Queen's coffin lowered into Royal Vault in sad moment for monarch's family
At the end of an emotional service at St George's Chapel in Windsor following the state funeral at Westminster Abbey, the Queen's coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault.
The Queen's coffin has been lowered into the Royal Vault in one of the most emotional and poignant moments of her funeral service.
As a committal service at St George's Chapel in Windsor came to a close, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and the Sceptre was removed from the coffin before the final hymn.
After it played, King Charles placed the Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on top of the coffin before the Lord Chamberlain broke his Wand of Office - and also placed on the coffin.
Then in one of the most moving parts of the entire service, the coffin was slowly lowered into the Royal Vault as the Dean of Windsor recited Psalm 103 and pronounced all of the styles and titles of the Queen.
The psalm includes the traditional line: "Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul".
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He also offered the commendation - a prayer in which the deceased is entrusted to God's mercy.
The service ended with the Sovereign Piper playing the lament A Salute to the Royal Fendersmith from the doorway between the chapel and the dean's cloister, with the music gradually fading away as he walked towards the deanery.
The Archbishop of Canterbury then concluded the service with a blessing before the congregation sang the national anthem.
Members of the Royal Family and other guests looked on as the heartbreaking moment unfolded on what has been a historic day watched by billions around the globe.
It is just the second time the lowering of the coffin into the Royal Vault has been televised as it is normally a moment that takes place in private.
The first time this moment was seen was last year during the funeral of the Queen's beloved husband Prince Philip.
Her grieving family walked behind her coffin throughout the long day, a simple but public tribute, and the emotion was clear to see on the face of the King, who looked close to tears during the earlier Westminster Abbey state funeral service.
The royal family were united in their loss, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex briefly back with the family they left, but as the Queen's son the Earl of Wessex said in tribute, in death, as in life, they were sharing their "beloved mama" with others.
Hundreds of thousands lined the Queen's funeral procession that carried the monarch from lying in state at Westminster Hall to her state funeral and on to Windsor Castle for the committal service.
Her state hearse arrived at the royal fortress strewn with flowers after the sight of the Queen had been cheered and applauded by mourners along the route.
Today's historic state funeral for the Queen started just after 10.30am this morning when her coffin was carried on a State Gun Carriage from New Palace Yard to Westminster Abbey.
Joining the King and members of the Royal Family in the Abbey were more than 2,000 guests made up of world leaders, royalty and ordinary members of the public.
After the service, the coffin was taken in another procession to Wellington Arch before it was transferred into the state hearse for the trip to Windsor.
In a moving gesture, staff from Buckingham Palace stood outside the gates of the royal residence and watched as the late monarch was taken past.
The Queen's coffin was flanked by people she had known well, her equerries, drawn from the military to organise her diary, and soldiers from the Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards - soldiers she personally commanded.
Behind her coffin were Charles and his siblings - the Princess Royal, Duke of York and Earl of Wessex - who were followed by the monarch's three grandsons, Peter Phillips, Duke of Sussex and Prince of Wales.
The royal women travelled behind in state limousines with the Princess of Wales and her children George and Charlotte with the Queen Consort and the Duchess of Sussex travelling with the Countess of Wessex.
In the shadow of Apsley House, the former home of the Duke of Wellington, the sailors who had drawn the carriage carrying the Queen's coffin came to a halt, and then the bearer party from the Queen's Company carried it to the waiting state hearse which bean the journey to Windsor.
Around 2,000 people attended the Queen's funeral at Westminster Abbey, including members of royal families from across Europe, politicians from all sides of the political spectrum and world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
King Charles was left close to tears during the service at Westminster, where the Archbishop of Canterbury described the Queen as having touched "a multitude of lives" and having been a "joyful" figure for many.
The Queen was head of state but also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and in a personal touch, the wreath adorning her coffin had a handwritten note from the King.
The message said: "In loving and devoted memory."
George and Charlotte joined the procession behind the coffin when it was carried through the Abbey and the Kate was seen putting a comforting hand on her son's knee towards the end of service.
The state funeral clearly had an effect on royal family with the Countess of Wessex dabbing her eyes and the Queen's granddaughter Princess Beatrice seen crying.
Justin Welby told mourners: "People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.
But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.
"The grief of this day - felt not only by the late Queen's family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world - arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us.
"She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives."
Mr Welby, standing in the church where kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, also said that the Queen had declared on her 21st birthday "that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth".
He added: "Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen."
Among the hymns sung at the service was The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want, also sung at the Queen's wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in the Abbey in 1947.
The other hymns were The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended; and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.
As the Abbey fell silent, the Queen's Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, played the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep. Also played were The Last Post, Reveille and the national anthem.
The Queen's coffin was draped in the Royal Standard, with the wreath of flowers requested by the King.
Cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove House, the flowers and foliage were chosen for their symbolism.
They include rosemary, for remembrance, and myrtle cut from a plant which was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen's wedding bouquet. Myrtle is an ancient symbol of a happy marriage.
The funeral was broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
Later this evening, a private burial service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, attended by the King and members of the royal family.
The Queen is to be buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh at the King George VI Memorial Chapel with her mother and father, George VI.
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