Military rehearse queen’s Windsor procession, Queen’s grandchildren stand vigil by her coffin
Hundreds of troops from the British army, air force and navy have taken part in the first full rehearsal of the procession that will bring the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II to its final resting place.
With troops lining The Long Walk, a picturesque path leading to Windsor Castle, the thumping of drums echoed as marching bands walked ahead of a hearse early Saturday.
On Monday, they will do the same, only surrounded by thousands of people expected to travel to Windsor for a final farewell to the queen, who died last week at age 96.
Her funeral is to be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday before some 2,000 guests, including visiting heads of state. After the church service, the late queen’s coffin will be transported through the historic heart of London on a horse-drawn gun carriage.
It will then be taken by hearse to Windsor, where the queen will be interred alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who died last year.
Some people who won’t be in Windsor on Monday decided to wake up early to watch Saturday’s rehearsal.
Local resident Katharine Horsfall said she set her alarm for 3:15 a.m. She said: “I think it will be an amazing tribute to the queen, a great send off, with all the pageantry that she so well deserves.”
On Friday, King Charles III and his three siblings stood vigil around their mother’s coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall in London.
Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward stood with their backs to the flag-draped coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, their heads bowed.
Members of the public who had lined up for hours to pay their last respects continued to file past as the royals stood vigil in the historic event.
On Saturday, the queen’s eight grandchildren will hold a similar vigil.