Sep 19, 2022
Service at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II Transcript
Service at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:04)
After four full days of lying in state, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth left Westminster Hall at 10:44 for the short journey to Westminster Abbey for a state funeral
[inaudible 00:00:46] coming through. [inaudible 00:00:53] coming through. [inaudible 00:01:01].
Speaker 1: (01:07)
At the Abbey, dozens of world leaders had gathered, abandoning their diaries. President Macron, amongst them. President Biden, given dispensation to use his bombproof car. But inside the Abbey, Commonwealth leaders and royalty took precedence. In the bottom of the picture, you see the US President ushered further and further back to row 14. Former Prime Ministers together again, as they were for the Council proclaiming Charles King just over a week ago.
Speaker 1: (01:53)
Amongst the last to arrive at the Abbey, two of the Queen’s great grandchildren, Prince George, now second in line to the throne. Outside Parliament, the coffin on the state gun carriage, last used at the state funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965, pulled, by tradition, by Naval ratings. 40 March behind to act as breaks. The Queen’s children, and behind them her grandchildren, lined up to walk behind the coffin. The coffin arrived at the Abbey for a funeral decades in the planning. There was one wreath of flowers from the gardens of Royal residences, a card from the King in loving and devoted memory.
Speaker 2: (03:28)
Speaker 1: (03:28)
The hymns and the readings were all in line with the Queen’s wishes. Liz Truss, who she appointed as Prime Minister two days before her death, read the second lesson.
Lizz Truss: (03:42)
Lord, show us the father, and it suffices us. Jesus sayeth unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet has thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me have seen the father. Thanks be to God.
Speaker 2: (04:03)
Speaker 1: (04:03)
The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a short sermon contrasting the Queen’s lifelong service with some people, not named, who cling to power.
Archbishop of Canterbury: (05:08)
Those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten. The grief of this day, felt not only by the late Queens’ family, but all around the nation, the Commonwealth, and the world, arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us. She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives. And we pray today, especially for all her family, grieving as every family at a funeral.
Speaker 2: (05:57)
Speaker 1: (05:57)
After the National Anthem, a lament from a lone piper. And then the coffin processed out again to be drawn on the state gun carriage from Westminster Abbey to Hyde Park Corner. There to begin its journey to Windsor where the family and Commonwealth representatives will attend a committal service before the Queen’s body is lowered into the vault beside Prince Phillips. A period of national morning and an era coming to a close.
Speaker 5: (08:26)
Well, the ceremonial focus will shift to Windsor in just over an hour’s time. It’s already beginning a little bit behind me now. I’m here with my correspondent, our correspondent, indeed, Andy Davies. Paint the picture here because we’ve seen a little flavor of it just now, but what’s going on on the long walk?
Andy Davies: (08:41)
Well, a scene like no other. I was on the long walk a short while ago, but just as I was leaving there to come up here just over an hour ago, you could hear the sort of distant sound of hymns echoing from the big screens down by the long walk. And then to my left, the sound was being mirrored in a pub where everyone was sitting in silence watching the funeral service from Westminster. And so it happened at the next pub that I walked past, and the town felt suddenly like this sort of echo chamber of events in Westminster, foreshadowing what we’re going to get here later today.
Andy Davies: (09:14)
The town is pretty busy. I mean, the flags are out, there are ubiquitous portraits of the queen in shop windows, but it is, as you said, the main event is at the long walk. And there are thousands of people down there at the moment. They’ve been coming in this morning. Some of them were there last night, bagging their places behind the barriers there. And it has a sort of park festival feel. I mean, there are donut huts, burger huts down there, portaloos, long lines of portaloos, people having picnics by the horse chestnut. But it was really interesting when the funeral service started on the big screens, a hush descended, and everyone turned to the screens to start watching it. And they almost became part of this mass congregation and it felt very different and it was quite something to witness.
Speaker 5: (10:04)
And so tell us about the procession later, what will happen with that? Where’s the main focus going to be?
Andy Davies: (10:09)
So the state hearse will go up the long walk flanked by hundreds of members of the armed forces. It will head into the castle grounds, behind us here, it’ll go to the quadrangle where the king and other members of the Royal household will be waiting. They will start processing behind the state hearse. It’ll come down here to the steps. You can just make out behind the steps of St. George’s Chapel. Curfew bell will toll, the minute guns will fire, much like when Prince Phillip’s funeral took place here. And then the lament will stop, the music will stop, there will be silence. The coffin will be taken then into the chapel, into this chapel with such a deep history of buried monarchs, Henry VIII, Charles I. And there’ll be a congregation in there of about 800. A lot of them will be members of the late Queens Household, past and present. And there’ll be a service of commemoration. A committal service will take place then.
