Queen Elizabeth did not want a “long, boring” funeral.
The late monarch – who passed away at the age of 96 on September 8 following a70 year reign – is set to be laid to rest on Monday (19.09.22) in an hour-long service but the former Archbishop of York John Sentamu has insisted that mourners will be “lifted to glory” as they attend or watch the funeral on television.
He said: “The Queen does not and did not want what you call long, boring services. You’re not going to find boredom, but you’re going to be lifted to glory as you hear the service. What you’re going to expect is the best of funeral services, the prayer book service, the words which were an inspiration to Shakespeare. “You’re going to hear this wonderful English at its best. Also you’re going to hear angelic voices of the choir of the abbey plus the Chapels Royal … voices that are singing to the glory of God.”
The retired Anglican bishop – who is said to have first seen plans for the Queen’s funeral Queen’s funeral back in 2005 when he became an archbishop and a member of the privy council – added that the service will be “heart-warming” and explained that Her Late Majesty had written to him personally following the death of her husband Prince Philip back in 2021 to explain that her “thoughts” would be with the royal family upon her own death.
He told BBC News: “The hearts and people’s cockles will be warmed and at the same time, there will be a moment of saying: this is a funeral service that is glorious in its setting. The Queen wrote me a most wonderful letter four weeks after the burial of Prince Philip, thanking me for the flowers, the prayers, and then ended by saying: ‘When you are grieving someone you deeply love, it isn’t easy when you have to do it in public.’ So my thoughts will be to the new King and the whole royal family. They are grieving publicly.”
The BBC will be providing full coverage of the funeral across its television channels, radio, iPlayer and BBC Sounds, with a special programme on air from 8am until 5pm and viewers can see the hour-long service from 11am.