Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend the Queen’s state funeral, the order of service has shown.
The nine-year-old future king and his seven-year-old sister will gather with 2000 people in Westminster Abbey to remember their late great-grandmother later on Monday, as millions watch the televised service across the globe.
The young royals will walk through the gothic church with the royal family, in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried by the military bearer party.
Their grandfather, the King with the Queen Consort will process immediately behind the coffin, followed by the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, then the Duke of York, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and then the Prince and Princess of Wales.
George and Charlotte, who called the Queen “Gan Gan”, will be together, behind their parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton. They will walk side-by-side in formation, followed by their uncle and aunt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the royal family.
The second and third in line to the throne are also expected to be at the committal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, afterwards.
The prince and princess’ four-year-old brother Prince Louis will not be there. His playful antics on the balcony for the platinum jubilee delighted royal fans and he is likely to be considered too young to attend.
Both George and Charlotte attended the memorial service for the late Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, at Westminster Abbey earlier this year. They were not at his funeral at Windsor Castle last year.
The decision about the siblings came after senior palace advisers reportedly pushed to have them attend today’s service. They told the new Prince and Princess of Wales it would send a “powerful and symbolic” message, particularly George’s appearance.
“Aides have told his parents that seeing the young prince attend the funeral of the late monarch – whom he affectionately called ‘Gan Gan’ –would be good for the public,” The Mirror newspaper reported.
Order of service for the late Queen
At the end of the service, following The Last Posttwo minutes’ silence, the Reveille, and the national anthem, the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, will play the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.
Before the service, the tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, will say in The Bidding: “Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service.”
He will speak of the Queen’s “unswerving commitment to a high calling over so many years” as monarch and head of the Commonwealth.
“With affection we recall her love for her family and her commitment to the causes she held dear,” the Dean will say.
One of the hymns – The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want – was sung at the Queen’s wedding, when she married the Duke of Edinburgh in the same abbey, as a 21-year-old bride in 1947.
It was also sung at the funeral of the Queen’s father George VI in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in 1952, but with slightly different wording.
The others hymns are: The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended; and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.
The latter has often featured at royal weddings, including William and Kate’s, Charles and Camilla’s wedding blessing, and Princess Eugenie’s.
Prayers will be said by the Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for “Queen Elizabeth’s long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service”.
The Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally will say a prayer for “our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, and all the royal family”.
Reverend Canon Helen Cameron, Moderator of the Free Churches Group, will praise the Queen’s “unstinting devotion to duty, her compassion for her subjects, and her counsel to her ministers”.
King’s thanks to the world
Details of the service for the late Queen were revealed as her son, the new King, thanked people from Britain and across the world for their messages of sympathy.
“Over the last 10 days, my wife and I have been so deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and across the world,” the King, who has toured the United Kingdom since his mother’s death, said in a statement on Sunday (British time).
“In London, Edinburgh, Hillsborough and Cardiff we were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, the late Queen.
“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my family and myself in this time of grief.”
Following the service at Westminster Abbey, the Queen’s coffin will be taken to Windsor. There will be a private service there for the royal family, and she will then be buried alongside her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.
That will bring to an end a period of national mourning in Britain, although royal mourning will continue for a further seven days.