Speaker 5: (11:11)
And tell us, there’s a moment in that committal service which is sort of heavy with symbolism, isn’t there?
Andy Davies: (11:17)
This will be when the crown jeweler removes the Imperial State Crown, the orb and scepter, from the top of the coffin. And that will be, in a way, to signify the parting of the crown from the Queen for the very first time. And then there’ll be another moment when the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the late Queen’s Household, he will break what’s called his Wand of Office, a sort of white staff. And he’ll then place that on the coffin to signify the end of his service for the late Queen. But I think the most poignant moment might come at the end when you have a lone piper in a doorway by the chapel who will play at the end of the service and then walk away so the music gradually fades.
Speaker 5: (12:00)
Andy, thanks very much. More from us in Windsor later. But Matt, back to you now.
Thanks Kathy. Well, I can tell you that the state hearse with the coffin on board has just left Hyde Park Corner, it’s traveling through the park and will then go down Queen’s Gate and wind its way towards Windsor Castle where it’s due to arrive around three o’clock this afternoon. Of course the streets have been lined by tens of thousands of people and huge crowds have indeed flocked to central London. So many in fact that the police closed access to the public viewing areas for the funeral procession before 9:00 AM this morning. Our reporter, Minnie Stephenson, has been down amongst the crowds who’ve come to pay their respects and to be part of this day, truly a day to remember.
Minnie Stephenson: (12:45)
As you can see, thousands and thousands of people have come out to pay their final respects on the [inaudible 00:12:51]. I think what’s really interesting is that people have come from all over the world. A lot of Americans in the crowd who say they love the Royal Family. People have brought their kids, their next door neighbor, all just desperate to be part of it. And we’ve also met the Taylor family. Hello? How are you doing?
Mr. Taylor: (13:05)
Ms. Taylor: (13:06)
Minnie Stephenson: (13:06)
Who, as you can see, are fully branded.
Ms. Taylor: (13:08)
Minnie Stephenson: (13:09)
Why did you want to be here this morning?
Ms. Taylor: (13:11)
We just wanted to be involved in this important part of history. We felt really emotional about it the last couple of weeks. And we wanted to bring the children and just show our support for the Royal Family and the Queen.
Minnie Stephenson: (13:22)
And whose idea was it to wear, for the family, to go full flag?
Ms. Taylor: (13:25)
Minnie Stephenson: (13:27)
Right. Did everybody agree straight away?
Mr. Taylor: (13:30)
There was no protesting, was there?
Minnie Stephenson: (13:32)
That’s good. And you’ve got a corgi as well. Who’s this?
Yeah, this is Sandy. And it’s the Queen’s dog.
Speaker 11: (13:42)
This is my next door neighbor.
Minnie Stephenson: (13:43)
Oh, your next door neighbor?
Speaker 11: (13:44)
Minnie Stephenson: (13:44)
Why did you decide to come down today
Speaker 22: (13:46)
To pay our respects to the queen. Amazing.
Speaker 11: (13:49)
A moment in history. She was a wonderful woman. 70 years. Just wanted to be here. I couldn’t stay at home. No way.
Minnie Stephenson: (13:56)
So I was about to say, “Who have we got here?” But-
Child 2: (13:58)
Minnie Stephenson: (14:01)
It’s the Queen. It’s such an accurate picture. I can see. When did you draw that?
Child 2: (14:06)
Minnie Stephenson: (14:08)
Wow. It’s very good. The crown is particularly excellent. Did you have to get up very early to be here?
Child 2: (14:15)
I had to get up last night.
Minnie Stephenson: (14:17)
Last night. Wow.
Speaker 12: (14:18)
We’re from Texas.
Minnie Stephenson: (14:20)
Speaker 12: (14:21)
Yeah. We’re from the States.
Minnie Stephenson: (14:22)
Have you come especially?
Speaker 12: (14:23)
Yes, especially for this.
Minnie Stephenson: (14:24)
Speaker 12: (14:25)
I have planned to do this for years. I always told my children, “If ever it happens, we’re going.”
Minnie Stephenson: (14:31)
Speaker 12: (14:32)
So here we are.
Minnie Stephenson: (14:33)
So it’s very important?
