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What happened at the previous royal funerals?

The Queen passed away on 8 September

princess diana funeral© Photo: Getty Images
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
September 13, 2022
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The nation went into mourning on 8 September, following the death of the Queen. On Saturday, it was confirmed that her funeral would be held on 19 September at 11am. It will take place in Westminster Abbey.

MORE: The Queen lying in state: everything you need to know and how to pay your respects

But what happened at the other royal funerals that have been held in recent years? HELLO! takes a look back at the sad events that marked important parts in the country's history.

WATCH: What can we expect from the Queen's state funeral?

Prince Philip

prince philip funeral© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Philip's funeral on 17 April 2021 took place under different circumstances than any other royal funeral, as strict COVID regulations were in place which included banning "indoor mixing". This meant that the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral was only attended by 30 people, with many being socially distanced, including the Queen who sat on her own.

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READ: How the late Prince Philip broke protocol to leave a legacy at the Queen's private home

The Duke was not given a state funeral but was instead given a royal ceremonial funeral. Philip wished for minimal "fuss" when it came to his funeral, so he did not lie in state, although he did lie in rest within the chapel at Windsor Castle.

Philip wished for a military funeral, which was conducted at St George's Chapel, he was then buried in the royal vault but following the Queen's funeral, his body will be moved to the King George VI memorial chapel alongside royals such as the Queen's father, King George VI and sister Princess Margaret. No sermons or eulogies were given as per his wishes.

His coffin was carried by members of the Grenadier Guards, before being driven to the chapel in a Land Rover that he had personally designed.

The Queen Mother

queen mother funeral© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen Mother passed away in her sleep at the age of 101 on 30 March 2002, with her funeral being held on 9 April 2022.

Ahead of the funeral, her body lay in state initially at St James's Palace, before being transferred to Westminster Hall where it was guarded by members of the Welsh Guard and Yeoman of the Guard. So many members of the public arrived to show respect that the official opening hours had to be extended.

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The funeral started with the bells at Westminster Abbey being sounded 101 times, in order to mark every year of her life. The coffin was then carried from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey where 220 guests arrived. The service itself began at 11.30am following a two-minute national silence.

Following the service, the coffin was transported to Buckingham Palace. The Queen Mother now lies in rest inside the King George VI memorial chapel.

Princess Margaret

princess margaret funeral© Photo: Getty Images

Unlike other royals, Princess Margaret had a low-key funeral following her passing on 9 February 2002. The event, which was held on 15 February 2002, was only for friends and family and unlike other members of the royal family, her body was cremated at Slough Crematorium.

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MORE: The Queen's heartbreaking statement after death of Princess Margaret

Her ashes were later interred in the royal vault before being moved to the King George VI memorial chapel where she lay alongside her father. Margaret's funeral took place on the 50th anniversary of her father's funeral, and a further state memorial service was held on 15 April 2002.

Princess Diana

princess diana funeral westminster© Photo: Getty Images

Following her untimely death on 31 August 1997, Diana's funeral was held on 6 September 1997. Her body had laid in resat at St. James's Palace, before being taken to Kensington Palace, where she and Charles had lived together.

The Princess of Wales had a royal ceremonial funeral, and her coffin was drawn through London for one hour and 47 minutes, with wreaths of flowers selected by her brother, Charles Spencer, and sons, Prince William and Prince Harry adorning it. A letter from Harry addressed to 'Mummy' was also present.

As the procession passed by St. James's Palace, it was joined by Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Charles Spencer, Prince William and Prince Harry. As it passed Buckingham Palace, the Queen bowed her head in respect to the late Diana.

MORE: Charles Spencer breaks silence as Kate Middleton becomes new Princess of Wales

READ: Prince William inherited this royal talent from Princess Diana

The funeral was attended by members of the royal family, all of Britain's then-living Prime Ministers, other world leaders and A-list celebrities like Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman. An estimated 2.5 billion people watched the service on television.

During the ceremony, Elton John performed Candle in the Wind 1997, which was a rewrite of Candle in the Wind, and his writing partner Bernie Taupin had revised the lyrics in order to honour Diana. Readings were given by her sisters Sarah and Jane, while her brother read a eulogy.

Diana was later buried at her childhood home of Althorp in Northamptonshire in the presence of her mother, siblings, a close friend, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and a clergyman. The burial place is located on an island within a lake, with a ring of 36 trees, to represent each year of her life, lining a path to the Round Oval.

King George VI

king george funeral

King George VI's funeral was held on 15 February 1952, following his death at Sandringham on 6 February 1952. His coffin lay in St Magdalene's Church for until it was transported to Westminster Hall, where he lay in rest for three days.

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For his funeral, the late King was taken from Westminster Hall to Paddington Station, where his body was transported to Windsor. His procession was followed by the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and four royal dukes. The coffin was carried on a gun carriage and hauled by seamen.

The coffin was then transported to the St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The Queen broke tradition at the funeral, as she allowed the Queen Mother to ascend the stairs ahead of her; her royal status meant normally the monarch would've gone up first. The King's funeral also broke tradition as it was the first royal funeral to be broadcast on television screens.

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