From the Queen's death to her funeral, here's the sequence of royal events to watch

·6 min read
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth is carried into St Giles' Cathedral, after making its way along the Royal Mile, on Monday in Edinburgh. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images - image credit)
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth is carried into St Giles' Cathedral, after making its way along the Royal Mile, on Monday in Edinburgh. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images - image credit)

Queen Elizabeth's funeral, on Monday, Sept. 19, will end an official mourning period that began with her death on Sept. 8 at Balmoral in Scotland.

But planning to honour the 96-year-old's life began decades ago, in the strictest of secrecy, under its own code name: Operation London Bridge.

As little as possible will be left to chance before the funeral at Westminster Abbey in London, followed by the committal and burial at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, west of London.

Live coverage will start on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app at 5 a.m. ET on Monday. CBC Radio One's coverage will start around 5:30 a.m. ET, which will also be available on the CBC Listen app.

Here's what's expected in the coming days, as well as a recap of what's happened so far:

Wednesday, Sept. 14: Procession and lying in state

The Queen's coffin is moved from the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace to the Bow Room, where prayers will be said. The Imperial State Crown will be placed on the coffin, along with a wreath of flowers. Charles and other members of the Royal Family are expected to be present.

The coffin will then be moved in a ceremonial procession via gun carriage to Westminster Hall, a Gothic building that has an extensive political and royal history and is the oldest building in the U.K. Parliament.

Charles, other members of the family and members of the royal household are expected to follow on foot. Bells will toll throughout the procession.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

At noon ET, lying in state will begin and will continue for four days, 24 hours per day, except for 30-minute periods for cleaning.

People will line up outside Parliament and across the River Thames, and for some distance after that.

Adrienne Arsenault, chief correspondent of CBC News and host of The National, will anchor coverage of the lying in state.

In Canada, the condolence books will continue to be available.

Thursday, Sept. 15

Lying in state continues, as do the condolence books in Canada.

Friday, Sept. 16

Charles continues his U.K. tour with a visit to Wales, as the lying in state also continues.

The Queen's four children will take part in a vigil at Westminster Hall in the evening, when Charles returns.

Saturday, Sept. 17

Preparations for the funeral continue and rehearsals are carried out.

Overseas leaders are expected to begin arriving in London.

Charles may also go to a control centre overseeing the events, see the operational side of things and thank those who are involved.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Heads of state and other dignitaries arrive in London, with heads of state likely to attend the lying in state at Westminster Hall.

The Queen's grandchildren might also hold a vigil at Westminster Hall.

Charles is expected to meet with the British prime minister and greet members of the public who have gathered.

On Sept. 12, the government announced the nation will observe a minute of silence the evening before the Queen's funeral. The "moment of reflection" will take place at 3 p.m. ET. People were encouraged to mark the silence at home or at community events.

Monday, Sept. 19: Funeral and burial

The date of Queen Elizabeth's funeral will be marked in Canada with a national holiday for federal government employees, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sept 13. Whether it will be a provincial holiday anywhere is still unclear.

The lying in state ends at 1:30 a.m. ET. (All times below are eastern.)

Two hours later, members of the Royal Family arrive at Westminster Hall and the coffin is placed on a gun carriage.

Live coverage will start on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app at 5 a.m. ET on Monday. CBC Radio One's coverage will start around 5:30 a.m. ET, which will also be available on the CBC Listen app.

WATCH | Practising for the Queen's funeral:

At 5:44 a.m., the procession to Westminster Abbey begins, with members of the Royal Family following on foot.

At 6 a.m., the hour-long funeral will start. It will be the first funeral for a monarch held at Westminster Abbey since King George II's death in 1760.

At 7:15 a.m., Elizabeth's coffin emerges from Great West Door and Westminster Abbey for a procession to Wellington Arch.

At 8 a.m., the coffin will be loaded into the state hearse for the drive to Windsor.

At 9:55 a.m., the coffin arrives in Windsor for a second ceremonial procession through the town to St. George's Chapel.

At 10:30 a.m., members of the Royal Family will arrive for a committal service that begins at 11 a.m. After the 45-minute service, Elizabeth's coffin will be lowered into the royal vault. The Lord Chamberlain will break his white staff of office, symbolizing the end of his service as the coffin is lowered.

The Royal Family will then return for a private burial. Elizabeth will be buried along with Prince Philip in the King George VI memorial chapel. Her father and mother are interred there, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

  • Are you planning to watch Queen Elizabeth's funeral? Tell us where you'll be watching from and how in an email to ask@cbc.ca.

Much of what will happen is unprecedented for many who will be watching. Only those old enough to remember the last funeral for a British monarch — on Feb. 15, 1952 — may have memories of what a reigning king or queen's funeral looks like.

But even that funeral — for the Queen's father, King George VI — can only be a guide to a certain point, since it took place at St. George's Chapel rather than the much larger Westminster Abbey, the place of great historic, royal and spiritual significance in central London where world leaders will join the Queen's family to honour her.

STP/AFP/Getty Images
STP/AFP/Getty Images

There have been other royal funerals at Westminster Abbey in moderately recent memory — Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 2002; and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. Diana's funeral was based on the plan for the Queen Mother's. The funeral for Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, was held at St. George's Chapel in 2021, but it was significantly scaled back from plans that had been made. It occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when regulations permitted only 30 guests.

Below is a recap of what has happened so far since the Queen's death on Sept. 8.

Friday, Sept. 9

Charles addressed the nation.

His words were piped into St. Paul's Cathedral as British Prime Minister Liz Truss and other senior ministers attended a remembrance service.

WATCH | King Charles's first address:

Saturday, Sept. 10

Charles became King the moment his mother died, but on Sept. 10, he formally took on the role as the Accession Council met at St. James's Palace.

WATCH | King Charles's personal declaration:

In Canada, the Governor General received the proclamation that Charles is the country's new monarch.

WATCH | The Canadian proclamation:

Sunday, Sept. 11

The Queen's flag-draped coffin left her beloved Balmoral estate and arrived in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.

WATCH | Crowds line streets as Queen's casket departs Balmoral Castle:

Monday, Sept. 12

Charles began travelling around the U.K. to meet and mourn with members of the public, starting with a trip to Edinburgh. His wife, Camilla, who is now Queen Consort, was with him.

WATCH | King Charles, siblings follow hearse carrying Queen's coffin in Edinburgh: 

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Charles continued his travels around the U.K., visiting Belfast.

WATCH | The King in Northern Ireland commits to Queen's path of reconciliation:

The Queen's coffin was flown to London.