Now and then: the differences between Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother lying in state

Images taken two decades apart show who attended the ceremonies

Left, the procession of the Queen Mother's coffin in 2002; right, Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is taken along the same route in 2022. Getty
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Queen Elizabeth II is lying in state before her funeral in what will be one of the UK's largest public events.

The monarch's coffin has been taken to Westminster Hall and up to a million mourners are expected to file past to pay their respects following her death last week in Balmoral, Scotland.

The Queen Mother was the last member of the royal family to lie in state, following her death in 2002 at the age of 101.

She was highly regarded by the British public and large crowds gathered for her funeral, which took place at Westminster Abbey.

Only the most revered figures in British public life lie in state, including Princess Diana and former prime minister Winston Churchill.

Traditions of the monarchy date back centuries and these images show the subtle differences between the ceremonies.

Procession down The Mall

The coffins of Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother were brought to Westminster Hall along The Mall, a stretch of road that leads to Buckingham Palace and is used for many royal occasions, such as Trooping the Colour.

More than 200,000 people are believed to have travelled to London to participate in the Queen Mother's funeral and lying in state, which lasted for three days. Spectators were perhaps afforded a better view of the procession with the branches of the trees largely bare at the time.

Turning into Horse Guards from the Mall

The picture on the right shows the length of The Mall draped in Union flags, perhaps showing the level of planning that has gone into the organisation of the queen's funeral, code-named Operation London Bridge.

The first image shows a young Prince Harry and Prince William travelling behind their great-grandmother's coffin. Neither had served in the military at that time and wore more traditional funeral attire.

Also missing from the image on the right is the queen's husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in 2021.

Queen and Queen Mother on the catafalque

The coffins of the queen and her mother were placed on the catafalque in Westminster Hall and guarded at all hours by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London.

The Royal Standard was draped on both, although the monarch's version differs slightly with two quarters representing England, while the quarter representing Wales is omitted.

Public mourners gather

Up to a million mourners are expected to file through Westminster Hall to see the queen lying in state, providing organisers with a major logistical and security challenge.

Queues up to eight kilometres long are likely to form along the banks of the Thames and could result in waiting times of more than 12 hours.

The queen's coffin will be shown until 6.30am UK time on Monday, when it will be taken to Westminster Abbey for the funeral.

Visible in both pictures are the Imperial State Crown, the symbol of the queen's sovereignty, and the monarch's orb and sceptre, which traditionally represents that the authority of the monarchy is derived from God.

Politicians in attendance

The political landscape of the UK has shifted significantly in the past two decades, as the picture below shows.

In 2002, the UK was lead by prime minister Tony Blair, who came to power five years earlier and lasted in the role until 2007.

He was accompanied at the Queen Mother's lying in state by Sir Ian Duncan Smith, the leader of the opposition Conservative Party. Also in attendance were former foreign secretary Jack Straw, Mr Blair's chancellor and successor, Gordon Brown, and the former first minister of Northern Ireland, Lord Trimble.

In the other image, Prime Minister Liz Truss can be seen alongside Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer paying their respects to the queen. In the background you can make out former home secretary Priti Patel and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Updated: September 15, 2022, 3:29 PM