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Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, laid to rest at Windsor after state funeral

The official mourning period for Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K.'s longest-reigning monarch, culminated Monday morning with her state funeral in London's ancient Westminster Abbey. The guest list for the service included around 500 foreign dignitaries, including President Biden and about 100 other heads of state. The huge influx of VIPs put an unprecedented security operation, which was decades in the planning, to the test.

Queen Elizabeth died on September 8 at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle, her beloved country estate in Scotland. Her eldest son, now King Charles III, has led the royal family, the nation and the world in honoring her legacy and ushering in a new era that is likely to present growing challenges for both the kingdom and its Commonwealth

The funeral was preceded by days of carefully choreographed public events, including a majestic procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday. Countless admirers lined up for miles, waiting all day and night for a chance to file past the queen's coffin during her four days of lying in state.

Following Monday's service, the queen's coffin was taken in a walking procession to Hyde Park. It was then transferred to a state hearse for the drive to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the queen's final resting place, where her late husband Prince Philip and her sister Princess Margaret are also interred.

Follow updates below to see how events unfolded.


Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lowered into royal vault at St. George's chapel

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was lowered into the royal crypt at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Monday.

King Charles III laid the Queen's Company Camp Color, a small flag, on the late monarch's coffin, and the Lord Chamberlain, Baron Parker, broke his wand of office, also laying it on the coffin.

APTOPIX Britain Royals Funeral
King Charles III places the Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin at the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II, held at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, September 19, 2022. Jonathan Brady/AP

The queen's piper played a lament on a bagpipe, which was followed by a blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the singing of the national anthem.

"Go forth into the world in peace; Be of good courage, hold fast that which is good, render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help the afflicted, honor all people, love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always. Amen," Justin Welby said.

After the queen's coffin was lowered into the vault, the king and other royal family members left the chapel and the public events for the day were concluded.

By Haley Ott

Committal service for Queen Elizabeth II begins at St. George's chapel

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Britain's King Charles III and Prince William arrive for Queen Elizabeth II Committal Service at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, September 19, 2022. Gregorio Borgia/AP

The committal service for Queen Elizabeth II got underway Monday afternoon at St. George's Chapel on the royal family's Windsor estate.

The service will include singing by the choir of St. George's Chapel, including Psalm 121 with music composed by Sir Henry Walford Davies.

The service will be led by the Dean of Windsor, David Connor.

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Pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in to St George's Chapel for a committal service at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, September 19, 2022. Joe Giddens/AP

The choir will also sing the Russian Contakion of the Departed, which was sung at the funeral of the queen's late husband, Prince Philip.

The committal service will be the last part of Monday's historic events viewed by the public. Later Monday evening, a private service for royal family members only was to be held at St. George's Chapel.

By Haley Ott

Senior royals rejoin funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II in Windsor

King Charles III and other members of the royal family rejoined the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II, after it made its way from London to Windsor Castle on Monday afternoon.

The king, his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, as well as the king's sons Princes William and Harry, walked with the queen's coffin for the distance between Windsor Castle and St. George's Chapel, where the queen was to be laid to rest in the family crypt.

The senior royals followed the queen's coffin, carried by soldiers, up the steps into St. George's Chapel.

Pall bearers carry Queen Elizabeth II's coffin into St. George's Chapel on the grounds of the royal Windsor Castle estate in England, September 19, 2022. CBS News
By Haley Ott

Queen's funeral procession enters Windsor Castle grounds

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Emma, the monarch's fell pony, stands as the Ceremonial Procession of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Windsor Castle for the Committal Service at St George's Chapel, in Windsor, England, September 19, 2022. Aaron Chown/AP

The procession of the hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin entered the grounds of her home, Windsor Castle, on Monday afternoon.

By Tucker Reals

Queen's coffin arrives in Windsor ahead of Committal Service

The hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin stopped briefly as it arrived in the town of Windsor, west of London, on Monday afternoon, so troops from the British Army's Grenadier Guards could take their places flanking the vehicle for it's slow, final push to Windsor Castle.

