Queen Elizabeth II is the First Monarch to Have a Funeral at Westminster Abbey Since 1760

Queen Elizabeth II is dead at age 96. Shortly after the royal family announced the death of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, a rainbow appeared over her residence, Windsor Castle, just as palace staff lowered the flag to half-staff. According to Insider, another rainbow formed over a growing crowd in front of Buckingham Palace.

Just as the queen comforted her people, the rainbow did the same for those who caught a glimpse of it on the dreary, wet day in London.

As the U.K. and the world begin to mourn the queen, members of the royal staff are preparing for her long-planned funeral. The queen will be the first monarch to have a funeral at Westminster Abbey since 1760.

Queen Elizabeth II at her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II is dead at 96; her funeral will be at Westminster Abbey

On the morning of Sept. 8, doctors became concerned for Queen Elizabeth II’s health and placed her under medical supervision at her estate, Balmoral, in Scotland.

“Following further evaluation this morning, the queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said (per CNBC). “The queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

Then, reports came that several members of the royal family, including the queen’s four children, Prince Charles, now King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, were making their way to Balmoral. Prince William also made his way to be by the monarch’s bedside.

Shortly after, the royal family announced Queen Elizabeth II’s death via Twitter: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

King Charles III released a statement via Twitter, “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be at Westminster Abbey.

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Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to have a funeral at Westminster Abbey since 1760

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place 10 days after her death on Sept. 8. following a national period of mourning.

Buckingham Palace gives the funerals of members of the royal family code names as they meticulously plan every detail perfectly years before their deaths. Their careful planning ensures a smooth transition of the throne. King Charles III automatically ascended upon Queen Elizabeth II’s last breath.

The funeral for Queen Elizabeth II is called “Operation London Bridge.” It was first outlined in the 1960s and revised frequently over the decades.

There wasn’t only one plan either. According to Forbes, there were plans outlined for specific measures if the queen died at Balmoral Castle, which they are using now. The public isn’t supposed to know any plans before a royal’s death, but The Guardian reported the queen’s funeral plans in 2017 and Politico in 2021.

According to NBC News, the queen’s body will be moved to Holyrood, her residence in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh tomorrow. On Sept. 10, a service will be held at Edinburgh’s St. Giles Cathedral. Members of the royal family will be in attendance. The following day, her body will travel by train to London.

Then, she will travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster in a gun carriage procession. The queen’s coffin will travel to Westminster Hall, where after a short service, she will lie in state under armed guard for the next couple of days. Thousands of people will be able to pay their respects 23 hours of each day.

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will be at Westminster Abbey. She is the first monarch to have a funeral at the ancient place of worship since 1760. According to Westminster Abbey‘s website, King George II was the last monarch to receive the honor.

Westminster Abbey is an essential place for the British monarchy. It’s where coronations going back 1,000 years have taken place. It held the weddings of the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and Prince William and Kate Middleton. However, very few monarchs’ funerals have taken place there.

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The queen will be buried at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

Queen Elizabeth II will be the first monarch to have a funeral at Westminster Abbey since 1760, but she won’t be buried there. There are 30 monarchs buried at Westminster Abbey, but no monarch has been placed to rest there since 1760. It’s possibly due to space.

Due to lack of space, no monuments were erected for Charles II, Queen Anne, Queen Mary II, or her husband, King William III. All, except King William III, had some of the last funerals at Westminster. They are all buried in a vault in the south aisle.

After her funeral, the queen will be buried at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. She will be buried next to her father, King George VI, mother, the Queen Mother, her sister Princess Margaret, and her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.

Even after her death, Queen Elizabeth II continues to make records. However, everyone will remember her for her unwavering loyalty to her country.

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