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Queen Elizabeth II's Lifetime Of Service Honored In Emotional State Funeral

Photo: Getty Images

The Royal Family and world leaders gathered at Westminster Abbey on Monday morning (September 19th) for the official state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Since passing on September 8th at the age of 96, Britain's longest-reigning monarch made her final journey with the Imperial Crown, the Sovereign's Sceptre, and Sovereign's orb sitting atop her coffin.

The new monarch King Charles and members of the Royal Family including Camilla, Queen Consort, the Queen's only daughter Princess Anne, Prince William, his wife Kate Middleton, their eldest children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were all present.

Earlier that morning the Queen's coffin made its penultimate procession from Westminster Hall, where the Queen's coffin had been lying in state for four days, to the church where she wed her late husband Prince Phillip in 1947, and where she began her record-breaking 70-year reign during her coronation on June 2nd, 1953. In addition, the tenor bell tolled every minute for 96 minutes to honor every year of her life.

The Dean of Westminster David Hoyle led the 2,000 guests in committing "Queen Elizabeth to the care and keeping of almighty God," as the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace provided a stunning soundtrack to the somber ritual.

All of the morning's speakers emphasized the Queen's commitment to serving the Commonwealth citing her profound Royal pledge from her 21st birthday speech on April 21st, 1947: "I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Toward the end of the ceremony, two minutes of silence took place across Britain. Following the state funeral, the royal family escorted the Queen's coffin to Wellington Arch, near Hyde Park, before being driven to Windsor. There, the hearse will join a new procession to St. George's Chapel where a committal service will take place.

The burial service, also conducted by the dean of Windsor, will be private. Last week, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a release that "The Queen is to be buried together with [her husband] The Duke of Edinburgh."