The state hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin arrives in the town of Windsor, England, September 19, 2022, ahead of her committal service at Windsor Castle. CBS News

Once the procession reaches the grounds of Windsor Castle, it will be joined by King Charles III and the other senior members of the royal family.

By Tucker Reals

Royal Standard raised over Windsor Castle as king arrives for his mother's committal service

The Royal Standard, a flag representing the Sovereign and the United Kingdom, was raised over Windsor Castle on Monday as the hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin made its way through west London toward Windsor. 

The standard always flies above any royal castle or palace when the sovereign is there, so it being raised on Monday was a sign that the late queen's son, King Charles III, had arrived at the royal residence ahead of the committal service for his mother.

Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest at the family's cemetery at St. George's Chapel, on the Windsor Castle grounds.

By Tucker Reals

What the regalia on the queen's coffin represents

Queen Elizabeth II made her final procession through London on Monday after the state funeral service was held for her at Westminster Abbey. Throughout the process, her coffin was heavily decorated in regalia, all representing various aspects of the queen's life and legacy. 

Royal contributor Tina Brown told CBS News that the items that draped and sat on top of the queen's coffin added historic symbolism to this "moving moment." 

"It's really the last time we get to wrap Elizabeth in the splendor of the nation's pageantry," she said. "You know, this is the last time. It's a thousand years of British history — its whole weight — on the move." 

Click here to learn more about the items that decorated the queen's coffin, and what their significance to the throne is.

By Tucker Reals

Queen's funeral service ends - What happens next?

After the conclusion of the official state funeral service at Westminster Abbey, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is being processed through central London to Wellington Arch. Big Ben is tolling every minute for 96 minutes in tribute to the queen's 96 years, and guns are being fired in Hyde Park.

At 1 p.m. (8 a.m. Eastern): The queen's coffin will be transferred to the state hearse from the gun carriage on which it is being processed through London to the state hearse. There will then be a royal salute, and the national anthem will be played. The queen's coffin will then be driven from London to Windsor.

At approximately 3 p.m. (10 a.m. Eastern): The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is expected to reach Shaw Farm Gate in Windsor. There, it will join a funeral procession that will go to Windsor Castle.

At 3:40 p.m. (10:40 a.m. Eastern): In the castle grounds, King Charles III and other members of the royal family will join the funeral procession. Members of the royal household will be positioned behind the coffin.

At 3:53 p.m. (10:53 a.m. Eastern): The procession is expected to reach the steps of St. George's chapel at Windsor Castle. The queen's coffin will be taken from the state hearse and carried in procession into the chapel for the committal service.

At 4:00 p.m. (11:00 a.m. Eastern): A committal service will take place, with about 800 people attending. Guests will include members of the queen's household. The choir of St. George's chapel will sing before the queen's coffin is lowered into the royal vault.

7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Eastern): A private ceremony for the queen's family will take place in the King George VI memorial chapel. She will be laid to rest alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

By Haley Ott

Ukraine's first lady attends queen's funeral as war rages in her country

The first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday to pay her respects to the late monarch, "on behalf of all Ukrainians."

"It is very important for us to know that such a world leader of an epoch, a leader with an impeccable reputation and morals, was with us," Zelenska told CBS News partner network BBC News on Sunday.

Ukrainians "know that the Queen shared the values that Ukraine stands for today: freedom, the right to one's own home, language, culture and country," she said. "We have repeatedly heard words of support from her."

Zelenska was in London without her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who remained in at home to continue leading his country's fight against Russia's invasion. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also attended the funeral, Reuters reported.

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The first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, views the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, September 18, 2022. Jacob King/AP
By Haley Ott

Why was the actress Sandra Oh part of Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral?

Among the heads of state and members of royal families to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday was Canadian actress Sandra Oh.

Known for her roles in the shows Killing Eve and Grey's Anatomy, Oh was able to attend the funeral because she had been appointed to the Order of Canada earlier this summer.

The Order of Canada is the second highest civilian honor in Canada, and Oh was honored for her "artistic career filled with memorable stage, television and film roles in Canada and abroad."

Oh was part of the Canadian delegation at the queen's funeral, which was led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and she processed with of the holders of The Victoria Cross, The George Cross and the Orders of Chivalry.

