Staff members arranged themselves on the sidewalk in front of the palace as the queen’s coffin was carried from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch following the state funeral. After the procession through central London, the casket was driven to Windsor Castle, where the former monarch will be buried alongside her late husband, Prince Philip.
“[The queen’s staff] were very loyal to her,” Ailsa Anderson, a former press secretary for the sovereign, told Good Morning America on Monday. “She had people by her side who felt very strongly about protecting her and really took on those roles with a great sense of responsibility.”
The employees on the sidewalk included butlers, footmen, chefs and other aides. The police protection officers who helped guard Elizabeth during her lifetime were invited to the service at St George’s Chapel, which will take place after the procession from London.
The queen died at age 96 on September 8 while at her estate in Balmoral, Scotland. Buckingham Palace announced the news shortly after revealing that she’d been placed under medical supervision.
Following Elizabeth’s death, her eldest son, King Charles III, immediately assumed the throne. His coronation will take place at a later date.
Monday’s funeral capped off a week of tributes to the queen, who reigned for 70 years. On September 11, her coffin was taken from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. One day later, it was moved to St Giles’ Cathedral, where members of the public could pay their respects.
At St Giles’ Cathedral, the queen’s four children — Charles, 73, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — participated in a ritual called the Vigil of the Princes. The Princess Royal, 72, became the first woman to take part in the ceremony.
The vigil took place again in London on Friday, September 16, while the queen’s coffin was lying in state at Westminster Hall. Andrew, 62, was given permission to wear his military uniform for the event, despite being stripped of his military titles in January.
The following day, the vigil was repeated with the queen’s eight grandchildren: Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, was also permitted to wear his military uniform for the event after being stripped of his military titles in 2020. The occasion marked the first time the BetterUp CIO had worn his uniform since he and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced their decision to step down as senior working royals in January 2020.
“He has come to terms with not wearing uniform on these occasions,” an insider exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month. “Whilst that’s disappointing in some senses, he’s just grateful to be present and honoring the queen. At the end of the day, it’s only a uniform.”