The Queen's Committal Service: What is the service being held at Windsor Castle, what happens at it, who breaks the Wand of Office, and who is invited?

Following the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II a second, smaller, service will take place at Windsor Castle.

Due to start at 4pm at the castle’s St George's Chapel, it will be led by The Right Reverend David Conner, Dean of Windsor.

A Committal Service is traditionally held at the graveside, allowing loved ones to say a final farewell.

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The Queen’s Committal Service, taking place after her coffin travels from the Sta te Funeral at Westminster Abbey, will feature a number of traditions that historically have been carried out at the end of a British monarch’s reign.

Mourners make their way towards Windsor Castle ahead of the committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, following the Queen's state funeral at Westminster Abbey.Mourners make their way towards Windsor Castle ahead of the committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, following the Queen's state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Mourners make their way towards Windsor Castle ahead of the committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, following the Queen's state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Here’s what happens before, after and during the service.

Who will be at the Committal Service?

Around 800 guests are expected to attend the committal service.

The congregation will be made up of King Charles III, members of the royal family and members of the Queen’s household, past and present, who will be joined by prime ministers from the commonwealth countries.

Prayers will be read by the rector of Sandringham, Canon Jonathan Riviere, the minister of Crathie Kirk and the Queen’s chaplain, Rev Kenneth MacKenzie, and the Canon of St George’s Chapel, Martin Poll.

Hymns will be sung by the choir of St George’s Chapel.

What happens before the service?

There is a detailed timetable of events in the buildup to the service, which are as follows.

1pm: Members of the Congregation are admitted to the Chapel by way of the South Door and are directed to their seats by the Stewards and the Ushers.

3.10pm: All stand as the Canons of Windsor, accompanied by The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Archbishop of York, move to the West Steps of the Chapel by way of the North Quire Gate and Centre Aisle. All then sit.

3.15pm: All stand as the Clerk of the Closet and Head of Her Majesty's College of Chaplains, Dean of the Chapels Royal, Sub-Dean of the Chapels Royal, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, Chaplain of the King's Chapel of the Savoy, Rector of Sandringham, Chaplain of the Chapel Royal Hampton Court Palace, Chaplain of the Chapels Royal HM Tower of London, Minister of Crathie Kirk, the Lord High Almoner and the Military Knights of Windsor move in procession by way of the North Nave Aisle and the Centre Aisle to their seats in the Quire and Nave. All then sit.

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3.15pm: His Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms and The King's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, having entered by way of the North Quire Aisle and the North Nave Aisle, will take up their positions in the Nave.

3.25pm: All stand as Members of the Royal Family, having arrived at Galilee Porch where they are received by the Dean of Windsor, move by way of the North Nave Aisle to seats in the Quire, led by Gentlemen Ushers to The King. All then sit.

3.45p: All stand as the Director of Music, the Choir of St George's Chapel and the Succentor move from the North Quire Aisle to their places in the Quire. All then sit.

3.53pm: The State Hearse halts at the bottom of the West Steps.

4pm: The Coffin Procession enters the Chapel.

What happens at the service?

The order of service is as follows:

- Psalm 121

- The Russian Contakion of the Departed (Sung by the choir)

- The Bidding (said by the Dean of Windsor)

- Hymn - God, My Hope on You Is Founded

- Reading - Revelation 21.1–7 (Read by the Dean of Windsor)

- Prayers - Six prayers will be read by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of the Royal Chapel,Windsor Great Park.

- The Lord’s Prayer

- The Motet (All sung together with the choir)

- Hymn- Christ is made the sure Foundation

- Psalm 103.13–17 (Read by the Dean of Windsor as the coffin is lowered)

- The Styles and Titles of Queen Elizabeth II (Proclaimed by the Garter King of Arms)

- The Blessing (Said by the Archbishop of Canterbury)

- The National Anthem

- The Voluntary

Before the final hymn, the imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre will be removed from the Queen’s coffin by the crown jeweller and placed on the altar by the dean of Windsor – later returning to the Tower of London where they are kept.

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After the chorus starts, the King will place the Queen’s company camp colour of the Grenadier Guards on the Queen’s coffin, while the Lord Chamberlain, Andrew Parker, will ceremonially break his wand of office and place it on the coffin to represents the end of his service.

As the coffin is lowered into the royal vault, the dean of Windsor recites a psalm and commendation, following which the garter king of arms will pronounce Her Majesty’s styles and titles.

The sovereign’s piper will play a lament during the Archbishop of Canterbury’s blessing, before ‘God Save The King’ is sung.

Will the Committal Service be televised?

The Committal Service will be broadcast live on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV and ITV2.

The event will also be available to watch via catchup on BBC iPlayer.

What happens after the Committal Service?

Following the Committal Service the King and the royal family will attend a private burial service at St George’s Chapel at 7.30pm.

This service will be completely private and will not be televised.

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