Big Ben BONGS for the Queen… after fears it could stay silent

Big Ben BONGS for the Queen… after fears it could stay silent: Elizabeth Tower chimes start of coffin procession… after engineers’ ‘urgent’ investigation into it ‘failing’ to sound for minute’s silence last night

Fears that Big Ben would fall silent for the Queen‘s funeral proved unfounded today after the bells rang out as planned during the final procession through central London.

Officials at the Houses of Parliament launched an ‘urgent’ investigation into the famous bell – which is housed in the Elizabeth Tower, named after Her Majesty in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee – after it failed to strike at the start of last night’s minute’s silence.

But Big Ben did chime 96 times – to mark the former sovereign’s age – this afternoon as the coffin was taken on a gun carriage from Westminster Abbey.

Fears were mounting after last night’s hiccup, with one royal writer questioning whether someone shouting ‘bong’ to simulate Big Ben ringing constituted a ‘contingency plan’.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lined the route from Westminster Abbey after the state funeral, which left King Charles III in tears.

The Queen’s coffin, followed by the King, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, Duke of York and the Princess Royal, began its procession towards Wellington Arch after it was placed back onto the State Gun Carriage at just after midday. 

Minute Guns were fired in Hyde Park by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, as Big Ben tolled throughout the duration of the solemn procession through her city. 

As the Queen’s funeral procession moved past the Cenotaph in London, the King, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex saluted the memorial to Britain and the Commonwealth soldiers killed in the First and Second World Wars. Prince Andrew and Prince Harry did not. 

Her Majesty’s coffin then passed Buckingham Palace for the final time on its way to Wellington Arch before being taken by hearse to Windsor.

Fears that Big Ben would fall silent for the Queen's funeral proved unfounded today after the bells rang out as planned during the final procession through central London

Fears that Big Ben would fall silent for the Queen’s funeral proved unfounded today after the bells rang out as planned during the final procession through central London

Officials at the Houses of Parliament launched an 'urgent' investigation into the famous bell - which is housed in the Elizabeth Tower, named after Her Majesty in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee - after it failed to strike at the start of last night's minute's silence

Officials at the Houses of Parliament launched an ‘urgent’ investigation into the famous bell – which is housed in the Elizabeth Tower, named after Her Majesty in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee – after it failed to strike at the start of last night’s minute’s silence 

But Big Ben did chime 96 times - to mark the former sovereign's age - this afternoon as the coffin was taken on a gun carriage from Westminster Abbey

But Big Ben did chime 96 times – to mark the former sovereign’s age – this afternoon as the coffin was taken on a gun carriage from Westminster Abbey

There was a hush from the crowd in Whitehall, as the funeral procession moved past the Cabinet War Rooms, the Cenotaph and Downing Street. Some emerged from balconies and windows, clad in black, while those on the street craned their necks and clutched cameras as they awaited the chance to say goodbye to the monarch.

Mounties of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police lead the procession followed immediately by representatives of the George Cross foundations from Malta, the former Royal Ulster Constabulary, and four representatives from the NHS.

The route is being lined by the armed forces from Westminster Abbey to the top of Constitution Hill at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates.

The emotional King Charles III and his grief-stricken family had surrounded the Queen’s coffin at her state funeral in Westminster Abbey in a moving and majestic farewell to the late monarch today in an extraordinary service followed by a national two minute’s silence and the Last Post.

A Parliament spokesperson told MailOnline on Sunday: ‘Big Ben failed to strike at 8pm as planned. 

‘We have investigated this as a matter of urgency and have identified a minor technical issue that has now been resolved. 

‘We will be testing the bell again later tonight and are confident that it will not affect the tolling tomorrow during the State Funeral procession.’ 

This was as Britain stood silent for the Queen during the National Moment of Reflection to remember the late Monarch, with the queue to see her lying-in-state halted and Prime Minister Liz Truss bowing her head outside Number 10.

Big Ben was meant to toll to mark the beginning of the National Moment of Reflection at 8pm last night, and once more at 8.01pm to mark its end.

Social media users took to Twitter to claim that perhaps the Bell, which has become twinned with the Monarch and Parliament since the 19th Century was marking Elizabeth II’s death at 96. 

Replying to Chris Ship, ITV’s Royal Editor who noticed the issue, Ghanem Nuseibeh wrote on Twitter: ‘Perhaps the failure to ring is in itself a sign of mourning, unplanned like the rainbow.’ 

Rainbows also appeared last night at royal spots and across London as the Queen lies in state for the last day. 

Charlie Proctor, the editor of a royal news site, said he 'hopes' that it will ring but questions whether the 'contingency plan' could be someone shouting 'bong' to simulate Big Ben ringing

Charlie Proctor, the editor of a royal news site, said he ‘hopes’ that it will ring but questions whether the ‘contingency plan’ could be someone shouting ‘bong’ to simulate Big Ben ringing

Members of the public observed the silence this evening, holding candles in Her Majesty's honour

Members of the public observed the silence this evening, holding candles in Her Majesty’s honour

Fans at Emirates Arena, Glasgow, standing quiet for the National Moment of Reflection for Queen Elizabeth II

Fans at Emirates Arena, Glasgow, standing quiet for the National Moment of Reflection for Queen Elizabeth II

People in the queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state, which was halted for 60 seconds, observing the silence

People in the queue to see Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state, which was halted for 60 seconds, observing the silence

In Berkshire, Castle Wardens were seen standing together to observe the silence at Windsor Castle

In Berkshire, Castle Wardens were seen standing together to observe the silence at Windsor Castle 

Nature’s own memorial: A rainbow appeared yesterday over Westminster Abbey and Parliament while Londoners revel at a stunning red sky over Big Ben

Nature’s own memorial: A rainbow appeared yesterday over Westminster Abbey and Parliament while Londoners revel at a stunning red sky over Big Ben

Replying to Chris Ship, ITV's Royal Editor who noticed the issue, Ghanem Nuseibeh wrote on Twitter: 'Perhaps the failure to ring is in itself a sign of mourning, unplanned like the rainbow'

Replying to Chris Ship, ITV’s Royal Editor who noticed the issue, Ghanem Nuseibeh wrote on Twitter: ‘Perhaps the failure to ring is in itself a sign of mourning, unplanned like the rainbow’

Another social media user wrote: ‘Even Big Ben fell silent. [And then a crying face].’ 

Play was stopped at the Emirates Stadium in Scotland for the Davis Cup so fans could observe the one-minute silence. 

Prime Minister Liz Truss and her husband Hugh O’Leary observed the minute’s silence outside Number 10 Downing Street.

In Westminster Hall, where the Queen was lying in state, the line of mourners halted for 60 seconds.

The government had encouraged people to spend a minute in reflection, either at home, with neighbours or in locally organised ceremonies. 

Images were seen of police officers and members of the public taking part in the silence at Waterloo Station as well as firefighters at North Kensington Fire Station in Notting Hill.

A small crowd of people in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state stopped near London Bridge and bowed their heads to observe the national minute’s silence.

They applauded to mark the end of the silence at 8.01pm.

Dozens of Metropolitan Police officers also assembled in silence beside mourners and later sang the national anthem.

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