The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II marks the culmination of 10 days of national mourning, during which time the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force have readied themselves to perform a role that has been rehearsed over many years. And a role that will see soldiers of long-service and teenagers fresh out of training give one last act of love and dedication to their late Commander in Chief.
It is the first State Funeral of a monarch since the death of George VI in 1952 and will involve 2,702 members of the Armed Forces.
As Sovereign and Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II was Head of the Armed Forces and had forged close personal relationships with Servicemen and Servicewomen throughout her reign of 70 years and 214 days.
Flags are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect at military locations and on ships around the world and an estimated 4.1 billion people across the globe are expected to watch the live broadcast - anticipated to be the most viewed television programme of all time.
The British Army’s role in Her Majesty’s funeral
Following the period of lying-in-state and shortly after 10.35am a Bearer Party formed of troops from The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will carry Her Majesty’s coffin in procession from the catafalque in Westminster Hall to the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy, outside.
On Parliament Square, a tri-Service Guard of Honour formed of members of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards, the Royal Navy and The King’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force, each with their Colours draped, will be mounted and accompanied by a Band of the Royal Marines.
The Procession itself will be led by 200 musicians of massed Pipes and Drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Royal Air Force, followed by The Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants of Arms and officers and senior members of The Queen’s household.
The State Gun Carriage will be flanked by the Bearer Party, Pall Bearers – Service Equerries to The Queen - and detachments of The King's Body Guards of The Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, The Yeomen of the Guard and the Royal Company of Archers.
Immediately following the coffin will be The King, members of the Royal Family and members of The King’s household and household of the Prince of Wales.
The State Funeral Service in Westminster Abbey
Following the Commendation and Blessing the Last Post will be sounded by State Trumpeters of the Band of the Household Cavalry from the steps of The Queen Chapel inside Westminster Abbey, where they will wear the recognisable State Dress Gold Coat of the State Trumpeters.
A two minute’s silence shortly before midday will be followed by the Reveille, the National Anthem and a Lament played by The Queen’s Piper to bring the State Funeral Service to an end.
The Bearer Party will then carry Her Majesty’s coffin through the Great West Door to the State Gun Carriage outside, following which the Coffin Procession will set off on the journey to Wellington Arch.
A Sovereign’s Standard of the Household Cavalry will follow immediately behind the coffin. His Majesty The King will lead members of the Royal Family walking, followed by mounted elements of the Household Cavalry and representatives of the Civilian Services.
On arrival at Wellington Arch, all those members of the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force taking part in this Procession will bid farewell to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she leaves for Windsor for the last time, having been transferred to the State Hearse.
Coffin Procession to St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
Leading the Procession from Albert Road, Windsor to Windsor Castle and walking ahead of the coffin will be a dismounted Detachment of the Household Cavalry Regiment followed immediately by a mounted Division of the Sovereign’s Escort, a massed Pipes and Drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Bands of the Coldstream Guards and The Household Cavalry and officers of the Household Division.
The State Hearse will be flanked by the Pall Bearers and an Escort Party formed of troops from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. His Majesty The King, leading members of the Royal Family, will join the Procession at the Quadrangle.
Minute Guns will be fired by The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery from the East Lawn as the coffin moves in Procession to the West Steps of St. George's Chapel.
A Guard of Honour formed of members of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will be mounted in Horseshoe Cloister and a Step-lining Party, comprising members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will line the West Steps of St George's Chapel.
The Windsor Castle Guard will be turned out to present Arms for the arrival of members of The Royal Family and to the State Hearse as they pass.
On arrival at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, the Bearer Party will carry Her Majesty’s coffin up the West Steps for the Committal Service, which will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor.
Her Majesty will be buried with her late husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, during a private service attended by His Majesty The King and members of the Royal Family.