World leaders and royalty gather for Queen’s funeral

The doors of Westminster Abbey have opened ahead of the state funeral of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

King Charles III will lead a sombre procession behind his mother’s coffin on the short journey from Westminster Hall to the abbey later.

The abbey’s bell has started to toll once a minute ahead of the service which will begin at 11:00 BST.

It marks the end of 10 days of events across the UK since the Queen’s death.

As London prepares for as many as one million visitors for the historic occasion, roads and bridges are closed to traffic and an unprecedented security operation is under way.

All public viewing areas for the procession are already full, London’s City Hall said.

Before the service begins, the Queen’s coffin will be conveyed – in the first of three processions throughout the day – through Parliament Square, a distance of about 820ft (250m).

US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill arrive in Westminster Abbey

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex will once more walk side-by-side behind their father, the King, who will walk alongside his siblings, the Queen’s four children.

Two of the Queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, will also walk behind the Queen’s coffin.

The State Gun Carriage will carry the coffin, drawn by 142 sailors. A guard of honour will stand in the square made up of all three military services, accompanied by a Royal Marines band.

The final people to attend the Queen’s lying-in-state paid their respects at Westminster Hall just after 06:30 – after four-and-a-half days and a queue which stretched as far as Southwark Park in south-east London.

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