Eerie Queens coffin procession practice runs seen taking place in the dead of the night

Final preparations have begun for the funeral of the lateQueen Elizabeth II, including a full rehearsal for the procession of her coffin to Westminster Hall.

Eerie photos show thousands of soldiers gathered at Buckingham Palace in the dead of night for the practice run in the early hours of Tuesday.

The Queen’s coffin is set to arrive in London this evening (13 September) and will remain at Buckingham Palace overnight before being takento lie in state at Westminster Hallfrom Wednesday.

The night-time rehearsal saw soldiers rehearse the route with an empty black coffin placed on a carriage and led by seven black horses.

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The practice procession, which set off at around 4am, made its way through Queen’s Gardens, The Mall, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square and New Palace Yard.

Many of central London’s streets were sealed off for the massive operation.

The real procession will begin at 2.22pm on Wednesday (14 September) and is expected to last 38 minutes as the coffin is taken from the Palace to Westminster.

During the processions,King Charlesand other members of the royal family will follow on foot.

Last night’s rehearsal saw people stand in for the royals, many of whom are currently in Scotland, attending memorial services for the Queen taking place there.

Hundreds of thousands of mourners are expected along the route of the silent procession on Wednesday.

The Queen will remain at Westminster Hall until 6.30am on Monday September 19, when the coffin will be taken to Westminster Abbey for her state funeral.

After the funeral she will travel to Windsor Castle, where she will be laid to rest in St George’s Chapel alongside her beloved late husband, Prince Philip.

In the days prior to the funeral the Queen’s coffin will lie in state at Westminster Hall,with members of the public able to pay their respectsand say goodbye.

The Royal Family announced Queen Elizabeth II's funeral date on Saturday, releasing a statement which read: "The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September.

"Prior to the State Funeral, The Queen will lie-in-state in Westminster Hall for four days, to allow the public to pay their respects."

In the UK, lying-in-state is given to the Sovereign, as Head of State, the current or past Queen Consort and sometimes, former Prime Ministers.

People who have previously laid-in-state at Westminster include King George VI, Sir Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother.


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