Her Majesty The Queen Leaves Buckingham Palace for the Last Time

Her Majesty’s coffin rested in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace last night after it was brought to England.

Today, she left Buckingham Palace for the last time as her coffin was taken to Westminster Hall to lie in state. From the Ministry of Defense’s Army site:

Before the procession set off, dismounted detachments of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment formed up on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, as a Guard of Honour formed from troops of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, with its state colour draped, waited outside in the Queen’s Gardens.

Below, members of that dismounted detachment as they arrived for today’s procession.

Another view from Horse Guards Parade.

The procession started at precisely 2:22 pm in London as the late Queen left Buckingham Palace for the last time.

It was timed to take 38 minutes, arriving at 3 pm.     

Also precisely at 2:22 pm, a gun salute from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery got underway, with one round fired every minute for the duration of the procession.

King Charles and the Prince of Wales both wore RAF uniforms.

More than 320 military personnel from all three services took part.

In today’s formation family members were in order of age, not title. Left to right: King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and behind them, Princes William and Harry.

Ten pallbearers also walked behind the coffin; they were former and currently-serving armed forces equerries who worked for the Queen throughout her reign. 

It was an extraordinary sight. 

From The Telegraph: 

Members of the public with a front row view of the procession stood mostly in respectful silence, occasionally breaking out into applause.

Some, tears streaming, seemed surprised by the weight of their own emotions, their faces crumpling as the coffin travelled past them and the death of the Queen became reality.

A video of the King and his siblings as they walk behind the carriage. 

The gun carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery was used to carry the coffin, the same carriage that carried the coffins of the Queen’s mother and father.

Another view. 

The Imperial State crown atop the coffin. We return to The Telegraph’s story.

In September sunshine, the jewels of the Imperial Crown glittered on top of the coffin, on which was also placed a wreath of white flowers incorporating pine from the gardens at Balmoral and pittosporum, lavender and rosemary from Windsor.

The crown was worn by the Queen after her coronation and for the yearly State Opening of Parliament. In the last few years, it became too heavy for her to wear.


From The Evening Standard’s story. 

Thousands of mourners flocked to see the moving sight of the Queen departing the official residence where she spent so much of her working life at the heart of the nation, with viewing areas declared full ahead of the procession starting.

In bright summer sunshine, funeral marches played by military bands added to the solemn mood that left some mourners weeping, while others held up their camera phones to record the historic moment.

Prince William and Prince Harry. 

For many, today’s images of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, of course, a poignant reminder of them walking behind their mother’s coffin 25 years ago. 

A wide view of the Mall. 

From The Telegraph’s coverage. 

A distant thumping of drums and the sound of trumpets could be heard from half the way down The Mall as the procession started from Buckingham Palace, writes India McTaggart.

Silence fell over the crowd as they watched in awe and sadness the final time the late Queen would leave her home.

King Charles, Princess Anne, and Peter Phillips.

A brief video of the procession. 

The British Army reports “The procession marched at a pace of 75 steps per minute, which is specifically reserved for funerals and ensures it keeps time with the slow pace of the gun carriage. Ordinarily, troops would either do a slow march of 60 beats per minute, or a quick march of 110 beats per minute.”

Those not walking in the procession were driven to Westminster. 

The procession in Whitehall. 

A salute as the procession passed the Cenotaph. 

Another salute as the coffin arrives at Westminster. 

The coffin is carried into Westminster Hall by The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

A wider view.

You can see the royals gathered as the coffin is carried into the hall. 

A curtsey as the late Queen’s coffin is brought into the hall. 

James, Viscount Severn, and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi bow their heads in respect, and Princess Beatrice curtsey.

The coffin was placed on a catafalque draped in purple.

From The Telegraph’s story. 

Members of the Royal family, who less than a week ago learned of the death of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother in Balmoral, have passed her coffin from their care to the public, as the greatest lying in state in living memory begins.

The Prince and Princess of Wales watch as the service gets underway.

More from The Telegraph’s piece.

On Tuesday night, they had spent their final private moments en masse with her coffin in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace, before making way for the late Queen’s long-serving and loyal staff to tearfully pay their respects.

