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Dean of Westminster David Hoyle.jpg
Westminster Abbey
Dean of Westminster David Hoyle.jpg
Westminster Abbey
World News

Queen’s funeral will be an ‘opportunity for us all to mourn’, says Dean of Westminster Abbey

by Kelly Valencia

The Dean of Westminster, who will lead the Queen’s funeral on Monday, has said the ceremony will be an “opportunity for us all to mourn”.

During an interview with the BBC, the Very Rev Dr David Hoyle said we must not forget that the personal sorrow of a grieving family is “right at its heart”.

Westminster Abbey will host some 2,000 people, including presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens from across the world.

The Abbey was an important place in the Queen’s life. She exchanged vows there with Prince Philip in 1947 and it was also the site of her coronation in 1953.

The Dean said: “The business about it being a state funeral is really important. It's meant to be visual. It's meant to be grand.

“We're supposed to be reminding ourselves of this extraordinary woman who so often took us down through the register, gave us herself, her character.”

He added: “Part of this is about remembering her significance, her place in history, her place in the nation and Commonwealth.

“But it's a funeral. It's for a grieving family. That's really important, personal sorrow at the heart of this.”

Talking about his involvement in the ceremony, he said he felt a “huge sense of privilege” to lead the service.

Asked whether he was nervous, Rev Hoyle said: "If I sit still for too long and start thinking about the significance of the moment and the eyes that are on you then yes, honestly of course I am.”

Hundreds of people have been working tirelessly to ensure the Queen’s funeral goes to plan, with some working 19-hour days.

On planning for the funeral, he said: "There's an enormous amount to do, it's been a really busy week".

He added that the scale of Monday's service was almost unprecedented, even for Westminster Abbey.

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