me in all the videos from the signing ceremony or whatever it was yesterday. I was surprised to see he is only 73, was thinking late 70s. He also had Covid early on, didn’t he? Seems to have aged a lot in the past few years.

      • Galadriel says:

        No way, Charles isn’t going anywhere after 73 years of waiting. Willy Wails has at least 2 decades before he can eye that throne. Keep waiting for it Willy Wonka.

    • Christine says:

      To your original question, yes, if Charles died tomorrow, this would all start all over again. The only way the British monarchy and press can keep this racket going is by continuing to insist these people are inherently special.

      I’m sure they have full funeral plans for Chuck, Cam, Anne, and the Wails, at a bare minimum, after they were caught off guard when Diana died.

      Next to no one would be sidling up to the foreign reporters to get teary about how Chuck has been a constant, for their entire lives, like what we are seeing here with QE.

  9. Over it says:

    I wish her body would have been put on the train from Edinburgh to London instead of the plane, somehow that sounds better to me

  10. Athena says:

    I like her brooch collection. Wonder who inherits them or if she divided them amongst her children and grandchildren

    • Giddy says:

      I love her jewelry and it’s stunning to realize that there is much that the public has never even seen. But I did love that when Trump visited she wore a brooch that Obama gave her.

    • Hopey says:

      Er…..”Crown. Jewels.”

      They’re not part of her personal assets tht can be divided up among her descendants, relatives and favorite subjects.

      • Lucy says:

        She has plenty of private jewelry, some of which Queen Mary bought off the Russian royal family when they were liquidating their royal jewels so they could flee.

      • Becks1 says:

        Most of the brooches are personal property I believe.

        For example, one of the Cullinan diamonds is part of the crown or scepter (or both) but the Queen owns several personally and has one brooch with one of the Cullinans. So the ones that are part of the crown are Crown property, but she owns the brooch personally.

  11. FhMom says:

    This story was mesmerizing on Thursday and Friday. I completely forgot about it on Saturday when the M&H sighting happened. It’s all so exhausting. I wish the British people strength. I have to believe the general public would prefer this mourning period to end sooner. It’s a lot

    • duchess of hazard says:

      @FhMom – by the time I left the UK on Saturday morning, I was over it. All the radio stations – ALL OF THEM- have to be either waffling on about the Queen or playing sombre music – and no ad breaks.

      I do hope that Charles is the last monarch. Honestly.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        It’s so annoying, particularly on tge radio!

        Thank God we’ve stopped paying the TV licence years ago and we only use streaming services.

      • Christine says:

        It must be dire, if no ad breaks makes it even more insufferable!

        The British people would prefer a commercial, or 700, at this point?

  12. Carrotface says:

    Is it normal in the Church of England to have a funeral so late after death, or is this special for the queen? In my tradition we try to do the funeral and burial asap after death (ideally the next day) and I know that the body has been preserved, but honestly it gives me the heebie jeebies. I get that there are extra ceremonial things to do, it just seems to me like a week and a half is a loooong time.

    • Couch potato says:

      I don’t know about the church of England, but I know it’s usually a week or longer in some other “christian” European countries. I write “christian” becausr more and more people are atheists or agnostics. It’s so the family can contact friends/relatives and have time to travel and plan/prepare for the day. Most people usually announce the death and funeral in the newspaper. There’s only held funerals in two days of the week in the rural area I grew up. If those “slots of time” is taken you’ll have to wait. The bodies are usually held in a refridgeraded or cold room until burial day.

      • Eowyn says:

        “her body is moved from Balmoral to Edinburgh, then to Buckingham Palace and then to Westminster Hall, then to the Abbey”. Maintaining her remains in Balmoral then moving her to Edinburgh is being done to quell momentum for Scottish independence. The fairy tale is a great distraction from the politics of it all.

      • Jean says:

        In my church (Catholic) they give you 2 weeks maximum

    • KAP says:

      I don’t think King Charles III death will be mourned world wide like this. Remember, this was a Monarch that was a teen during WWII. That generation, of fighting age, is almost gone. She also reigned for 70 years! As many have pointed out, 80% of the British population knew no other Monarch before her death. And most of all, she was old for most of people’s lives. People have a soft spot for a grannie. It’s a big deal, a change. King Charles’ death and King William’s ascension would be a day story.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I don’t know if it’s normal for a monarch (last one was buried 70 years ago!) but it’s super creepy.

      An Italian friend of mine asked if they had mummified her in order to lie in state for so long 😆😆

      • Christine says:

        I am old enough to remember when Pope JPII died, and his body was basically on a platform, for what felt like forever. They had periodic breaks in the day, when the public was just waiting for them to open the doors again, and I imagined they were spritzing the Pope with Febreeze.

        Sincerely, thank you for the no open caskets, Royal Family.

    • Christine says:

      They are going to milk this one until it is bone dry. They know there is no one in the queue to die someday, in the royal family, that is as popular as QEII. If they don’t know it, they should. IMO, this is the last time the entire planet will stop to talk about the death of an English monarch.

  13. Becks1 says:

    Saw on Twitter that Meghan had events scheduled in NYC for 9/20, so her canceling them makes sense if the funeral is the 19th.

  14. Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

    If there is a national holiday for the funeral, does that become a paid holiday? In Canada, if you have stat holiday pay, you’d be fine, but people in contract work or multiple part time jobs don’t get paid for statutory holidays all the time. I hope if commerce is shut down, workers get paid anyway. Is that the plan in the UK?

    • AlpineWitch says:

      It’s a paid holiday for British workers with permanent or seasonal contracts, this isn’t the case for self employed or business owners.

      I doubt some supermarkets or chains will close completely, in the UK all the shops/supermarkets are only closed on Christmas Day.

