What is a state funeral and who has had one in the UK?


Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will take place on Monday, September 19, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The Queen passed away on Thursday, September 8 after 70 years on the throne. She was 96 years old.

Royal protocol outlines the nation going into a state of mourning, but there are also different procedures surrounding funerals for members of the royal family.

Unlike Prince Philip, who had a royal ceremonial funeral, the Queen will have a state funeral, which is usually reserved for the sovereign.

But what exactly is a state funeral and who else has had one? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is a state funeral?

A state funeral is usually reserved for monarchs and is a way of honoring the life of the sovereign.

It usually begins with the body of the deceased being carried on a carriage, drawn by Royal Navy sailors rather than horses, as part of a military procession, which takes them from a private resting chapel to Westminster Hall in the House. or Parliament.

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This is usually followed by another procession to Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, depending on where the service is.

Heads of state then receive a 21-shot salute.

It is the responsibility of the Earl Marshal to provide a state funeral with the support of the College of Arms.

Who is entitled to a state funeral?

The head of state is always entitled to a state funeral.

However, other people can get a state funeral with the monarch’s approval and a vote in parliament, which must consider them an “exceptionally distinguished” person and then vote on money to fund it.

Who has had a state funeral in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, the most recent people to have had state funerals include Sir Winston Churchill (1965) and former Prime Ministers William Gladstone and Lord Palmerston, having a state funeral in 1898 and 1865 respectively.

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The Duke of Wellington was given a state funeral in 1852 and Lord Nelson was given one in 1806 after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Monarchs who have had state funerals include Queen Victoria (1901), King Edward VII (1910), King George V (1936), and King George VI (1952).

How is a state funeral different from a royal ceremonial funeral?

There are not too many differences between the two types of funerals. For example, both include a carriage to carry the coffin and a service attended by representatives of domestic and foreign states.

In addition, both can include a rigged state, which is a tradition where the body of the deceased is placed in a state building to give the public a chance to pay their respects.

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Minor differences from the two burials include that the coffin is pulled by horses at a royal ceremonial funeral, as opposed to sailors from the royal navy.

However, the main difference is who organizes the funeral. For example, ceremonial royal funerals are the responsibility of Lord Chamberlain – the most senior official in the Royal Household, while state funerals are the responsibility of Earl Marshal.

Those who have had royal ceremonial funerals include Princess Diana in 1997 and the Queen’s mother in 2002.

Where are members of the royal family buried?

Traditionally, members of the royal family are buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Members of the royal family buried there include Queen Victoria, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I and the Queen’s mother.