What to Expect in the Days Leading Up to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

·3 min read
TOPSHOT - Members of the public pay their respects as they hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is driven through Ballater, on September 11, 2022. - Queen Elizabeth II's coffin will travel by road through Scottish towns and villages on Sunday as it begins its final journey from her beloved Scottish retreat of Balmoral. The Queen, who died on September 8, will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse before lying at rest in St Giles' Cathedral, before travelling onwards to London for her funeral. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Members of the public pay their respects as they hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is driven through Ballater, on September 11, 2022. - Queen Elizabeth II's coffin will travel by road through Scottish towns and villages on Sunday as it begins its final journey from her beloved Scottish retreat of Balmoral. The Queen, who died on September 8, will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse before lying at rest in St Giles' Cathedral, before travelling onwards to London for her funeral. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Queen Elizabeth's coffin

Queen Elizabeth's death on September 8 triggered the enactment of Operation London Bridge, the U.K. government's long-established plan for arrangements in the event of Her Majesty's passing. Going forward, major events will accompany each day leading up to her state funeral on Monday, September 19.

Because the Queen's 96 years of life ended at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the location-specific Operation Unicorn is in progress. The Queen's coffin has already begun its pre-planned journey down to London.

Here is what's expected to happen in the national period of mourning before the Queen's funeral.

Sunday, September 11

The Queen's coffin departed Balmoral Castle around 10 a.m. GMT, traveling south towards London. Her coffin is decorated in flowers picked at Balmoral and draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland. The coffin will spend the night at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh before continuing the journey by road.

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On this day, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Parliaments read the new King's proclamations.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Heppell/AP/Shutterstock (13382392h) Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland, as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes through as it makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland, . The Queen's coffin will be transported Sunday on a journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it will lie at rest before being moved to London later in the week Royals, Ballater, United Kingdom - 11 Sep 2022
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Heppell/AP/Shutterstock (13382392h) Members of the public line the streets in Ballater, Scotland, as the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II passes through as it makes its journey to Edinburgh from Balmoral in Scotland, . The Queen's coffin will be transported Sunday on a journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it will lie at rest before being moved to London later in the week Royals, Ballater, United Kingdom - 11 Sep 2022

Scott Heppell/AP/Shutterstock Queen Elizabeth's hearse

Monday, September 12

On the fifth day following her passing, the Queen's coffin is expected to pass along Edinburgh's Royal Mile to St Giles Cathedral.

In London, King Charles III will likely hear both Houses of Parliament express their condolences. He and Queen Consort Camilla are then scheduled to depart for a tour of the four nations of the United Kingdom.

King Charles III waves to well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Sunday September 11, 2022. (Photo by Beresford Hodge/PA Images via Getty Images)
King Charles III waves to well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Sunday September 11, 2022. (Photo by Beresford Hodge/PA Images via Getty Images)

Beresford Hodge/PA Images via Getty King Charles

Tuesday, September 13

The Queen's coffin will be flown to London. Once arrived at Buckingham Palace, there will then be a rehearsal of the coffin's procession to the Palace of Westminster.

Wednesday, September 14

After her coffin is ceremonially brought through London, the Queen's lying in state is expected to start in Westminster Hall. This four-day tradition is known as Operation Marquee. Thousands of people will be able to pay their respects as they pass by the coffin. Senior royals traditionally stand guard throughout, in what's known as the Virgil of the Princes.

Thursday, September 15

Her Majesty's lying in state continues, and a rehearsal of the state funeral procession is scheduled on this day as well.

Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18

The lying in state will continue as funeral attendees arrive before the official day of the service.

TOPSHOT - Members of the public pay their respects as they hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is driven through Ballater, on September 11, 2022. - Queen Elizabeth II's coffin will travel by road through Scottish towns and villages on Sunday as it begins its final journey from her beloved Scottish retreat of Balmoral. The Queen, who died on September 8, will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse before lying at rest in St Giles' Cathedral, before travelling onwards to London for her funeral. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Members of the public pay their respects as they hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, is driven through Ballater, on September 11, 2022. - Queen Elizabeth II's coffin will travel by road through Scottish towns and villages on Sunday as it begins its final journey from her beloved Scottish retreat of Balmoral. The Queen, who died on September 8, will be taken to the Palace of Holyroodhouse before lying at rest in St Giles' Cathedral, before travelling onwards to London for her funeral. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Queen Elizabeth's coffin

Monday, September 19

The state funeral is set to happen at Westminster Abbey. Navy officials will escort the Queen's coffin on a gun carriage, using ropes to pull it. The King and other members of the royal family will follow the coffin in a silent procession. The event will be televised and attended by heads of state and major figures from around the world.

After the funeral at Westminster Abbey, cameras will follow the Queen's coffin to another televised service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Later, there will be a private service for senior royals and, finally, the late monarch's body will be laid to rest in the King George IV memorial chapel, where Queen Elizabeth's mother and father were buried and where her the ashes of sister, Princess Margaret, rest. Soon after, Prince Philip's body will be transferred to the chapel as well.