  15. Mslove says:

    I wonder if the Sussexes will be seated behind the Duke of Gloucester again? Or will the BM actually focus on laying the Queen to rest instead of their racist drama?

    • Jaded says:

      Hah! I’m imagining Khate giving the Sussexes the evil eye yet again and trying to hijack the media with her outlandish wardrobe and jewelry choices.

      • Dee says:

        Just pictured Kate in a black lace bejeweled funeral veil. She’s sure to pull out all the stops for this occasion, trying to grab attention. And on 9/11, can’t help but remember her wearing a bright Barbie pink to visit the 9/11 Museum.

      • Julia K says:

        She’s now the Princess of Wales, officially the future queen. Of course she will be over the top with black lace, daytime diamonds, a new black coatdress, big blue and buttons and her own official photographer. This is truly what she does best.

    • SURE says:

      Now that we’ve all seen the “fab four” reunion at Windsor castle, I think the seating plan will revert to the line of succession order. As for K’s funeral attire, I think her look will be the complete opposite of what she wore to P’s funeral. This time M will be
      there and K knows M won’t mimic a soap opera villaness so she’ll calibrate her look to fit in with M’s streamlined style.

  16. Concern Fae says:

    Keep the Murder cake. TQ must have really had some thoughts when all the fancy cakes started being covered in fondant.

    I read once that mystery novelist PD James was someone who made it into the circle of people who got invited to private events and parties with the Queen. I went to a reading she did for The Children of Men. I was astonished to discover that she had a very posh, plummy accent. She pronounced “Omega” “oh-mi-GAH”. It was completely distracting.

    She had ties to at least two other mystery writers. Daphne Du Maurier’s husband was pretty high up in the household staff doing finances. TQ and Philip came to lunch at their house and Philip stayed overnight once. Margery Allingham’s philandering husband was part of Prince Philip’s awful Thursday Night Club. The DoE came to play cricket in their backyard in a game where The Thursday Club (and it’s many film stars) played against the local village team. The game was played annually, Philip only came the once. Apparently someone saw him before the game and told him he looked like Prince Philip. “So I’ve been told” was his response.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Huh! Cool stuff, thanks! And I think ‘Murder Cake’ is perfect! And I vote to keep the photos, as well. The Queen as we liked to see her. Glad that pony never got near the cake!

  17. Athena says:

    On this day 9/11, I’m disappointed in CNN,MSNBC for choosing to cover the movement of the body of a queen of a country that we fought a war to distant ourselves from instead of the 9/11 remembrance ceremony.

    • BeanieBean says:

      NPR’s news app at least led with 9/11 remembrances. I found all the to-ing & fro-ing of TQ’s coffin to be macabre & somewhat disrespectful. I guess the idea is to let as many of her ‘subjects’ get a last view of her, even if it’s just her coffin? I’m sure there are quicker ways to get a coffin from Point A to Point B. I’ve been trying to remember the last time the US had a state funeral for a president. I found a great article on whitehousehistory.org about this. They’re typically five day-events–so, half of The Queen’s–and are planned early in each new president’s term. You get to be in on planning your own funeral. I wonder if The Queen was part of the planning for hers? I would hope so.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      I was annoyed yesterday when I saw the MSNBC anchor and reporters wearing black. She was NOT our queen.

      And yes stabby queen and the cake is a classic.

  18. Renae says:

    This Queenie-go-to-ground tour is too much.
    It reminds me of the Olympic Torch Tour that countries do…..and I’m weary of it all.
    Turn on American news……a car carrying a body on a highway….with an occasional split screen of 9/11 speeches.
    Turn on Canadian news and its the Queen on her ‘tour’
    BBC seems to at least mention some other news….but still, gripping photos of a car on a highway.
    Didn’t the Queen have her own train?

  19. TheCrankyFairy says:

    Please keep using the cake stabbing photos.

  20. Chaine says:

    That pony won out in the end though? Looking forward to seeing him take a 💩 to greet Charles III.

  21. Michael says:

    I remember the Queen at her husband’s funeral looking so frail and lost. I knew it would not be long after that but I was surprised she lasted as long as she did. I hope she is resting in peace. Now is the time to abolish the monarchy, however. Let William get a real job. I suppose Charles could be a puppet monarch since he is pretty old now. Charles will be a weak King and William will be a terrible King in my opinion. Best to get rid of all of them now

    • Julia K says:

      I think the complaints about Wm being POW may signal the dissatisfaction with the entire system. Charles may well be the last monarch and I think he sees the handwriting on the wall, thus the rush to promote Will and Kate, hoping people won’t pile on the new Prince and Princess out of some misguided respect.. Harry has shown the world that first line royals can survive and thrive out of the firm. Others can do it as well and the RF knows it.

      • Jean says:

        Exactly that’s what they are afraid of, Harry left and is thriving and still popular…no need for monarchy

  22. Truthiness says:

    The stabby photos and her beef with that separatist pony are both great. Remember the time she used a giant saber-looking thing? “Ma’am, there’s a knife.” I know!” QEll bopping the pony on the nose (hiding the flowers behind her back) and Harry trying to trick the pony into biting the air are both priceless.

  23. Merricat says:

    Now would be a great time to return India’s giant diamond. Racist thieves.

  24. Cara says:

    Forget all the commentators! I only want to hear from the anti-monarchist pony from now on!

  25. blunt talker says:

    It was revealed on the national newscast today-Pres. Biden and his wife have accepted the formal invititation to the queen’s funeral-but they will not be able to bring a delegation with them-this makes sense only 2000 people have been invited-these invitations go out all over the world-the other monarchies in Europe will be represented at this funeral and I doubt there is a limit on their numbers