Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s coffin has begun its final journey from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle where the late monarch will be reunited with her beloved husband.
Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers flocked to London and are lining the route through the capital to say their last goodbyes, while millions around the globe are watching proceedings on TV.
The King and his siblings walked behind the coffin as it left Westminster Abbey following the state funeral, while other royals are travelling by car.
During the service, Charles was visibly moved and looked close to tears as the national anthem was sung in the Abbey.
Prince George was also comforted by his mother, the Princess of Wales, during the service.
In a personal touch, the wreath adorning the Queen’s coffin had a handwritten note, which was penned by the King.
The message said: “In loving and devoted memory.”
The coffin is now heading to Wellington Arch at the corner of Hyde Park, before being transferred into a hearse for the journey to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
A televised committal ceremony will take place in the chapel at 4pm followed by a private interment service attended by senior royals.
Around 2,000 people attended the Queen’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, including members of royal families from across Europe, politicians from all sides of the political spectrum and world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Charles and the Queen Consort walked immediately behind the coffin as it entered the Gothic church for the service, followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, then the Duke of York, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte walked with their parents and were followed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other members of the royal family.
During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury told the congregation the outpouring of emotion for the Queen “arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us”.
Justin Welby described the Queen as having touched “a multitude of lives” and being a “joyful” figure for many.
'Queenhood: a long winding procession
From the abbey door to the abbey door.'
Her Majesty The Queen's State Funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey – where Her Majesty's Coronation took place in 1953.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 19, 2022
He told mourners: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.
“But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.
“The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.
“She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.”
Mr Welby, standing in the church where kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, also said that the Queen had declared on her 21st birthday “that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth”.
He added: “Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen.”
Among the hymns sung at the service, The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want, was also sung at the Queen’s wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in the abbey in 1947.
The other hymns were The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended; and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.
As the abbey fell silent, the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, played the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep. Also played were The Last Post, Reveille and the national anthem.
The Queen’s coffin has been draped in the Royal Standard, with the wreath of flowers requested by the King.
Cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, the flowers and foliage have been chosen for their symbolism.
They include rosemary, for remembrance, and myrtle cut from a plant which was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen’s wedding bouquet. Myrtle is an ancient symbol of a happy marriage.
The funeral was broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
Several big screens were also set up in Hyde Park, while London’s City Hall said all public viewing areas for the Queen’s funeral procession were full.
Later on Monday evening in Windsor, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family, where the Queen will be reunited with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
Philip’s coffin will move from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.
Monday marks the climax of what is being regarded as the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen, surpassing the operation for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Olympics, which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.