The Queen and her funeral procession

Music at Queen’s funeral paid tribute to marriage to Philip, Prince and Princess of Wales and her reign

Her Majesty was laid to rest today

The music at Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral today (September 19) was particularly significant to the monarch.

Her Majesty passed away surrounded by her family at her Balmoral estate on Thursday, September 8. Her passing brought to a close her momentous 70-year reign.

The monarch’s funeral has been planned for years. It was devised in the 1960s but updated many times since then, with the Queen playing a hand in the its planning.

The Queen wearing her crown in her carriage
The Queen was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch (Credit:

Funeral of the Queen: Significance of the music

The funeral began at 11am as her coffin arrived at Westminster Abbey. This made her the first British monarch to have her funeral in the Abbey since 1760.

After the funeral, the coffin journeyed along the Mall to Hyde Park Corner, and finally, Windsor Castle.

Throughout the day, the sound of pipers, bagpipes and military bands filled the air.

And the choices made – some by Her Majesty – had special significance.

One played at the Diamond Jubilee of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

The music also had links to her marriage to Prince Philip, as well as her coronation.

View of the Queen's funeral from above
The music played at the funeral was largely decided by the Queen (Credit: ITV)

Nod to Prince Philip in funeral music for Queen

Perhaps the most special hymn to be sung at the funeral was The Lord’s My Shepherd.

Of course, it was sung at the Queen’s wedding to Philip, which also took place in Westminster Abbey back in 1947.

The Queen also planned a nod to the late Duke of Edinburgh in the music she chose to be played at Windsor Castle.

There, the choir will sing The Russian Contakion of the Departed, which was also sung at Philip’s funeral.

Royal family singing at funeral
The royal family sang along to numerous hymns at the service (Credit: ITV)

The rest of the music explained

A specially-commissioned piece, composed by Judith Weir, Like as the Hart, was sung by the choir at Westminster Abbey.

A statement from Buckingham Palace confirmed it was “inspired by Her Majesty’s unwavering Christian faith”.

Following the sermon, My Soul, There is a Country, set by Hubert Parry, was performed.

It was chosen by the Queen as “an anthem of great hope”, the Palace said.

Hymn was inspired by Her Majesty’s unwavering Christian faith.

Another poignant anthem, O Taste and See, was written by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

His ashes are buried in the church. The song was written for for the Queen’s coronation in the Abbey in 1953.

Another hymn at the service also had a royal connection.

Love Divine, All Loves Exceeding was sung in an arrangement first heard for the Prince and Princess of Wales’ wedding in 2011.

Procession to the funeral of the Queen
Bands accompanied the Queen on her final journey (Credit: ITV)

Mourners line the streets to pay tribute

Ahead of the funeral, the monarch lay in state at Westminster Hall with thousands of mourners visiting to pay their respects.

The Queen’s coffin previously arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh from Balmoral Castle before making the journey to London.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort flew alongside the monarch from Scotland to London last week.

Today’s funeral is likely to be one of the biggest security operations the UK has ever seen with thousands lining the ceremonial route for days to pay their respects.

King Charles III approved for the date to be a Bank Holiday as the UK remains in a state of national mourning for 12 days.

Read more: Which shops are shut on day of Queen’s funeral?

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor