The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the events held during the period of national mourning incurred a cost of approximately £162 million, according to the Treasury.
The state funeral took place on September 19, 2022, eleven days after her passing. During the period of national mourning, hundreds of thousands of people visited Westminster to pay their respects while the Queen lay in state.
The Home Office (£74 million) and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (£57 million) accounted for the highest expenditures. These costs encompassed the funeral itself, as well as other related events leading up to it, such as the lying-in-state ceremony.
John Glen, the chief secretary to the Treasury, stated that the government’s priority was to ensure that these events were carried out smoothly and with the appropriate level of dignity, while also ensuring the safety and security of the public. The Treasury provided additional funding when necessary, and the governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were fully reimbursed for their respective expenses.
The estimated costs by government departments include:
- Department for Culture, Media & Sport: £57.42 million
- Department for Transport: £2.565 million
- Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office: £2.096 million
- Home Office: £73.68 million
- Ministry of Defence: £2.890 million
- Northern Ireland Office: £2.134 million
- Scottish Government: £18.756 million
- Welsh Government: £2.202 million
- Total: £161.743 million
During the ten days of national mourning that began after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on September 8, 2022, the UK witnessed significant public participation. The Queen’s coffin rested at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh for 24 hours before being transported to Westminster Abbey in London, where thousands of mourners patiently waited to pay their respects.
People lined up for hours, enduring cold temperatures, to join the queue, which extended from Westminster Hall along the River Thames for nearly seven miles (11 km). The state funeral and mourning arrangements required an extensive operation by the police, described at the time as one of the largest in the UK.
World leaders, foreign royalty, and members of the Royal Family gathered at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral. The congregation of 2,000 included the Queen’s great-grandchildren, the then-Prime Minister Liz Truss, and US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill. The event was witnessed by millions of people in the UK and around the world.
This state funeral marked the first of its kind since the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and was the largest ceremonial event since World War Two. Following the funeral, the Queen’s coffin was carried in a procession to Wellington Arch and then taken on its final journey to Windsor Castle for a committal service.
The incurred costs were aimed at ensuring the smooth execution of the event and the safety of mourners from the UK and worldwide who wished to pay their respects. Downing Street emphasised the desire to allow people to participate and honour the late Queen during this major international event.