Queen Elizabeth puts her people first in plans for ‘extraordinary’ funeral

Plans to ensure the skies above London and Windsor are quiet at the key moments of the Queen’s funeral were also confirmed on Thursday.

British Airways has cancelled one in seven flights on Monday, with 100 short-haul services dropped. The airline has suspended arrivals between 1.45pm and 2.20pm and departures between 3.05pm and 4.45pm, when ceremonial processions will be taking place.

No flights will take off or land at Heathrow between 11:40am and 12:10pm to ensure the two-minute silence at the end of the funeral service can be observed.

It has also emerged that the Government is poised to step in to run train services between London and Manchester to allow thousands more people from the north-west to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth, with trains arranged by Network Rail and complete with old-fashioned slam-doors.

On Monday, as a four-day lying in state draws to a close at 6.30am, the world will descend on London and Windsor to honour a Queen who has served her Commonwealth for 70 years.

The Earl Marshal described the task of organising what will be the most-watched state funeral in history as “both humbling and daunting”.

He said: “Of course, these events are taking place against the backdrop of an outpouring of grief, affection and gratitude from people in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and across the world – all united in paying tribute to the Queen’s life of dedicated service.

“The King has asked me once again to pass on His Majesty’s and his family’s sincere gratitude for your continued support.”

He added: “The events of recent days are a reminder of the strength of our constitution, a system of government which in so many ways is the envy of the world.

“The respect, admiration and affection in which the Queen was held makes our task both humbling and daunting – an honour and a great responsibility.”

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