On Monday, US Vice President Joe Biden will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral in London’s Westminster Abbey along with a large group of other foreign leaders.
Royal pomp will be on full show to honor a monarch whose reign spanned seven decades.
The 2,000 participants are scheduled to include world leaders, dignitaries, politicians, popular figures, and European royals.
The Dean of Westminster, the Rev. David Hoyle, will preside over the service, which will begin at 11 a.m. in Westminster Abbey (6 a.m. ET). Lessons will be read by Patricia Scotland, secretary general of the Commonwealth, and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss. A sermon will be delivered by Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. The Last Post will sound toward the end of the service, followed by a two-minute silence. The Queen’s Piper, who will play a Reveille, the National Anthem, and a Lament at noon (7 a.m. ET), will conclude the state funeral.
The heads of state of nations with which the United Kingdom maintains diplomatic ties received invitations over the weekend. The state funeral will be attended by a broad list of notable figures from the Commonwealth and around the globe. There won’t be any representatives from Syria, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, or Venezuela. Most countries that receive an invitation allow their head of state and a visitor to attend.
The casket will be transported from the hall to Wellington Arch after Monday’s state funeral before making its last exit from London and arrival in Windsor. The Queen will arrive at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where her journey will come to a conclusion. There, her casket will be lowered into the Royal Vault under the chapel.
The ceremonial festivities on Monday mark the conclusion of “Operation London Bridge,” a nearly two-week-long public planning effort.
Years of planning have gone into the Queen’s burial, giving American advisors a better understanding of what will occur over the next few days as they make security plans. There will be a smaller American presence because, according to the White House, only the President and first wife were invited.
As scores of foreign leaders gathered over the weekend and into Monday to memorialize the late Queen, who visited 13 sitting US presidents during her reign, security in the British capital is at its greatest level in recent memory.
The time difference will be significant, and sure, people will take advantage of it. Time shifting was first used in 1981 for the Charles-Diana wedding by resourceful VCR owners, but it is now much simpler, according to Thompson.
Although Thompson anticipates a “very huge” turnout, he does not believe it will be as large as the 1953 coronation.
“I don’t believe this burial will be able to get as much attention as the 1953 coronation or even the 1981 wedding did. The number of watchers may be higher, but so are the number of persons. Less than ten years after the end of World War II, the monarchy’s identity and status were very different, and there were a lot, lot fewer things on which people could focus.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, described the scale in an interview with Sky News last week, saying: “If you think of the London Marathon, the carnival, past royal weddings, the Olympics – it’s all that in one.”
After the funeral on Monday in the late afternoon, Biden is set to depart for Washington. The President and First Lady Jill Biden paid their respects to the Queen while she was lying in state, signed condolence books, and attended a reception with other world leaders and King Charles III during their brief visit to London.