final salute to its Commander-in-ChiefBy Team ADU

New Delhi. 19 September 2022. It was history being written and military history being created. The armed forces of United Kingdom were giving the last salute to their Commander-in-Chief of seventy years. The rareness of the event made it all the more enigmatic. Following the period of lying-in-state and shortly after 10.35am a Bearer Party formed of troops from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will carry Her Majesty’s coffin in procession from the catafalque in Westminster Hall to the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy, outside.

In the first State Funeral of a monarch since the death of George VI in 1952 ,  2,702 members of the Armed Forces were there to pay an emotional tribute to the Sovereign and Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II who was Head of the Armed Forces and had forged close personal relationships with Servicemen and Servicewomen throughout her reign of 70 years and 214 days.

Flags are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect at military locations and on ships around the world and an estimated 4.1 billion people across the globe are expected to watch the live broadcast – anticipated to be the most viewed television programme of all time.

On Parliament Square, a tri-Service Guard of Honour formed of members of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards, the Royal Navy and The King’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force, each with their Colours draped, has been mounted and accompanied by a Band of the Royal Marines.

The Procession itself was led by 200 musicians of massed Pipes and Drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Royal Air Force, followed by The Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants of Arms and officers and senior members of The Queen’s household.

The State Gun Carriage were flanked by the Bearer Party, Pall Bearers – Service Equerries to The Queen – and detachments of The King’s Body Guards of The Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, The Yeomen of the Guard and the Royal Company of Archers.

 final salute to its Commander-in-Chief

Immediately following the coffin was The King, members of the Royal Family and members of The King’s household and household of the Prince of Wales. Following the Commendation and Blessing the Last Post was sounded by State Trumpeters of the Band of the Household Cavalry from the steps of The Queen Chapel inside Westminster Abbey, where they wore the recognisable State Dress Gold Coat of the State Trumpeters.

A two minute’s silence shortly before midday was followed by the Reveille, the National Anthem and a Lament played by The Queen’s Piper to bring the State Funeral Service to an end.

The Bearer Party carried Her Majesty’s coffin through the Great West Door to the State Gun Carriage outside, following which the Coffin Procession will set off on the journey to Wellington Arch.

A Sovereign’s Standard of the Household Cavalry  followed immediately behind the coffin. His Majesty The King lead members of the Royal Family walking, followed by mounted elements of the Household Cavalry and representatives of the Civilian Services.

On arrival at Wellington Arch, all those members of the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force taking part in this Procession  bid farewell to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she leaves for Windsor for the last time, having been transferred to the State Hearse.

Leading the Procession from Albert Road, Windsor to Windsor Castle and walking ahead of the coffin was a dismounted Detachment of the Household Cavalry Regiment followed immediately by a mounted Division of the Sovereign’s Escort, a massed Pipes and Drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Bands of the Coldstream Guards and The Household Cavalry and officers of the Household Division.

The State Hearse was flanked by the Pall Bearers and an Escort Party formed of troops from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. His Majesty The King, leading members of the Royal Family,  joined the Procession at the Quadrangle.

Minute Guns were fired by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery from the East Lawn as the coffin moves in Procession to the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel. A Guard of Honour formed of members of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, were mounted in Horseshoe Cloister and a Step-lining Party, comprising members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will line the West Steps of St George’s Chapel.

 final salute to its Commander-in-Chief

The Windsor Castle Guard were turned out to present Arms for the arrival of members of The Royal Family and to the State Hearse as they pass. On arrival at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, the Bearer Party carriey Her Majesty’s coffin up the West Steps for the Committal Service, which was conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

Her Majesty was buried with her late husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel, during a private service attended by His Majesty The King and members of the Royal Family.

 Courtesy : British Army