From there, as one royal source put it: “The coffin is passing from the family, to the state, to the nation.”

Zara Tindall and Princess Eugenie.

Another view of the Princess. 

Below, members of Parliament. Second from the left in the front row is the Prime Minister, Liz Truss. To her left, Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party. 

Today’s Order of Service via Greg Hands, a member of Parliament; he shared the photo on Twitter.

Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Behind them you see Lady Helen Taylor, the Duke of Kent’s daughter.

Below, Lady Frederick Windsor (née Winkleman), her husband is the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent; in the center, Lady Amelia Windsor, one of the Duke of Kent’s granddaughters; on the right, Lady Marina Windsor, another granddaughter of the Duke of Kent and sister of Lady Amelia. 

From left to right: The Duke of Sussex, Prince of Wales, Earl of Wessex, Duchess of Sussex, and Princess of Wales. 

James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise Windsor, the Wessex children.

Below, Daniel and Lady Sarah Chatto (Princess Margaret’s daughter). Also in the photo are, Arthur Chatto, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, and Viscount Linley.

The Archbishop of Canterbury read the opening prayer, reading from the Book of John, 14:1-6. 

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.

We return to The Evening Standard’s coverage. 

During the service at Westminster Hall, the senior royals stood in formation facing the coffin on its purple-covered catafalque, which was flanked with a tall, yellow flickering candle at each corner of the wide scarlet platform.

The Princess of Wales and Countess of Wessex. 

A view from just outside the hall. 

And another shot of royal family members.

Zara and Mike Tindall.

After the brief service, “the captain of The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, assisted by a senior sergeant, laid The Queen’s Company Colour, the royal standard of the regiment, on the steps of the catafalque at the south end” per the British Army. 

The Sovereign’s Orb, which dates back to 1661, was placed atop the coffin, as was the Sovereign’s Sceptre, also part of the coronation regalia, used at every coronation since Charles II’s in 1661. 

After the service concluded, the first shift of those keeping vigil took their places. Three ceremonial units are going to be standing guard during the Lying In State period.    

ITV has more in this story.

The Gentlemen at Arms were the first royal bodyguards to begin the vigil, and can be seen standing closest to the coffin as Her Majesty rests on the raised platform, known as a catafalque.

The Royal Company of Archers and the Yeomen of the Guard will also stand guard.

The Gentlemen at Arms are the most senior of the sovereign’s guards.

The King and Queen Consort as they leave the hall after the service. 

A curtsey from the Countess of Wessex as she was leaving the service. 

The Wessex children as they were leaving. 

Prince William, the Countess of Wessex, the Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Peter Phillips exit Westminster Hall.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent. All are cousins of the Queen.

Lady Helen Taylor and her husband, Timothy, as they were exiting the hall. 

Princess Anne, Sir Tim Laurence, the King, and Queen Consort as they left the building.

The Prince and Princes of Wales. 

Those watching the procession and service on big screens in Hyde Park broke into applause. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales as they left Westminster Hall. 

After today’s service, the King traveled to Highgrove, his home in Gloucestershire, with the Queen Consort. He is going to take a day off from duties. On social media, a post from the Prince and Princes of Wales.

The Duchess appeared to be wearing a Catherine Walker design, a black version of the cream coat worn in October 2016 when the Cambridge family was leaving Victoria, British Columbia at the end of their tour. The Duchess also wore the coat for 2017 Easter services at Windsor and for a Beating Retreat concert in June 2019.  Additionally, she had on the Queen’s diamond and pearl leaf brooch previously worn in Belgium in 2017 (more at The Court Jeweller), the Collingwood earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales, and what appeared to be the Nigel Milne 3-Strand Pearl Bracelet. 

NOTE: Tomorrow the Prince and Princess of Wales will visit Sandringham to view the floral tributes honoring HM. 


I’ll have a fairly lengthy post tomorrow or Friday on those visiting Westminster Hall, but thought some might like this video as police pay their respects after their shifts ended. 

 ITV has a live stream as people pay their respects at Westminster Hall. 

 ITN’s Royal Family Channel offers 8 hours+ coverage. 

The bells at Westminster Abbey.