Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers lined the route the revered monarch’s hearse took from London, throwing flowers, cheering and clapping as it passed from the city to the English that she so loved much.
Many more had crammed into the capital to witness the procession and funeral, in a moving tribute to the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch who won global respect during 70 years on the throne.
Inside the majestic Westminster Abbey where the funeral was held, 500 presidents, prime ministers, foreign royal family members and dignitaries, including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, were among the 2000-strong congregation.
Later the attention switched to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where 800 guests attended a committal service ahead of her burial.
It concluded the crown, orb and scepter – symbols of the monarch’s power and governance – being removed from the coffin and placed on the altar.
The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the royal household, then broke his “Wand of Office,” signifying the end of his service to the sovereign, and placed it on the casket before it slowly descended into the royal vault.
As the congregation sang the national anthem, King Charles appeared to be fighting back tears.
Later in the evening, in a private family service, the coffin of Elizabeth and her husband of more than seven decades, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will be buried together in the same chapel where her parents and sister, Princess Margaret , also rest.
It was in the same vast building that the Queen was photographed mourning Philip alone during the pandemic lockdown, reinforcing the sense of a monarch in synch with her people during a testing time.
At the funeral, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told those present that the grief felt by so many across the UK and the wider world reflected the late monarch’s “abundant life and loving service”.
“Her late majesty famously declared on a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth,” he said.
“Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love that we have seen.”
After the funeral, her flag-draped casket was pulled by sailors through London’s streets on a gun carriage in one of the largest military processions seen in the UK, involving thousands of members of the armed forces dressed in ceremonial finery.
They walked in step to funeral music from marching bands, while in the background the city’s famous Big Ben tolled each minute.
King Charles and other senior royals followed on foot.
The casket was taken from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and transferred to a hearse to travel to Windsor, where more big crowds waited patiently.
Among those who came from around the UK and beyond, people climbed lampposts and stood on barriers and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.
Some wore smart black suits and dresses.
Others were dressed in hoodies, leggings and tracksuits.
A woman with dyed green hair stood next to a man in morning suit as they waited for the London procession to begin.
Elizabeth died on September 8 at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in the Scottish highlands.
Her health had been in decline, and for months the monarch who had carried out hundreds of official engagements well into her 90s had withdrawn from public life.
However, in line with her sense of duty she was photographed just two days before she died, looking frail but smiling and holding a walking stick as she appointed Liz Truss as her 15th and final prime minister.
Such was her longevity and her inextricable link with the UK that even her own family found her passing a shock.
“We all thought she was invincible,” Prince William told well-wishers.
Towards the end of the service, the church and much of the country fell silent for two minutes.
Trumpets rang out before the congregation sang God Save the King.
Outside, crowds joined in and broke into applause when the anthem was over.
The Queen’s piper brought the service to an end with a lament called “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep” that faded to silence.
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