The world watched as thousands gathered to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey, marking the official end of a historic 70-year reign.
She will later be laid to rest beneath St George’s Chapel with her husband of 73 years, her sister Margaret and her parents. The queen’s casket entered Westminster Abbey around 11 a.m. local time Monday, exiting around noon after the funeral proceedings.
Millions of people all over London flocked to the streets on Monday to mark the occasion.
Here are the most important moments you need to know from the monumental day:
Live updates:Queen Elizabeth II funeral: Casket travels to Windsor Castle for committal service
Solemn, at times emotional royal family photographed, including Princess Charlotte crying
All members of the royal family expectedly appeared solemn over the course of the day, especially the queen’s four children: King Charles III,Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
The king’s eldest son and his family – Prince William, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte – arrived as a united front to Westminster Abbey with their heads bowed. Their youngest child, Prince Louis, 4, was not in attendance.
Emotions ran high after the funeral, too. Princess Charlotte could later be seen crying beside her mother Princess Kate. The children’s presence reminds royal watchers the next generation of the monarchy is watching, waiting and ready to perform their royal duties.
In a committal service that followed the funeral at Windsor Castle, the crown, scepter and orb were removed from the top of the queen’s coffin. The items were placed on an alter at St George’s Chapel, and marked the final separation of the late queen from her crown. King Charles III stood by during the moments of farewell, and appeared teary-eyed.
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King Charles III leaves note atop queen’s funeral wreath: ‘In loving and devoted memory’
The queen’s coffin was adorned with a funeral wreath that included flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and the king’s private home Highgrove House, per Buckingham Palace’s notes on the funeral.
The foliage was chosen for its symbolism: Rosemary for remembrance. Myrtle for the ancient symbol of a happy marriage, and cut from a plant grown from a spring of myrtle in the queen’s 1947 wedding bouquet. English oak symbolizes the strength of love.
Also included were scented pelargoniums, garden roses, autumnal hydrangea, sedum, dahlias, and scabious, in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy, with touches of white to reflect the Royal Standard on which it sits.
Atop the wreath? A note from King Charles III, honoring his mother: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R,” it read.
“Charles R” is the monarch’s official signature, with R being Latin for “Rex” or king. (Elizabeth’s signature was Elizabeth R for “Regina,” Latin for queen.)
The sight of that note immediately evoked memories of the note that sat on Princess Diana’s coffin during her funeral procession to Westminster Abbey in 1997. It was from her sons and signed “Mummy.”
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Princess Kate, Princess Charlotte honor queen through fashion
Members of the royal family remembered their beloved matriarch in traditional black funeral attire but added meaningful jewelry.
Princess Kate wore two pieces of jewelry that once belonged to her grandmother-in-law. She wore Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings and a four-strand pearl choker necklace, both from the queen’s collection, People reported.
Her daughter, Princess Charlotte, wore a dainty brooch on her coat in the shape of a horseshoe, a tribute to her great-grandmother, who had a lifelong passion for horses.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also wore delicate pearl earrings from the queen.
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The music, songs at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
The queen’s casket entered Westminster Abbey around 11 a.m. local time Monday. The choir of St George’s Chapel sang as the queen’s coffin procession, including King Charles III, Prince William, Princess Kate, Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince George, Prince Charlotte, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, followed the coffin into the abbey.
The choir of the Westminster Abbey sung during the funeral, including The Sentences, written by William Croft, whose Sentences have been used since the mid 1500s, and at every State Funeral since the early 18th century.
The group later joined with the choir of the Chapel Royal for a rendition of “Like as the Heart.” The funeral’s attendees sang “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended.”
The choir also sang “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” which also was heard at the Wedding of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. The choir sang “God Save the King,” featuring different lyrics from what many have known for decades as “God Save the Queen,” as the funeral concluded.
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The Hyde Park viewing area was filled with hundreds of people, mainly in black and many of them holding British flags. Some were having full picnics, others dozing until the ceremony started.
Members of the public lined the road outside Hyde Park, to the background of music from the marching band and periodic gun salutes. Elyas Hussein, 45, travelled 125 miles from Birmingham, England, to watch the funeral on the big screen in Hyde Park.
He said he had “mixed emotions” watching the ceremony. “She represented the Commonwealth,” he said of the queen. He said his father served in the British Army’s Pakistan regiment, and both his uncles also served in the British Army. “I think King Charles will emulate his mother,” he said. “He’s done a lot for young people with the Prince’s Trust,” referring to Charles’ youth charity that helps young people get jobs and education.
Lucy Hartnell, 26, of Hertfordshire, organized a picnic at Hyde Park of what they assumed were “queen favorites”: strawberries, cucumber finger sandwiches, Prosecco, cupcakes and chips. They took the tube into London and were “shocked” how easy it was for them to get to Hyde Park to view the funeral. They expected much more of a “struggle.”
They said they were more there to be immersed in the event and aren’t very pro-royal or anti-royal, which has been a large debate among young people.
Contributing: Maria Puente, Nicole Fallert, Naledi Ushe, Hannah Yasharoff, Amy Haneline, Jane Onyanga-Omara and Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY