Queen's funeral: Gardiner on George and Charlotte's attendance
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Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will be held today in Westminster Abbey. It will be 260 years since a monarch’s funeral has been held at the Abbey, the last being King George II in 1760. What does the Abbey look like inside?
The official website explains: “Since 1066, the Abbey has hosted every coronation, and is the final resting place for the great Kings, Queens, poets, musicians, scientists and politicians of our past.”
The building has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status and the interiors are very grand.
As well as the Abbey’s Gothic exterior, the pendant fan vault ceiling is a marvel to look at.
In addition, the mixture of black and white tiles and mosaic floors are said to be mesmerising.
Highlights inside the Abbey include the Lady chapel commissioned by King Henry VII, spectacular stained glass window displays, including one by David Hockney, and the iconic royal coronation chair.
What other royal events have been held at Westminster Abbey?
The venue for the Queen’s funeral is one of great significance as it has hosted an array of significant royal events.
The Abbey was the place in which Elizabeth II was crowned Queen, aged 25.
An estimated 27 million people in Britain watched the ceremony on TV after the Queen agreed it could be televised.
The late Queen and her husband Prince Philip said “I do” at the Abbey in 1947.
The new Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate also had their royal wedding within the walls of Westminster Abbey in 2011.
The late Queen’s son King Charles III will be the 40th royal to be coronated at the Abbey, which is where royal coronations have occurred for the past 900 years.
With billions expected to tune in and thousands flocking to London to watch the funeral procession in person, the public are reminded they cannot watch from Westminster Abbey, where Her Majesty’s funeral will take place.
Westminster Abbey instead will welcome the likes of US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to the Emperor of Japan, with the funeral guestlist including politicians and the nobility.
But how many people are expected and how many people can fit inside Westminster Abbey?
Westminster Abbey can seat up 2,200 people.
2000 guests are expected to attend the Queen’s funeral, which will begin at 11am and will be followed by a national two-minute silence at 11.55am.
Guests will include Monaco’s Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, and also King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Noted celebrities including Sir David Attenborough are expected to attend. After the service at Westminster Abbey, a public procession will begin at 12.15pm as Her Majesty’s coffin travels from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch in London.
There are 3,300 buried at Westminster Abbey, including 30 Kings and Queens – although Her Majesty the Queen will be buried at King George VI’s Memorial Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, alongside her late husband, Prince Philip.
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