Windsor service praises Queen’s ‘unstinting service’

By Andre Rhoden-Paul

BBC News

St George's ChapelImage source, PA Media

Image caption,

The committal service took place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

Tributes have been paid to the Queen’s “unstinting service” at a ceremony held in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where she will be laid to rest.

The ceremony, led by the Dean of Windsor, was attended by 800 people, including royalty and staff.

The Queen will be buried alongside her husband the Duke of Edinburgh at a private burial.

The hearse arrived in Windsor following her state funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

The state hearse made its way to the Berkshire town, with flowers still on its bonnet and roof from well-wishers who had thrown them as the royal cortege made its way from Wellington Arch in London.

The route avoided motorways to allow as many people as possible to pay their last respects.

Thousands of people on that route looked on, some of them applauding, as the hearse passed them by.

Media caption,

The Queen’s journey on the Long Walk to Windsor Castle

The procession made its way about one mile along the Long Walk up to Windsor Castle, with members of the Armed Forces lining the way.

King Charles III then walked behind his mother’s coffin, accompanied by the Queen’s other children – the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex and Peter Phillips also joined them in the procession to St George’s Chapel.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Thousands lined the Long Walk in Windsor as the coffin processed to the castle

The Queen’s coffin, draped in the royal standard with imperial state crown, orb and sceptre on top, was lifted from the state hearse into the chapel where it sat on a catafalque.

The Dean, the Very Rev David Conner, began the ceremony by praising a “life of unstinting service” to the nation and Commonwealth.

He said of the Queen: “In the midst of our rapidly changing and frequently troubled world, her calm and dignified presence has given us confidence to face the future, as she did, with courage and with hope.”

The crown jeweller removed the instruments of state – the imperial state crown, the orb and sceptre – from the coffin before they were put on the altar, symbolising the end of the Queen’s reign.

King Charles then placed on the coffin a small crimson regimental flag called the Camp Colour – traditionally used to indicate the location of the commanding officer.

The coffin was then lowered into the royal vault, before the Sovereign’s Piper played a lament.

Guests at the service included the late Queen’s staff past and present, alongside prime ministers of countries of which the monarch was head of state.

At a private burial service on Monday evening, the Queen will be laid to rest with her late husband Prince Philip in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

That service will only be attended by the Royal Family – details of it have not been disclosed, with Buckingham Palace calling it a “deeply personal family occasion”.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

The King and other members of the Royal Family processed behind the Queen’s coffin when it reached Windsor Castle

Image caption,

The Queen’s corgis Muick and Sandy made an appearance as the Queen’s coffin processed at Windsor Castle

Earlier, King Charles III walked behind his mother’s coffin as it proceeded from Westminster Hall to the abbey.

This was the first state funeral since Sir Winston Churchill’s in 1965 and was the biggest ceremonial event since World War Two.

Planning of the order of service for the ceremony was discussed with the Queen over a number of years.

St George’s Chapel is where the Queen worshipped at Easter and celebrated baptisms, confirmations and weddings during her reign.

In a touching gesture, the Queen’s faithful corgis Muick and Sandy also made an appearance at Windsor castle.

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