Speaker 12: (14:34)
Minnie Stephenson: (14:35)
And what’s the atmosphere been like for you being here?
Speaker 12: (14:38)
It’s beautiful. It’s great. I mean, I’ve experienced other major events where there’s a large crowd, but this is very humbling for me.
Speaker 24: (14:48)
Everyone has respect the Queen.
Speaker 12: (14:50)
Are you feeling very emotional?
Speaker 24: (14:52)
Emotional. It’s a very emotional time.
Minnie Stephenson: (14:55)
Well, as you just heard, people have come here for many different reasons and they see it through very different lenses. Some people have brought their kids, some people have brought their next door neighbors, but they’re all here just to pay their final respects.
Minnie Stephenson, thanks very much. Well, the hearse, the state hearse with the coffin, is traveling past Hyde Park and then down Queen’s Gate any moment now. Well, earlier Jackie Long spoke to the former Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, and she began by asking him what he thought of today’s service.
Dr. John Sentamu: (15:29)
Like all great services of the state, when the Church of England is involved, and particularly the Royal Family, they have imbued the Book of Common Prayer. So when you know the Book of Common Prayer funeral service, it is easy to get in and out. But because I was part of the people who’ve been looking after revising the service near every three years.
Jackie Long: (15:54)
Yes. You saw it first-
Dr. John Sentamu: (15:55)
I’ve seen it-
Jackie Long: (15:56)
Dr. John Sentamu: (15:57)
I saw it. I saw it first time in 2005, and then every three years you look at it, you look at it, and if there are any changes. And actually there wasn’t a lot of change from what I saw last time-
Jackie Long: (16:09)
But having… Sorry.
Dr. John Sentamu: (16:11)
Except that Psalm 42 was specifically music written by Judith, who was a fantastic composer, that one I had in heart. And then another anthem. But the amazing thing about that service, it wasn’t boring. That’s the first thing I’ll say. Secondly, it had a lot of feeling inside the Abbey, when everyone was singing hymns, it just felt as though we got the biggest choir in the world and the organist and the Director of Music. I mean, the singing was just amazing and the words-
Jackie Long: (16:41)
And the Queen didn’t want it to be boring.
Dr. John Sentamu: (16:44)
No, no. Nor did she want it to be long. They never believed in long services. And if you are going to worship God, don’t bore God. At least don’t bore people, because the service itself speaks for itself, was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. And you are not sitting far away from the coffin, so you’re able to see, and you knew as soon as we sang God Save the King, you knew this is it. We’re not going to see her again in this life, but in the next we will.
Jackie Long: (17:18)
And that is a very difficult moment for many people-
Dr. John Sentamu: (17:19)
Yes. Very difficult, very difficult.
Jackie Long: (17:23)
Every word is chosen carefully. Every piece of music is chosen carefully. What do you think it said about the Queen, about the Queen’s life?
Dr. John Sentamu: (17:32)
I think the Queen, first of all, knew the Bible. She knew the scriptures very well. She knew the Book of Common Prayer and used it quite a lot. She actually, in the end, knew most of the hymns. She could actually sing without needing a book. And I suspect [inaudible 00:17:54] dying at 96, she really did imbibe the atmosphere, the worship, the praise, and all was focused on God. There was nothing in here really apart from a little prayer and there, but all of it was about God.
Jackie Long: (18:09)
It’s an audience full of world leaders and politicians.
Dr. John Sentamu: (18:13)
Jackie Long: (18:13)
What message do you think they can or should take away from today?
Dr. John Sentamu: (18:19)
Because the prayers were always thanking God for the commitment to service, the commitment to be dutiful. And a lot of world leaders, unfortunately, they think that power means lording it over other people, but it isn’t. And the Queen clearly, because dearly loved by the people because of the way she lived, not because of what she said, the way she lived, could have been a challenge. I mean, every time I was in her presence, I was absolutely challenged because you are finding somebody who is great, but actually humility was the thing that was driving her. Very, very ordinary in many ways, never sat on, “I am the Queen.” Never. Whereas our world leaders may think because they’ve been chosen to lead, they lord it over other people when they shouldn’t do that.
Jackie Long: (19:14)
So the hope today that perhaps they take away the idea of a different type of leadership.
Dr. John Sentamu: (19:19)
The hope is that actually softer power is better than aggressive power. That actually be known by your gentleness, by your kindness, your friendliness, your love. I still cannot get over the number of handwritten letters the Queen wrote to me.