Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Muffled Drum and a Mock Coffin for Full Rehearsal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Muffled Drum and a Mock Coffin for Full Rehearsal

Article excerpt

Byline: KEITH DOVKANTS

THE gun carriage that will carry the Queen Mother's coffin was drawn through Westminster today in a full-scale rehearsal of tomorrow's ceremonial procession.

A mock coffin, draped in a Union Flag and topped by a marble plinth to represent her crown, was escorted by 1,600 service personnel including some of Britain's most senior military figures.

As Big Ben chimed 6am the gun carriage, drawn by six horses from the King's Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery, left the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace. To the sounds of the funeral march, and a muffled drum, detachments of the Army, Navy and Air Force marched slowly into The Mall where Grenadier Guardsmen lined the route through Horse Guards into Whitehall and into Westminster Hall where the Queen Mother will lie in state from tomorrow afternoon until Monday.

Roads around Buckingham Palace, St James's, Whitehall and Parliament Square were closed from shortly after 3am as police and military units moved into place.

Missing from the procession were the senior members of the royal family who are to walk behind the coffin. Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and others are to walk with members of the Queen Mother's family and male members of her household. The Queen will be driven from Buckingham Palace over the processional route.

The Earl of Strathmore's 15-yearold son is believed to be the youngest person taking part in the parade.

Lord Glamis, also known as the Master of Glamis, was a page at the wedding of Princess Margaret's son Lord Linley in 1993.

It took 29 minutes for the mock procession to march slowly from St James's Palace to New Palace Yard where the gun carriage came to a halt.

Among the military detachments were units from regiments with which the Queen Mother had a close association, including the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment).

Her elder brother Fergus was serving with the Black Watch as an acting lieutenant when he was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and she was the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief for more than 60 years. …

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