Queen Elizabeth the second died,
The announcement went to air,
The world held its breath,
As millions struggled to comprehend her death,
How would the UK and Commonwealth stand,
Without the humble servant leader’s hand?
For seventy years Elizabeth ruled,
Her life the kingdom served,
Guiding governments and nations to be,
Working together for peace internationally.
Her influence was tenderly given,
With words of wisdom grounded in love,
As she lived with faith in God,
Sharing hope and dignity to all she met,
Her blue eyes sparkling and a welcoming smile,
Were known to all and never failed,
Uplifting people who came - her to hale.
The United Kingdom took pause to mourn,
As the Queen’s body travelled throughout the land,
For people everywhere to pay respect,
By roadside or in sacred place,
For citizens to pass-by and bow their head,
In memory and thanksgiving say,
Goodbye and await her funeral day.
The funeral was a spectacle to behold,
Its scope and pageantry exceptionally bold,
Each detail planned, rehearsed, prepared,
Nothing was left undone,
National leaders across the world invited to come,
To witness the funeral of this might one,
Who ruled with regal disciplined ceremony,
Was to be praised and blessed,
Marched through the streets in majestic procession,
With stately beat of drums that numbed the crowd,
To finally be placed in the hearse,
Taken to the home of her birth,
Interned in the family, royal vault at Windsor.
Neil P. Schiller
The Funeral March
Thump, thump, thump, thump,
Went the steady drumbeat,
March, march, march, march,
Went the marchers’ marching feet,
The gun carriage drawn by them,
Stoic and stolid-faced each one,
Stepping in unison,
Getting the job done.
The royal funeral procession,
To honour the Queen of England,
Now that her life of service is done.
Thump, thump, thump, thump,
The endless procession goes on,
The sailors and soldiers march to the repeated song,
The roadway filled with the marching throng.
Service men and women from many lands,
Watched by the people ten deep,
Lining each yard of the tree-lined street,
The royal children together march leading the way,
Showing their respect and grief today.
What an extraordinary life Her Majesty lived,
Seventy years of benevolent ruling to give,
The world watches on,
Knowing a special era of sovereignty is now gone,
Farewell dear lady, Queen of our hearts,
Well done in service,
The hearse departs.
Neil P. Schiller
UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 19, 2022, 9:40 AM EDT | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 19, 2022, 8:31 AM EDT
The funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II departed from Westminster Abbey; the coffin was placed on a gun carriage, which was towed by 142 members of the Royal Navy through the streets of central London. The coffin is being taken to Wellington Arch through central London ahead of the journey to Windsor for the burial.
The imperial state crown sat on a purple cushion placed on top of the coffin. A simple note from King Charles III that was nestled in the wreath on the coffin read, “in loving and devoted memory—Charles R.” The wreath included rosemary, English Oak and myrtle that was once part of the Queen’s wedding bouquet.
Walking behind the queen’s coffin as the procession filed out of the church were the King and Queen Consort, then the Princess Royal, followed by the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex. The Prince and Princess of Wales came after them with their children George and Charlotte and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The procession, led by the King, passed Buckingham Palace where members of staff at the palace lined up in front of the building to pay their respects.
Camilla, the Queen Consort, followed the coffin in a car with Princess Charlotte and Prince George and the Princess of Wales.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie also travelled in another car as did the Duchess of Sussex and Sophie Wessex.
The journey through central London was led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and members of the armed services from the U.K. and Commonwealth countries also took part.
The procession was a mile-and-a-quarter long.
Ahead of the funeral, the first part of the procession took the coffin to Westminster Abbey from Westminster Hall.
The King had led the procession behind his mother’s coffin on that short journey along with Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. Prince William and Prince Harry walked behind along with Peter Phillips, son of princess Anne.
Prince Andrew and Prince Harry are no longer working royals and are wearing morning suits, while the King and other royals are in military uniform. The bearer party made up of members of the Queen’s guard carried the coffin from the gun carriage.
The tradition dates back to the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.
The coffin was carried into the Abbey by the Grenadier Guards, one of the most senior infantry regiments in the British Army.
Once the coffin arrives in Windsor, there will be a third procession to St George’s Chapel in the castle grounds.