By Haley Ott

Queen's coffin transferred to hearse for her final trip to Windsor

The queen's coffin is being transferred to the state hearse from the gun carriage on which it was processed through central London. 

As the late monarch begins her final journey from the British capital to her home in Windsor, about an hour west of London by car, there was to be a royal salute by a military brass band, followed by another playing of the national anthem.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is transferred into a state hearse for the trip from central London to Windsor, following her state funeral on September 19, 2022. CBS News
By Haley Ott

King Charles III leaves handwritten note on the queen's coffin

A handwritten note from King Charles III was placed on top of the coffin carrying his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, for her state funeral on Monday.

Nestled in a wreath of flowers which included a sprig from Queen Elizabeth's wedding to her husband, Prince Phillip, Charles' note said, "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R."

The R is short for the word "Rex," which is Latin for king.  

Britain's King Charles III, left, and Camilla, the Queen Consort follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey during her funeral in central London, September 19, 2022. A note placed in flowers on top of the coffin from Charles reads, "In loving and devoted memory. Charles R". AP Photo/Frank Augstein/Pool
By Haley Ott

New Zealand leader shares the "best" advice she got from the queen

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the late Queen Elizabeth II gave her some of the best advice on leading a country while being a new mother. Ardern, who had a baby while in office, met the queen in 2018, while she was pregnant.

"One of the things on my mind, alongside being a new prime minister, was being a prime minister and a mom, and when you think about leaders who have been in that position, there was Benazir Bhutto. There was myself. Before that, there was the queen. There were so few to look to," Ardern told CBS News partner network BBC News on Sunday.

"So I said to [Queen Elizabeth II], 'How did you manage?' And I remember she just said, 'Well, you just get on with it.' And that was actually probably the best and most factual advice I could have," Ardern said.

Queen Elizabeth II greeting Jacinda Ardern
Queen Elizabeth II greets Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand at The Queen's Dinner during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018. WPA Pool/Getty
By Haley Ott

Queen's coffin taken out of abbey for procession to Hyde Park

The pallbearers raised Queen Elizabeth II's coffin from the catafalque in the center of Westminster Abbey and began processing with it through the center aisle of the great nave, to bring it outside and place it back on the State Gun Carriage.

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Members of the Royal family follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey during her State Funeral in central London, September 19, 2022.  Frank Augstein/AP

The coffin will be followed in procession on the carriage by King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, along with other members of the family. The entire procession was to take about 45 minutes to reach Wellington Arch, at Hyde Park Corner.

From there, the queen's coffin was to be placed in a hearse for the drive west from central London to Windsor, where the queen will be laid to rest in her family chapel next to her late husband Prince Philip. 

Britain Royals Funeral
Britain's King Charles III, Camilla, the Queen Consort, Princess Anne, and her husband Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince William, and Kate, Princess of Wales with their children Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Britain's Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey during her funeral in central London, September 19, 2022. Frank Augstein/AP
By Tucker Reals

A commendation, a blessing, trumpets and a silence for the queen.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gave the commendation over the queen's coffin as the funeral service neared its end on Monday. 

The commendation, essentially a prayer for the late queen to be welcomed into heaven, included the traditional line: "Go forth, O Christian soul, from this world," which is often included in funeral services.

The commendation was followed by a new song composed specifically for the service, the words for which were taken from Romans 8 in the Bible, which includes the line, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" 

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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, is placed in Westminster Abbey in central London, for the funeral service, September 19, 2022. Ben Stansall/AP

The dean of the abbey then delivered a blessing, and asked those in the ancient church to remain standing for the "Last Post," a trumpet peel by the royal Household Cavalry.

Finally, all fell silent. A two-minute national silence was held at 11:55 a.m. local time, or 6:55 a.m. Eastern, to honor the queen.

By Tucker Reals

Unseen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II released on the eve of her funeral

A never-before-seen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was released by the royal family on the eve of the late monarch's state funeral, for which thousands flocked to the British capital, London, on Monday.

The photo was taken to mark the queen's Platinum Jubilee, the celebration of her 70 years on the throne, the royal family said. Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to ever reach that milestone, which she celebrated three months before her death.

