Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral to be UK’s first since 1965

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The Queen’s state funeral will be the UK’s first in more than half a century, with former Prime Minister Winston Churchill being the last head of state to be accorded with this honour in 1965.

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died on Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after reigning for 70 years. She was 96.

Unlike Prince Philip, who had a royal ceremonial funeral, the Queen will have a state funeral, which is usually reserved for the sovereign.

A state funeral typically begins with the body of the deceased being carried on a gun carriage, which is drawn by sailors from the Royal Navy, as part of a military procession, according to The Independent newspaper.

The body is taken from a private resting chapel to Westminster Hall in the House of Parliament, it said.

Also Read: | What Queen Elizabeth II said when a clueless tourist asked her if she had ‘met the Queen’

This is followed by another procession to Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, depending on where the service is, the report said.

Heads of state are then given a 21-gun salute.

The only monarch not to be given a state funeral in the last 295 years was Edward VIII, who abdicated.

The last state funeral in the UK was Churchill’s in 1965 and the last state funeral for a sovereign was for the Queen’s father, George VI, in 1952.

The Queen’s coffin will be lying in state, which is a tradition in which the body of the deceased is placed in a state building for the public to pay their tribute.

The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for about four days before her funeral, according to the BBC.

The last member of the Royal Family to lie in state in the hall was the Queen Mother in 2002, when more than 200,000 people queued to view her coffin, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, bells tolled around Britain on Friday as mourners flocked to palace gates to pay tribute to the Queen.

Also Read: | Long lived the Queen. Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, dies at 96

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