‘The final farewell’: what the papers said about the Queen’s funeral | Queen Elizabeth II

After 10 days of national mourning, remembrance and no small amount of expectation, newspapers around the world gave their front pages over to Queen Elizabeth II’s final journey back to Windsor.

The Guardian’s main image displays the bearer party taking the Queen’s coffin up the steps into the darkened entrance of the George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle, above a report from Caroline Davies on the most intimate part of the day: a family farewell. Other pieces from Jonathan Freedland, Esther Addley and Marina Hyde assess the future, past and present of the monarchy.

The Mirror chooses a similar image in a poster front page for its tribute edition, displaying the cherished items on top of the coffin to full effect. A subdued headline in small font says simply “… until we meet again”.

The Times again chooses a wrap front page, showing the coffin entering Westminster Abbey with the headline: “Carried to her rest”. The back page carries a quote from Hubert Parry’s From Songs of Farewell: “Leave then thy foolish ranges, For none can thee secure But one, who never changes, Thy God, thy life, thy cure.”

The Express uses its wrap to signal a farewell to the past and a look at the future. The Queen’s coffin dominates the front page alongside the headline “God rest our Queen”, while a tearful, saluting King Charles III adorns the back, with the exclamation: “God save the King”.

The Financial Times looks from above at the coffin in the nave of Westminster Abbey and chooses a quote from Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for its headline: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.”

The Telegraph homes in on a tender moment for its main image, showing King Charles placing the Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the Queen’s coffin. “An outpouring of love” is the headline, above Hannah Furness’s five-column report on the day.

The Sun stays with its royal purple colouring and is one of few papers to feature the crowds that gathered for the farewell. Across a picture of the funeral cortege processing along the Long Walk to Windsor, the upbeat headline is “We sent her victorious”. The back page of its wrap features the coffin being lowered into its final resting place.

The Mail opts for image of the coffin being lowered into the vault at St George’s chapel, Windsor, with the headline: “Her final journey” for its bumper 120-page edition.

Metro captures King Charles’s sombre expression as he gazes at the flower-strewn hearse on its arrival at Windsor Castle. The crowds lining the Long Walk form the back page of its wrap.

Tomorrows Paper Today 📰


🔴 The King walks beside the flower-strewn hearse carrying his mothers coffin at Windsor castle
🔴 The final part of the Queens procession from London yesterday as her family and the nation said farewell pic.twitter.com/VRCJomkV4M

— Metro (@MetroUK) September 19, 2022

The i carries a historic note in its headline: “The end of the Elizabethan age” and describes in its trademark bullet points how Monday’s “spectacular military display” brought London to a standstill.

The Northern Echo shows proceedings in London and opts to use a quote from BBC presenter Kirsty Young for its headline: “She made history, she was history”.

The National in Scotland gives its front page to Pipe Major Paul Burns of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who signalled the end of the Westminster Abbey funeral service with a powerful rendition of Sleep, Dearie, Sleep on the bagpipes.

The Daily Record showed the Queen’s coffin being taken into Windsor Castle, with the headline “Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth”.

Further afield, the timings allowed Australian papers enough time to place their own poignant tributes on their front pages. Amid debate about whether Charles should be Australia’s head of state, Tuesday’s papers were united in covering the occasion in subdued tones. The Age (“The final farewell”) and Sydney Morning Herald (“We’ll meet again”) both showed the Queen’s coffin being guided into Windsor Castle, while the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph sought to capture the feeling of readers with their headlines: “Thank you, our Queen”, and “Rest in peace, Ma’am” respectively.

Adelaide’s Advertiser went with the headline “Eternal Queen”, and Queensland’s Courier Mail went for “Thank you, our Queen”. National paper the Australian calls the late monarch “Elizabeth the great” and focuses on the grief-stricken expression of King Charles for its image, with the headline: “We’ll meet again”, perhaps an echo of Welby’s reference to Vera Lynn’s song, which the Queen used in a broadcast during the worst of the Covid pandemic.

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