 The photo was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie, who also took the commemoration photo for her Platinum Jubilee.

By Haley Ott

British Commonwealth official gives first reading as funeral begins

As the queen's coffin entered the abbey, the Choir of Westminster Abbey sang The Sentences, a song which has been used since the mid-1500s, according to Buckingham Palace, including at every state funeral since the early 18th century.

The "First Lesson" was then read by Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, in tribute to the late monarch's life "of dedication and service to the family of nations," the palace said. 

The queen's death and passage of the throne to her son King Charles III comes at a time when several members of that "family of nations" are fiercely debating their future within it, with referendums planned in a couple Caribbean countries in particular on becoming fully independent republics.

Queen Elizabeth II's death revives criticism of the monarchy's colonial past and role in the slave trade 05:10
By Tucker Reals

Prince George and Princess Charlotte processing behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II

The queen's great grandchildren, nine-year-old Prince Goerge and seven-year-old Princess Charlotte, will participate in the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, according to the order of service provided by Buckingham Palace. 

The children of William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, joined the funeral procession along with other members of the royal family as their grandmother's coffin entered Westminster Abbey.

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Britain's King Charles III, Camilla, the Queen Consort, Kate, Princess of Wales, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive at the Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in London, September 19, 2022. Phil Noble/Pool/AP

Their younger brother, four-year-old Prince Louis, did not join in the procession, nor did the children of William's brother Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

By Haley Ott

Royal family members processing with queen's coffin to Westminster Abbey

Members of Britain's royal family, led by King Charles III, have begun the solemn procession with the late Queen Elizabeth II's coffin from Westminster Hall, where she lied in state for four days, to Westminster Abbey, where her funeral will take place.

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is seen atop the State Gun Carriage outside Westminster Hall, flanked by members of the U.K. Royal Navy, with senior members of the royal family behind the coffin, ahead of the late monarch's state funeral on September 19, 2022, in London, England. CBS News

The king and his sons, William the Prince of Wales, and Harry the Duke of Sussex, and other family members followed the queen's coffin out of Westminster Hall and watched as it was placed on the ceremonial State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy. The same carriage was used for the funerals of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI, and Winston Churchill. 

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Prince William and Prince Harry follow a gun carriage carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her funeral service in Westminster Abbey in central London, September 19, 2022. Emilio Morenatti/AP

The short route between the hall and the abbey was lined by members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

The queen's coffin was to be taken off the gun carriage and carried into the abbey for the funeral service just before 11 a.m. local time, or 6 a.m. Eastern.

By Tucker Reals

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived at London's Westminster Hall on Monday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. 

Mr. Biden is one of a number of heads of state who is attending the funeral, along with members of other royal families and dignitaries from around the world. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among dozens of other world leaders attending the funeral.

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U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill arrive at Westminster Abbey before the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried inside for her funeral in central London, September 19, 2022.  Bernat Armangue/AP
By Haley Ott

U.K. Air Force member was last member of public to file past queen's coffin

A British Royal Air Force service member was the last member of the public to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state at the U.K. Parliament's Westminster Hall on Monday. Chrissy Heerey was at the very end of the behemoth, five-mile-long line that quickly became known simply as "The Queue."

She got the last spot after joining the line for a second time early Monday, having already filed past the queen's sealed coffin on Sunday evening.

The public viewing period ended just before 6:30 a.m. in London, or about 1:30 a.m. Eastern on Monday. Heerey was the last of the hundreds of thousands of people who waited for hours, sometimes a full day or and night, to pay their respects.

Queen Elizabeth II's lying-in-state in London, Westminster Hall
Christina (Chrissy) Heerey, the last member of the public to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state, walks through Westminster Hall in London, England on September 19, 2022. Lorena Sopena/Anadolu Agency/Getty

"I was the last person to pay my respects to the queen and it felt like a real privilege to do that," Heerey told Britain's PA news agency. "I'd already been round once, I went in at 1:15 this morning… It's one of the highlights of my life, and I feel very privileged to be here."

"The Queue" officially opened at 5 p.m. (noon Eastern) on Wednesday. The well-planned and orchestrated process was expected to allow some 750,000 people snake their way along the Thames River for four days, around the clock, to file past the queen's coffin.

By Tucker Reals

Queen's lying-in-state ends ahead of her funeral

A day packed with funeral events in London and Windsor began early on Monday when the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin since Sept. 14. Many had spent cold nights on line outdoors to pay their respects at the foot of the flag-draped coffin in a moving outpouring of national grief.

The closing of the hall marked the end of four full days of the coffin lying in state. 

Monday has been declared a public holiday in honor of Elizabeth. Her funeral will be broadcast live to over 200 countries and territories worldwide and screened to crowds in parks and public spaces across the country.

Police officers from around the country will be on duty as part of the biggest one-day policing operation in London's history. 

By The Associated Press

The extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth II

Born in 1926, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was not originally destined to be queen. But that changed in 1936, when she was 10 years old, because her uncle Edward VIII abdicated to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson, and Elizabeth's father, George VI, took his place.

Princess Elizabeth rapidly became a public favorite. During World War II, she not only worked to raise the country's morale, appealing to her fellow Britons on public radio to "make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place," she also served as a volunteer in the war effort, training as a mechanic in the women's auxiliary service.

Her marriage to Philip Mountbatten in 1947 gave a war-weary country something to celebrate. Their children — Charles, then Anne, Andrew and Edward — re-established the royal line. Her marriage to Philip lasted 73 years, until his death on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99.

Elizabeth was just 25 years old when she inherited the throne in February 1952, following the death of her father, George VI. Her coronation in June of the following year was the first ever to be televised. Duty was the royal family's ethos under Elizabeth's reign.

"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service," she once told the nation. 

It was a promise she kept longer than any other British monarch in history, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee — 70 years on the throne — just months before her passing.

Queen Elizabeth honored with grand procession through London 03:58

Her reign, however, was not without controversy. 

Some protesters question the value of monarchical traditions in modern times and the concentration of inherited wealth in the family's hands. In lands once ruled by the British Empire, a painful history of subjugation and the brutality of the slave trade still resonate in current events.

Queen Elizabeth II's unlikely path to the throne and the legacy she leaves behind 05:35

Royal family's new roles

A series of changes rippled through Britain's royal family following the death of its longtime matriarch. Elizabeth's eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, was immediately elevated to sovereign and became King Charles III. His wife, Camilla, took on the title queen consort.

Among Charles' first official acts was to announce that his older son, Prince William, who is now next in line to the throne, has been granted the title Prince of Wales, the role Charles himself held for over 50 years. William's wife Catherine is now Princess of Wales — a title last held by William and Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex — who gave up working as senior royals in 2020 and moved to California — did not receive new titles. But their children, 3-year-old Archie and 1-year-old Lilibet, gained the right to be known as prince and princess, as grandchildren of the monarch.


Significance of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, where the funeral is being held, has a long and storied history. In addition to being the site of Britain's monarchical coronations since 1066, the abbey was also a special place to the late queen herself during her 96-plus years. 

In 1947, at the age of 21, then-Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey's altar. Five years later, her coronation was held here. 

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The flag flies at half mast at Westminster Abbey in London on September 12, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8. MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

Family joy would follow with the marriage of her grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton here in 2011. Family sorrow would come, too, with the funeral of the queen's mother in 2002, and then the funeral of her husband in 2021.

The last time a monarch's funeral was held in Westminster Abbey itself was 262 years ago, for King George II.

"This is Westminster Abbey. This is her majesty the queen. I think you can assume that you're going to see tradition in action — great, living tradition in action," said the Very Reverend Dr. David Hoyle, who was appointed by the queen as the 39th Dean of Westminster Abbey, and who is tasked with leading the service. 

"I think the job of the abbey and the job of people like me, to some extent, is to keep stitching the story together — to say it's possible in pretty divided and volatile times to say, all this can be gathered in, reconciled, redeemed, celebrated. So, her majesty's reign, which started in the abbey, comes to an end in the abbey. It's a bit more of stitching the story together."

Read more here.

By Ramy Inocencio
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