Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: Archbishop of Canterbury hails Queen’s ‘joyful’ presence

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the Queen as having touched “a multitude of lives” in his sermon at her state funeral.

He recalled her “joyful” presence as the royal family sat nearby and thousands of mourners filled the streets of London.

Mr Welby echoed the Queen’s reassuring words from her lockdown address to the nation when he told the Westminster Abbey congregation that all who follow her example, and her faith in God, “can with her say: ‘We will meet again’”.

World leaders attend The Queen’s funeral

More than 2000 world leaders are in attendance at the Queen’s funeral as the UK paid their respects to the late monarch.

King Charles III sat at the head of the family, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex nearby, after more than a week of leading the monarchy and the nation in mourning his mother the Queen.

Mr Welby, standing in the church where kings and queens have been crowned since 1066, told mourners: “People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.

“But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.

“The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and 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.”

The Queen’s children walked behind her coffin when it was carried on a gun carriage from Westminster Hall, where the late monarch had been lying in state for four days, to the state funeral at the Abbey.

Following the funeral service, mourners will be able to view the coffin as it is taken to Wellington Arch as part of a ceremonial procession that will feature hundreds of military personnel and the royal family.

The Archbishop ended his sermon by telling the congregation: “We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership.

“Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: “We will meet again.”