Queen’s funeral procession music: what will be played for Queen Elizabeth II with The Last Post and Reveille

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place on Monday

Music has played a pivitol role in the funeral of the Queen.

Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September at the age of 96.

The Queen recieved a state funeral at Westminster Abbey today (19 September) and is now being taken to Windsor to be laid to rest.

Music has played an important role in the proceedings today including The Last Post and Reveille.

Elizabeth II spent the previous four days state at the Palace of Westminster, with queues of mournings facing waits of over 24 hours to pay their respects at one point.

Here is all you need to know:

What music will be played during the Queen’s funeral?

The order of service for the Queen’s state funeral has been confirmed.

The music before the service was as follows:

  • Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist, Westminster Abbey, plays
  • Fantasia of four parts Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625) Organist of Westminster Abbey 1623–25
  • Romanza (Symphony no 5 in D) Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) arranged by Robert Quinney (b 1976)
  • Reliqui domum meum Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016)
  • Meditation on ‘Brother James’s Air’ Harold Darke (1888–1976)
  • Prelude on ‘Ecce jam noctis’ Op 157 no 3 Healey Willan (1880–1968)
  • Psalm Prelude Set 1 no 2 Herbert Howells (1892–1983)
  • In the Country Op 194 no 2 Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
  • Fantasy on ‘O Paradise’ Malcolm Williamson (1931–2003)
  • Elegy Op 58 Edward Elgar (1857–1934) arranged by Matthew Jorysz (b 1992)
  • The Sub-Organist plays
  • Andante espressivo (Sonata in G Op 28) Edward Elgar
  • Sospiri Op 70 Edward Elgar arranged by Peter Holder (b 1990)

The music after the service was:

  • Allegro maestoso (Sonata in G Op 28) Edward Elgar
The changing of the guard is conducted as members of the public view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, lying in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, London, ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Saturday September 17, 2022. PA Photo: Chip Somodevilla/PA Wire

What is The Last Post’s significance at Queen’s funeral?

Traditionally, The Last Post last for around a minute and is played on a bugle.

It has become closely linked with remembrance occasions and war funerals, and now the Queen’s funeral.

It represents the end of life and duty for the deceased and that they can now rest in peace.

Could the Queen’s music tastes influence music inside the service?

Lt Col Jones described music as a “powerful tool” that “unites people and sets the scene for true reflection”.

“Funeral marches in particular have a real knack of being able to do that, so I think you’ll find it all extremely poignant,” he said.

He suggested the funeral service inside Westminster Abbey could reflect the Queen’s personal taste in music, which was said to include musicals such as Oklahoma! and show tunes such as Cheek To Cheek performed by Fred Astaire.

Lt Col Jones said: “That’s a matter between church and monarch, to decide the service and service content, and I know there has been quite a little bit of rumblings in the media about Her Majesty’s top 10 favourite tunes and will any of those feature in the service.

“I never had any responsibility for that because, as I said, it’s between church and the monarchy to decide the content and structure of the funeral service.”

Classical-Music.com reported that while the exact hyms which will play are not known, it is likely that ‘The Lord's My Shepherd' will feature as it was a favourite of the late monarch.

The Queen also is said to have enjoyed 'Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven'.

Other candidates for hymns to feature during the service include the national anthem, ‘Jerusalem‘ and ‘I Vow to Thee, My Country‘.

Playing music at the funeral is a ‘privilege and a pleasure’

Lt Col Jones who now works as a band trainer, lecturer and performer, also said that, for those involved in the parade, this is “probably the greatest honour and privilege that they will ever have in their musical career within the armed forces”.

He added: “And so it’s not an onerous duty at all – it’s a privilege and a pleasure.

“They will be doing everything they can to perform to the highest level possible on Monday when the eyes of the world are watching them.

“Trust me, not only are they going to be getting the music right – there will be an extra shine on the buttons, a bit more extra polish on the shoes, a bit of an extra press of the trousers, to make sure they’re immaculate, not only in performance but also in the visual look.

“It’s a big, big day for them and they will be doing everything they can to make it be the best it can possibly be.”