Westminster Abbey sends condolences to His Majesty The King on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Thursday, 8th September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II smiling. She is wearing a burgundy hat and a burgundy jacket

The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, has sent his condolences to His Majesty The King and the Royal Family upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, on behalf of all at Westminster Abbey.

The Dean of Westminster said:

“It was here in the Abbey that the late Queen swore her coronation oath and set the course for a lifetime of devoted service at the heart of our national life. We now honour her extraordinary grace and strength. She lived through long years of changes with us and was utterly steadfast.
Her integrity and her dignity have seen us weather the most serious national and international storms. She set at the heart of our national life her own character: a devotion to principle, not power; to service, not self. She believed in a common life governed by justice and law, she had a profound faith and a real hope. It is that character, and not mere personality, which we honour today.
We give thanks to God for her life and the faithfulness with which she kept the promise she made to us. We sang ‘God save the Queen’ so often; God now gathers into his loving salvation one who truly loved him, and served him.”

As a Royal Peculiar, a church which is under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, Westminster Abbey had a special relationship with the late Queen. Over the course of her life, she came often to the Abbey for state occasions and national services, and some of the most important moments of her life took place here.

In 1937, the eleven-year-old Princess Elizabeth watched her father, King George VI, being crowned at the Abbey. It was in the Abbey that she married Prince Philip, on 20th November 1947. Then on 2nd June 1953, her own coronation took place here.

Over the years there were many joyful occasions, including, very memorably, the marriage of her grandson, Prince William, to Catherine Middleton on 29th April 2011. There were sombre times too as the nation grieved alongside her at the funerals of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 9th April 2002, and Diana, Princess of Wales on 6th September 1997, as well as during national acts of remembrance including anniversaries for the First and Second World Wars.

The late Queen also attended ceremonies for the Royal Maundy, and as Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath she also took part in the Service and Ceremony of the Installation of Knights Grand Cross of the Order, which has its chapel in the Abbey.

Given her great affection and regard for the Commonwealth, the Abbey’s Commonwealth Day service, held on the second Monday each year, was a particularly important day in Queen Elizabeth’s calendar. She served as Head of the Commonwealth for more than 70 years, succeeding her father upon her accession to the throne in 1952.

In June 2018, the late Queen opened The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, a new museum displaying the Abbey’s greatest treasures in the thirteenth-century triforium, and in September 2018, a stained-glass window designed by the artist David Hockney was unveiled in the north transept to celebrate her reign. It depicts a vividly coloured country scene reflecting her deep affection for the countryside.

The Abbey is open for worship, prayer and reflection until Monday 12th September 2022. It will reopen for worship, prayer and reflection on Wednesday 21st September 2022.

St Margaret’s Church will be open for worship, prayer and reflection until Friday 16th September 2022.

The Abbey is unable to accept any flowers or tributes. They should be taken to official locations – the nearest location to the Abbey is The Green Park.