Thousands of people lined the streets to witness the passage of the queen‘s casket from the historic Westminster Hall to nearby Westminster Abbey, and eventually on to Windsor Castle where she will be laid to rest alongside her late husband.
Among the crowds who came from around Britain and beyond, people were climbing lampposts and standing on barriers and ladders to catch a glimpse of the royal procession.
Millions more watched on television at home on a public holiday declared for the occasion. The funeral of a British monarch has never been televised before.
Along the Mall, one of London’s grand ceremonial boulevards, the crowd stood 15-20 people deep in places.
Some wore smart black suits and dresses. Others were dressed in hoodies, leggings and tracksuits. A woman with dyed green hair stood next to a man in morning suit as they waited for the procession to begin.
Among the 2,000 in the congregation are some 500 world leaders, from Biden and Emperor Naruhito of Japan to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mark Brown, prime minister of Cook Islands.
The queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George, 9, and Princess Charlotte, 7, the two eldest children of now heir-to-the-throne Prince William, entered the Abbey in procession with their family.
Shortly before 11 a.m. the oak coffin, covered in the Royal Standard flag with the Imperial State Crown on top, emerged under overcast skies to be taken by military procession to Westminster Abbey.
Her Majesty’s coffin was surmounted by The Imperial State Crown, The Orb and The Sceptre and borne by the Bearer Party.