Queen Elizabeth II’s farewell got underway on Monday as Britain and the world laid the longest-reigning monarch to rest.
In his funeral sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the queen’s life of duty and service to the UK and Commonwealth.
“People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer,” he told the 2,000 guests, who included US President Joe Biden and Japan’s reclusive Emperor Naruhito.
World leaders and official guests started arriving at the abbey nearly three hours before the service began.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession has arrived at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey for a state funeral service.
Pallbearers have lifted the coffin from the state gun carriage and carried it inside the Gothic medieval abbey where 2,000 mourners stood as it entered Monday.
Crowds lined the route of the procession through London. Bagpipes played as soldiers in bear skin hats and 142 sailors escorted the coffin from Westminster Hall, where the queen lay in state for four full days for the public to pay their respects ahead of her funeral.
The queen’s coffin is draped with the royal standard and a wreath of flowers including blooms and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House at Charles’s request.
They include rosemary for remembrance and myrtle cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.